Ice People and Sun People
By • 1/9/07
He made us who we are.
Black studies professor Leonard Jeffries once declared that whites were “ice people” and blacks were “sun people.” Prof. Jeffries is not a man whose opinions I normally endorse: he is notorious for his hateful rants against the white race. His hatred goes so far that he has even exhorted blacks not to consume foods that are white in color! But his names for the two races are quite apt: it is true that whites evolved in a colder climate than blacks, and this is the reason for the differences between the two races. As for what those differences are, here again I disagree with Prof. Jeffries. Whereas he thinks that whites’ Ice Age past made them violent and cruel, the truth is that it molded whites into people capable of creating civilizations that are the summit of human accomplishment.
We have seen in the past two columns that whites and blacks differ in three basic ways: whites are more intelligent than blacks, less sexually promiscuous, and better able to defer gratification. The differences are so profound that they indicate whites and blacks evolved to form very different types of society suited to very different conditions.
What those different conditions are is not hard to discover. Blacks are a people adapted for tropical conditions: until the first Muslims began taking African slaves in the 10th century, all blacks lived in the tropics. Whites, however, spent 18,000 years of their evolutionary history living through the Ice Age. A world of ice and snow makes radically different demands of an organism than one of sun and lush forests, and these different demands led whites and blacks to develop very different abilities and temperaments.
Homo sapiens began migrating from Africa about 90,000 years ago; man was established throughout Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago and in Europe by 40,000 years ago. This meant that Europeans had to survive an Ice Age that lasted from 28,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was much colder in Europe then than it is now: a massive glacier covered the continent down to northern England and Germany, and the rest resembled the tundra of Siberia.
In warm climates, people survive easily. They do not need to devote much effort to finding food, as fruit grows plentifully in the forests year-round. Contemporary hunter-gatherers living in tropical areas eat relatively little meat, and anthropologists believe Africans have always been highly herbivorous1. The climate itself also makes life easy: people do not need to worry about making warm clothes and shelters, but can survive practically naked and live in simple huts composed of mud and leaves.
Because of the ease of life in a tropical climate, fathers do not need to invest much energy in children. An African man can simply sire a child and move on to his next conquest, confident that the mother will be able to raise his offspring. Primitive African men who devoted care and energy to their families would have been evolutionary losers, as “players” could pass on more copies of their genes. Even today, most children in African societies are reared and supported by the mother alone, without the support of the father, and this pattern also prevails among blacks in the West2.
In cold climates, on the other hand, food is difficult to come by, as fruit does not grow the whole year round. Consequently, people need to hunt to survive. In fact, primitive peoples in Arctic climates rely virtually exclusively on animal foods. Hunting requires creating tools and understanding of the behavior of animals, both of which are spurs to the evolution of intelligence. There are many other problems posed by life in a cold climate, such as food storage and the construction of warm clothes and shelters, that also would have put pressure on people to evolve greater intelligence3.
Beyond this, scarcity of food and life-threatening cold requires that people plan for the future and develop foresight. One could not live hand-to-mouth and moment to moment in the Ice Age. Our European ancestors would have had to make sure that there was always enough meat and animal hides to keep the tribe from starving or freezing to death if the next hunt failed.
Finally, the difficult living conditions of the Ice Age would have made it necessary for men to devote substantial effort to providing for sexual partners and children. Since men are the stronger sex, the duties of hunting naturally fell to them, and, if they didn’t provide meat and other care, their mates and children would have died. In this environment, the men who would have passed on the most copies of their genes would have been the ones who were dedicated to the well-being of their families. Also, women would have been compelled to seek out men who would provide for them. Therefore, the environment of Ice Age Europe was conducive to the evolution of strong family bonds4.
Additional evidence that a cold climate causes the evolution of intelligence and family life is provided by Northeast Asians, such as the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. The Ice Age in this area of the world was even harsher than it was in Europe, and the bodies of Northeast Asians, as well as their minds, show adaptation to freezing weather: Asians’ flattened noses evolved to help them to avoid frostbite, and their short legs and thick trunks evolved to conserve heat, as did the subcutaneous layer of fat that gives their skin a yellowish appearance5. Just as the theory of adaptation to cold climates would predict, the IQ of Asians, at 105, is higher IQ than that of whites6. Asians are also less sexually promiscuous than whites7 and less likely to bear children out of wedlock.
The relationship between climate and IQ has been examined by psychologists Donald I. Templer and Hiroko Arikawa. In a study of 129 nations, they found that there was a very strong correlation of -0.68 between the coldness of winter and the average IQ, meaning lower temperatures are associated with higher intelligence.
The traits that led the white race to develop advanced civilizations are the product of an environment that has long since disappeared. Whites managed to retain their distinctive traits after the Ice Age ended because life continued to be harsh and because Christian morality encouraged sexual continence and intellectual endeavors. However, it remains to be seen whether we can be true to the heritage of the Ice People in the conditions of abundance that now surround us. Because intelligence, foresight, and monogamy are no longer as strongly associated with success as they used to be, our society’s respect for them has begun to decay. In consequence, the West has developed a distinctly African ethos of hedonism. In order for whites to maintain the traits of their ancestors, they need to become conscious of how unique and precious these traits are and learn to cherish and nurture them.