Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The low IQ threat to the West: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon is an allegory of the West’s future suffering resulting from an influx of low IQ ‘refugees’.

Charley Gordon has an IQ of 68, and is patient zero for a radical new procedure that promises to make him a genius. The book starts with Charley's sub-standard spelling and grammar on display in his diary, but as it progresses, and Charley’s IQ soars to 185, the writing improves dramatically. 

What has this got to do with ‘refugees’? Well, it turns out the average IQ in Somalia, origin of a good number of colonists flooding the West, is 68; exactly the same as Charley Gordon's before his surgery.

Daniel Keyes got retardation spot on; Charley’s IQ prevents him from making logical connections, remembering how to do simple tasks (like shaping dough into rolls at the bakery), and functioning normally. As his IQ develops, which is Charley's long held dream, his emotional being remains stunted; he’s still an awkward teenager despite his newfound brainpower.

The moral of this story is that no matter how much you try to educate people with IQs of 68, no matter how much money is spent, the outcome is a disaster. In other words, you can try to turn a Somali straight off the plane with an IQ of 68 into a civilised Westerner, but it's not going to turn out well. 

Daniel Keyes published this in 1966 (based on a short story published in the late 50s), and he understood this point very clearly. What excuse do we have for failing to realise it today?

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