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It’s common knowledge in psychometrics that U.S. whites average about one standard deviation (15 IQ points) higher than U.S. blacks and have done so since the first mass tests were administered in WWI.

But could the gap extend much further in space and time? Tens of thousands of years further.

At first it sounds absurd: there were no IQ tests 15,000 years ago, and there weren’t any white people. The earliest Europeans had dark skin, and they were largely replaced by Middle Easterners spreading agriculture.

Archaic European

Nonetheless, there were people living in Europe 15,000 years ago and to the degree they resemble today’s Europeans (phenotypically and genetically) they’re a proxy for archaic whites.

Similarly, the oldest lineage in Africa are Bushmen, and to the degree they resemble modern Africans, they’re a proxy for archaic blacks.

The archaic whites left the following rock art over 15,000 years ago.

IQ 74 (1963 US norms)
IQ 144 (1963 U.S. norms)

The archaic blacks left the following rock art, perhaps much more recently.

IQ 74 (1963 U.S. norms)
IQ 118 (1963 U.S. norms)

When I asked readers to rate the two archaic white paintings using the quality scale of the Dale-Harris Draw-A-Man test, the median votes were 3 and 11, giving the archaic whites a mean score of 7.

votes for the first European painting
votes for the second European painting

For archaic blacks, the median votes were 3 and 8, giving archaic blacks a mean score of 5.5.

votes for the first African painting

votes for the second African painting

That’s a difference of 1.5 points. Since the standard deviation for incipient adults (age 15) on the Goodenough-Harris quality scale is 1.7, archaic whites over 15 thousand years ago were already nearly one standard deviation (15 IQ points) higher than archaic blacks living later.

From Children’s Drawings as Measures of Intellectual Maturity by Dale B. Harris

Of course with such a tiny sample size, this conclusion is EXTREMELY tentative and requires far more research.

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