Tom Friedman recently claimed on CNN that it takes 4 hours and 18 minutes to take the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai but it takes 21 hours to take the train from New York to Chicago, even though both are about the same distance. If an alien came to Earth it might think the Chinese were nearly five times smarter.
Meanwhile rubiks.com reports:
The current record held for the fastest solve of the Rubik’s Cube is currently 3.47 seconds by Yusheng Du, who beat the record of Feliks Zemdegs by 0.75 seconds.
4 seconds appears to the the genetic limit for non-Asian cube solving. Just as no non-Africans can run the 100 meter in under 9.9 seconds, no non-Asian can solve the cube in under 4. Like a premature baby that is forever stunted, non-Asians appeared too early in Earth’s history, before our species was done evolving.
In his blog Evo as Fuck, Peter Frost notes that polymorphisms for the gene CASC5 increase brain size in women, are especially common in East Asians, and became prevalent in the ice age:
Cold, seasonal environments did impose new cognitive demands on early modern humans, first by increasing their need to plan ahead over a yearly cycle and second by providing them with new tasks: garment making, needlework, weaving, leatherworking, and kiln operation. Women performed those tasks because the environment offered them few opportunities for food gathering—the usual female activity before the advent of farming. They thus moved into artisanal tasks that not only required greater cognitive ability but also offered much potential for further development. This was the “original industrial revolution” and it was led by women
I always assume the World’s smartest human is a Chinese woman, racing through the hardest WAIS-IV Block Design in under 3 seconds; her hands shaking with lightning speed as the 9 blocks fly into the air, landing in perfect place.
We can better understand this sexual division of labor by studying northern hunter-gatherers of recent times. According to a cross-cultural study, if women are less involved in food gathering, they specialize in activities unrelated to food procurement, i.e., house building, leatherworking, and burden carrying (Waguespack 2005). A study of two Inuit groups found the highest degree of technological complexity in garment making and shelter building, both of which are wholly or largely women’s work (Oswalt 1976). Cold environments thus change the sexual division of labor among hunter-gatherers in a crucial way: while men continue to be food providers, women develop new technologies.
These findings may explain the recent evolution of CASC5: women were the focus of selection for cognitive ability during Ice Age times. But why was the selection stronger among ancestral East Asians than among ancestral Europeans? It looks like the climate at that time was more severe in northern Asia than in northern Europe. Europe benefited from the moderating influence of the Atlantic, which made for a milder and moister climate. Conditions were much colder and drier in northern Asia.
I wonder if Frost knows that the vast majority of European ancestry didn’t arrive in Europe until the Holocene. That might better explain it.
The Northeast Asian woman is perhaps the most perfect organism evolution has ever produced, at least here on Earth. The thin delicate physique, the jet black perfectly straight hair juxtaposed against the pure white skin. The large spherical cranium. The orthogonal face.
I recently saw a commercial where several young Asian women made their therapist look autistic. The therapist asked if they were taught about sex growing up and they laughed in her face, explaining “we’re Asian”.