Being a white guy married to an African (Ethiopian) woman I have read along with great interest and occasional amusement. Having visited the African continent on three occasions certainly doesn't make me an authority on the intelligence of its residents but I have had the good fortune of interacting with a great number of African people in Africa and here in the US.
I personally know a good many highly intelligent Ethiopian folks. What is funny is that they disparage the intellect of their African neighbors of different tribes. The dominant "highland" tribes of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Amhara and the Tigray attribute lower intelligence (and bigger penises) to their southern "low land" neighbors the Anyuak, Walita, Omo and the Jinka. They look down on them as "baria" or black people.
There are over eighty separate tribes and languages in Ethiopia alone. Some of these tribes have been genetically separated for thousands of years and are quite visually distinct from on another. Even a "farange" like me can easily identify the physical characteristics of many of these distinct populations.
Are there true differences in intellectual ability between these tribes? I have no idea but I kind of doubt it based on my interactions with the people from these different groups. What I find interesting is that the different tribes have definite opinions of the relative intelligence of each tribes.
They have recently been exposed to Chinese workers and engineers and have decided that they are very intelligent as a "race" if revolting in appearance.
Having been immersed in their very hospitable culture I can say that people are people and this whole topic is interesting at first blush but quite absurd in practice.
Oh, by the way they think we "faranges" are about as bright as the highland tribes but much less civilized. After spending time in their society I tend to agree with them.
Oct 18, 2007
Required Reading on Race
In a comment on Pharyngula, Lance perfectly illustrates the universal folly of human nature. Quoted in full: