There are reasons why Africa is such a backward place: why it is the beggar continent that perpetually lives off handouts called ‘foreign aid’ even as it sits on an abundance of natural resources; why most of its countries are lands of broken down infrastructure, stratospheric jobless rates, ramshackle government institutions “education systems” that are a sad joke, and so on ad infinitum. _African Backwardness
There are reasons why African countries fill the list of the world’s poorest countries. There are reasons why African nations fall to the bottom of the list of IQ by country. There are reasons why it is difficult to find Nobel prize winners from African nations (except South Africa) — and why those African Nobel prizes tend to be awarded in the soft categories. Similarly, there are reasons why African nations and nations with high populations of African people, score highest on homicide rate scales — where valid statistics are kept. Officials from most SS African nations consider crime statistics a low priority, compared to new cars, houses, European vacations, etc. (see World’s Most Corrupt Nations)
Africa stayed where it was for millenia – they didn’t invent an alphabet and written language, neither did they make use of wheeled transport except in isolated cases. These are two of the corner stones of any technological society. Engineering is based on mathematics. Another discipline Africa knew nothing of. _Africa’s resistance to change
Modern humans got their start in the Great Rift Valley areas of Africa. A recent discovery of advanced stone projectile tips (via HBDChick) in the rift area demonstrates that some form of human was throwing javelins as early as 280,000 years ago.
These javelins are some 200,000 years older than previous examples of similar weapons, suggesting that modern humans and their extinct relatives had the know-how to create these sorts of complex thrown projectiles much earlier than often thought.
Scientists investigated stone tools unearthed at the Gademotta Formation on the flanks of an ancient, large collapsed volcanic crater in central Ethiopia’s Rift Valley.
So why did some humans move on from the Rift Valley into Asia and Europe, invent a wide range of technologies that allowed them to explore and occupy virtually the entire world — while other populations of humans settled sub-Saharan African and went into virtual stagnation?
Could the answer be something as simple as Genetic Load?
Genetic load is the reduction in selective value for a population compared to what the population would have if all individuals had the most favored genotype. It is normally stated in terms of fitness as the reduction in the mean fitness for a population compared to the maximum fitness.
One part of genetic load is “mutational load” — the piling up of harmful mutations that have not been eliminated for some reason by natural selection. Too many harmful mutations will be lethal — eliminating the genes from the gene pool. But animals can survive and procreate at lower levels of fitness than the “maximum fitness” for the species.
Dysgenics and mutational load
It seems probable that most variation in health, beauty, and IQ is due to genetic load, large numbers of rare genetic variants. About fifteen percent of the human genome is under negative selection, meaning that in about fifteen percent of the human genome, any random change is likely to be harmful, most variants get eliminated by natural selection in a reasonable time.
The mutation rate in humans is one or two mutations per hundred million bases per generation, probably around one mutation per hundred million bases, for a total of around thirty to sixty mutations per generation, implying around five to nine harmful mutations per generation.
Since we must have been near equilibrium in the ancestral environment, this implies five to nine harmful mutations were eliminated every generation.
This amounts to natural selection working fiercely – that just to stay in the same place we were running mighty fast, that survival of the fittest was pretty harsh. Since we have not been experiencing severe natural selection since the Industrial Revolution, the number of harmful mutations in the typical individual must have increased by about forty or so. We must have devolved quite significantly. _Dysgenics and Mutational Load
The idea is that if natural selection cannot “work hard enough” to eliminate harmful mutations from the gene pool, that human genetic devolution — or a form of dysgenic change — can occur.
Could some form of dysgenic change due to mutational load, have happened in sub Saharan Africa, after proto-Asians and proto-Europeans departed the scene?
Over the past 300,000 years, environmental conditions shifted erratically over most parts of the globe — driving natural selection wild. But closest to the equator, climate was less changeable, and less a driver of human evolution. Humans who followed the Rift southward through Kenya and Tanzania might have been under less forceful selection, leading to a higher mutational load.
Other lifeforms such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and arthropods, also found equatorial regions to be fertile areas to evolve. These other lifeforms co-evolved with humans, and developed both parasitic and symbiotic relationships with regional humans. Lower levels of fitness in Africans due to parasitic and disease load complicates the attempt to explain why sub-Saharan Africans evolved to a state of lower achievement, higher violence, and generally higher corruption.
High disease death rates may have been one reason why humans in Africa developed a more r-selected breeding strategy as opposed to the K-selected breeding strategy more generally practised by higher achieving Asian and European populations. The collision of world assistance to Africa with the persistence of a quasi r-selected breeding strategy, explains much of the current rapid population growth in sub Saharan Africa.
Importantly, it is not only a population’s level of invention, prosperity, physical fitness, or intellect that is derived from genes. Morality, or moral behaviour, is likewise an epiphenomenon of underlying genetic combinations, combined with environmental phenomenon.
It is clear that different breeding populations of the same species can easily fall under different selection regimes — leading to significant divergent evolution.
Now that scientists are becoming more skilled with the use of various tools to study gene expression, we are likely to get some answers to the above questions, sometime in the next few decades. Political correctness will need to take a dagger to the heart first, perhaps.
Richard Lynn’s book “Dysgenics” discusses many of these ideas, and is available as an ebook free online:
Other parts of the world are perpetually backward, but perhaps for different reasons. Genetics will always likely play a part in the perennial backwardness of a people, but other reasons can also come into play.
Arab backwardness may have different causes, including excessive inbreeding. Other examinations of this issue in the original Al Fin blog include: Why are Arabs so backward?, and Backward Arabs grow more backward.
The average population IQ across Arab countries is about 85 — roughly the same as the African American average IQ.
Operating under the constraints of low IQ, an oppressive religion, an insular world view, and primitive tribal and cultural norms, is a severe challenge to Arab progress.