The Bushmen are one of the most unique populations in the human species, having been genetically and culturally isolated from most other humans for tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. And yet despite their incredible uniqueness and ancient splitting off date, almost nothing is known about their intelligence level; indeed political correctness prevents scientists from even asking the question.

Given that Bushmen split from the rest of our species before behavioral modernity appeared, their IQs hold the answer to questions that scientists have been asking for decades. Was the Upper Paleolithic Revolution (the sudden explosion of art and advanced tools some 70 to 40 kya) a cultural change or a genetic change?

With Bushman on the verge of extinction and political correctness only growing stronger, we may never be able to test more Bushmen, let alone raise them in white upper class homes and see if their scores improve, let alone scan whole genomes for IQ variants.

But fortunately the genetics of Bushmen are preserved in the South African Coloureds and the IQs of these have been well studied. They have a phenotypic IQ of 82 and, I estimate, a genetic IQ of 85.


Based on the above graphic, Coloureds are are 19% Bantu, 20% White, 8% East Asian, 22% South Asian, 28% Bushmen and 3% other. The other is probably Southeast Asians. In their book, The Intelligence of Nations, Lynn & Becker cite a 1996 study by Hadidjaja et al. in which samples of Indonesian kids obtained Raven IQs (corrected for Flynn effect) of about 80 to 86, or roughly 83. Given Indonesia’s 0.529 HDI in 1991, I used a technique to estimate their genetic IQs at 93. Meanwhile, I’ve estimated that South African Whites, Indians, and Blacks have genetic IQs of 98, 92 and 80 respectively. Armed with the genetic IQ of Coloureds (85) and the genetic IQs of five of the six races that compose their ancestry, and their relative proportions, solving for the fifth race (Bushmen) is simple algebra:

Coloureds genetic IQ = 0.19(Bantu genetic IQ) + 0.2(White genetic IQ) + 0.08%(East Asian genetic IQ) + 0.22(South Asian genetic IQ) + 0.28(Bushman) + 0.03(Southeast Asian IQ)

85 = 0.19(80) + 0.2(98) + 0.08(105) + 0.22(92) + 0.28(Bushmen genetic IQ) + 0.03(93)

85 = 15.2 + 19.6 + 8.4 + 20.24 + 0.28(Bushmen genetic IQ) + 2.79

85 = 66.23 + 0.28(Bushmen genetic IQ)

85 – 66.23 = 0.28(Bushmen genetic IQ)

18.77 = 0.28(Bushmen genetic IQ)

18.77/0.28 = Bushmen genetic IQ

67 = Bushmen genetic IQ