Certainly climate must play a part in development of countries.
"No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer
Alright, thanks for the inquiries. Like I've said, its a long one, but I'll try to summarize it.
[I should note, after reading Victor's post below, that the following doesn't deal with the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution etc. -- probably more up to the decline of the Roman Empire, but it is enough to illustrate the point]
Now, civilization has its roots in hunter-gatherer societies, basically the first form of civilization that ever existed. Tens of thousands BC. This is the timeframe where we set up (or find) shelter to the best of our ability, hunt animals, and try to live off them. However, this kind of lifestyle doesn't really allow for a sedentary, "settled" society, because eventually the amount of wildlife that can be hunted go down, and we need to move lest we starve. Keep in mind that during this time we're still made of tribes, and we still interact with each other and other tribes. This is important, because eventually, with time (a lot of time!), we learn a very important thing -- planting seeds. This is due to humans' learning (after all -- all this time, we observe nature's processes) and capacity for problem-solving. And eventually we come to a point where we realize that instead of being nature's slave and running off to find food, we can stay where we are and try to make nature work for us.
This is agriculture. Agriculture is critical, because it allows for a settled society. How is this important? Well, in a settled, agricultural society, two concepts appear: Divison of labor and food surplus. Basically, the society is divided into a class-system with administrators, warriors, artisans, peasants, etc. All of them have their own responsibilities, and all of them possess certain skills that make them belong to their class. Food surplus is even more important -- It's basically extra food that can be stored for the future (ensures longevity), but more importantly, it's potential tax and thereby, currency. So what happens is that, the artisan class (which is a very general term, think of the average "citizen"), over a very, very long time, produces work. Discusses things. Invents new technologies. Trades stuff, also ideas, commercializes professions. (especially around Greece and the like) Meanwhile the administrators keep the show running by taxing the peasants' extra food all this time, which is then redistributed. I'm greatly simplifying here. So as a result, humanity keeps on solving more and more problems. New tools are fashioned, new systems designed. Intellect develops greatly.
Africa, for the most part, doesn't possess the same kind of geographical advantage Europe does. Irrigation techniques made European farming possible, and irrigation needs rivers. But Africa: The lands are rather infertile, arid, there are a lot of deserts too. Quite a few rivers, you're pretty much in trouble if you're stuck inland. The temperatures are maddeningly hot. Both bad news for any farming and the people. Basically, the guys down there are cheated out of the above fun. They miss the train, and keep on being hunter-gatherers. Which shouldn't be news, we've all heard about "African tribes" one time or another. Same deal. It might sound prosaic, and I have simplified greatly, but this is pretty much the reason why they stagnated. Keep in mind that this process of honing our intellect and problem solving, takes many, many thousands of years. Agriculture was a key catalyst in speeding it up, though.
Good answer. I have a book to read by Jared Diamond called Guns, Germs and Steel. I believe he basically attributes Africa's stagnation to geopolitical issues, which is pretty intuitive.
Originally Posted by Victor
For 200,000 years we lived in a spoken culture.
A spoken culture is learnt intuitively and gives rise to intuitive habits of thought, such as the Sun goes round the Earth.
However in 1440 the printing press was invented in Europe and gave rise to the dream of universal literacy.
However almost no one learns to read and write naturally and intuitively. In fact we are compelled by law to attend a special institution with specially trained staff, in order to learn to read and write.
So learning to read and write is counter-intuitive and give rise to counter-intuitive habits of thought - such as the Earth goes round the Sun.
And counter-intuitive literacy gave rise to the Enlightenment -
• And Astrology was replaced by Astronomy.
• Alchemy was replaced by Chemistry.
• Creationism was replaced by the Origin of Species.
• Exorcism was replaced by Psychiatry.
• The encyclopaedia replaced ignorance.
• Magic and sorcery were replaced by technology.
• Medicine replaced superstition.
• Usury was replaced by Adam Smith's, "The Wealth of Nations".
• Institutional slavery was abolished for the first time in human history by the House of Commons in 1833.
• Women gained their emancipation in the 20th Century.
• And in the last 15 years, child sexual abuse was prosecuted for the first time in our Criminal Courts.
• Nazism was defeated.
• And Communism was defeated.
• And Fascism was overcome.
• And racism was replaced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
• Free Speech replaced ideology.
• And the Church was separated from the State.
• And we all became equal under the Law.
• And beliefs based on evidence replaced beliefs based on divine revelation.
• And the Divine Right of Kings was replaced by Democracy.
So it was the Enlightenment that created Europe.
And it is instructive to look at those who oppose the Enlightenment today. They are Islamists, Marxists, Romantic tribalists and the New Age.
And most interesting MBTI is part of the New Age Movement.
In fact a war called Jihad has been declared on the Enlightenment and on us.
And it is in our interest as well as our moral duty to defend the Enlightenment and ourselves.
Interesting ideas, although I'm not sure I agree with your latter comments. They seem a bit simplistic.
Originally Posted by Blackmail!
You can tell your friend he hasn't understood a single point of the evolution theory, since every living beings on Earth are just "as evolved" as any other one, because their lineages have managed to survive so far.
Furthermore, while speaking of us, no living man is closer to "apes" than the other, unless you want to mean than we all are a subspecies of chimpanzees (technically, we are). We can say every hominoids diverged from simians exactly at the same moment. Again, this proves that your so-called friend is just prejudiced, and hasn't understood a word of what "evolutionary science" or phylogenetics are.
What you've done here is assert that my friend is wrong because he is. You haven't actually provided any reasoning as to why he's wrong. You should have structured your post thus:
"Your friend is wrong because evidence shows that x"
"Your friend is wrong because x" [x being easily refutable without evidence which you do not have].
Anyone else notice that the people on this forum who would allegedly benifit the most from a supposed genetic hierarchy (those with East Asian and Ashkenazi heritage) based on "scientific racism" are the same people who have put forth the most comprehensive and credible rebuttals? Maybe Ezra should take that as a hint....
Anyway, the examples of East Asian and Ashkenazi (though the latter MAY in fact have a SLIGHT genetic edge in terms of IQ on account of the holocaust combined with relatively closed courtship opportunities after the fact) are easily explained by cultural upbringing; the Chinese writing system (which influenced other East Asian writing systems) is absurdly inefficient (albeit useful as a mechanism for integration), requiring children to undergo extensive early childhood education simply to read the language. Over time, the culture developed to facilitate this, in myriad subtle and unpurposeful ways, so that products of chinese culture are brought up in an environment conducive to IQ development. The same thing applies to Ashkenazis (disproportionately descended from professional classes, due to both midieval discrimination and the holocaust), who over the centuries were raised from an early age to enter professions requiring vast amounts of knowledge, necessitating extensive early childhood education. I think virtually any other ethnic or "racial" disparities can be attributed to differences in early childhood development, in terms of education, nutrition, and culture.