Vanhanen’s basic hypothesis is that a country’s climate and average IQ level will tend to correlate with its IPR and ID. More specifically, he expects that democracies will have broadly distributed resources, will be made up of smart people and will be—cold.
The French philosopher Montesquieu proposed as far back as 1748 that climate affects human nature, and thereby social and political institutions. He believed that men in cold climates tended to be more vigorous, self-confident and courageous than men in warm climates, as well as having freer institutions. But Montesquieu never gave a satisfactory account of how cold climate effected men in these ways.
Vanhanen himself included climate in a comparative study he did of democracies way back in 1971. He found only a weak relation between temperature and social structures, leading him to ignore climate in later studies. But in this new book he returns to the theme, both because evidence of such a relation has accumulated and—more importantly—because his colleague Richard Lynn has developed a plausible evolutionary model to explain how climate has affected us.
(V Dare, February 3, 2010).