Yet, at the same time, certain parts of Southern China, had a higher percentage of scientists, engineers and scholar-officials.
Do you have source for that? What is the percentage?
That may be due to how Confucianism was applied locally rather than the influence of Confucianism. Even within confucianism, there were a variety of movements that contested with each other. For example, progressive Confucians as opposed to conservative Confucians.
Yes, but that may or may not be the cause. Shu school is also very progressive, yet it does not have similar effect, thus there must be something else.
For the most part, Southern China was more progressive than the north, and often adopted new ideas from other nations.
It could be argued that rather than it is more progressive than other areas, it merely have more access.
Which is why the anti-foreign rebellions (Boxer rebellion) were more focused in the North than in the South and many progressives during the Qing dynasty were southerners, esp. Sun Yat-sen.
Same argument as above.