Consummate dilettantism!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Genetics, culture, and success

Barbados is a country that's 80% black but that has one of the highest literacy rates in the world and one of its lowest crime rates (on par with Japan). Not coincidentally, the smartest black people by far I met in Beijing were Barbadian*. Yet these blacks are the descendents of African slaves brought over en masse from Ghana and Nigeria. This suggests to me that culture is far more important than genetics in determining success of countries and populations.


*One of them, having studied Chinese for a mere two years, was getting an engineering degree from a Chinese university. His curriculum was entirely in Chinese. This is, needless to say, extremely impressive.

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