A new European league of IQ scores has ranked the British in eighth place, above the French, who were 19th. According to Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster, Britons have an average IQ of 100. The French scored 94.
But it's not all good news. Top of the table were the Germans, with an IQ of 107. The British were also beaten by the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Lynn, who caused controversy last year by claiming that men were more intelligent than women by an average of five IQ points, said that populations in the colder, more challenging environments of northern Europe had developed larger brains than those in warmer climates further south.
The average brain size in northern and central Europe is 1,320 cc, while in southeast Europe it's 1,312 cc.
"The early human beings in northerly areas had to survive during cold winters when there were no plant foods and they were forced to hunt big game," he said.
"The main environmental influence on IQ is diet, and people in southeast Europe would have had less of the proteins, minerals and vitamins provided by meat which are essential for brain development."
He added that differences in intelligence across Britain could be attributed to bright people moving to London over hundreds of years. Adults in England and Wales have an IQ of 100.5, higher than Ireland and Scotland, both with 97. People living in London and the southeast of Britain average 102.
"Once in the capital they have settled and reared children, and these children have inherited their high intelligence and transmitted it to further generations."
The pattern is repeated in other countries, Lynn claimed. In France, IQ scores in Paris were much higher than those in rural areas.
Lynn has spent three decades analysing thousands of test results to scrutinise the role of evolution in IQ. He has published his findings in a new book. Britons excel in another area of Lynn's research. He found that university students had, at 109, the second-highest undergraduate IQs in the world, beaten only by their US counterparts on 110.
Lynn ascribes the differences between British and French intelligence levels to the results of military conflict. He described it as "a hitherto unrecognized law of history" that "the side with the higher IQ normally wins, unless they are hugely outnumbered, as Germany was after 1942."
Source: China Daily