Some notes and speculations about various topics. ||| Gegenwärtig - vorübergehend -
wohl eher eine Gedankensammlung als ein Naturwissenschaftsblog. Das Konzept eines "Naturwissenschaftsblogs" wird erst im kommenden Jahr (2018/2019) Umsetzung finden.
Dienstag, 3. Mai 2016
Haplogroups as evolutionary markers of cognitive ability
Studies investigating evolutionary theories on the origins of national differences in intelligence
have been criticized on the basis that both national cognitive ability measures and supposedly
evolutionarily informative proxies (such as latitude and climate) are confounded with general
developmental status. In this study 14 Y chromosomal haplogroups (N= 47 countries) are
employed as evolutionary markers. These are (most probably) not intelligence coding genes,
but proxies of evolutionary development with potential relevance to cognitive ability.
Correlations and regression analyses with a general developmental indicator (HDI) revealed
that seven haplogroups were empirically important predictors of national cognitive ability (I,
R1a, R1b, N, J1, E, T[+L]). Based on their evolutionary meaning and correlation with cognitive
ability these haplogroups were grouped into two sets. Combined, they accounted in a
regression and path analyses for 32–51% of the variance in national intelligence relative to the
developmental indicator (35–58%). This pattern was replicated internationally with further
controls (e.g. latitude, spatial autocorrelation etc.) and at the regional level in two independent
samples (within Italy and Spain). These findings, using a conservative estimate of evolutionary
influences, provide support for a mixed influence on national cognitive ability stemming from
both current environmental and past environmental (evolutionary) factors.