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All Comments / On "A Troublesome Inheritance"
 All Comments / On "A Troublesome Inheritance"
    A common piece of advice that I've heard with the release of Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance is that in order to get people to accept the findings of HBD, you can't be too honest and direct with the reality of the situation. That is, you can't tell the full scope of the truth of...
  • @AM_2
    "How you raise your kids has virtually no impact on how they turn out. That is, nurture appears to matter little in the end."

    So then the stats about married couples having better outcomes in raising children are false? I should just leave my kids the wolves? Do you really think that it's not going to change them somehow?

    That's the problem here. We want simple narratives, but they are not. Environment impacts the expression of underlying genetic material. It's hard to say how much environment can change, but it can in fact encourage or discourage certain traits.

    That's why it's understandable that the West is about social engineering. It does work, it does have impact. But then they take to the other extreme, like you have with genetics and deny the influence of the other entirely. I'm not going to make an MD out of someone with an 85 IQ. But under the right conditions, they may be a far more civilized human being than being left to a gang to raise. *shrug*

    So then the stats about married couples having better outcomes in raising children are false? I should just leave my kids the wolves? Do you really think that it’s not going to change them somehow?

    Genetic confounding is a very important concept.

    Environment impacts the expression of underlying genetic material. It’s hard to say how much environment can change, but it can in fact encourage or discourage certain traits.

    Sure but this doesn’t mean what people usually believe it means. It certainly doesn’t mean two-parent vs. single parent families.

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  • “How you raise your kids has virtually no impact on how they turn out. That is, nurture appears to matter little in the end.”

    So then the stats about married couples having better outcomes in raising children are false? I should just leave my kids the wolves? Do you really think that it’s not going to change them somehow?

    That’s the problem here. We want simple narratives, but they are not. Environment impacts the expression of underlying genetic material. It’s hard to say how much environment can change, but it can in fact encourage or discourage certain traits.

    That’s why it’s understandable that the West is about social engineering. It does work, it does have impact. But then they take to the other extreme, like you have with genetics and deny the influence of the other entirely. I’m not going to make an MD out of someone with an 85 IQ. But under the right conditions, they may be a far more civilized human being than being left to a gang to raise. *shrug*

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    So then the stats about married couples having better outcomes in raising children are false? I should just leave my kids the wolves? Do you really think that it’s not going to change them somehow?
     
    Genetic confounding is a very important concept.

    Environment impacts the expression of underlying genetic material. It’s hard to say how much environment can change, but it can in fact encourage or discourage certain traits.
     
    Sure but this doesn't mean what people usually believe it means. It certainly doesn't mean two-parent vs. single parent families.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • […] people seem to think that if we unleash “the horror that is hbd”, some groups will be told to get to the back of the bus or the ovens will be fired up or even […]

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  • @Anonymous
    Definitely, there are some scientists that are biased against any correlation of race with trait, that isn't explained away by social inequalities, instead of genetics. But I see a lot of those whom identify with the HBD crowd accept a lot of exploratory studies, sometimes flawed, too eagerly.

    That's why a lot of straw man arguments have become common tropes. But the tropes against some scientists are also very common, even when the evidence is well presented.

    Well, that’s why I try to filter that rubbish here, even that coming from within the HBD-sphere.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Definitely, there are some scientists that are biased against any correlation of race with trait, that isn’t explained away by social inequalities, instead of genetics. But I see a lot of those whom identify with the HBD crowd accept a lot of exploratory studies, sometimes flawed, too eagerly.

    That’s why a lot of straw man arguments have become common tropes. But the tropes against some scientists are also very common, even when the evidence is well presented.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Well, that's why I try to filter that rubbish here, even that coming from within the HBD-sphere.
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  • Sorry that’s ‘focusing’ lol.
    Forgot to ask: what sort of range would you typically expect in a family, say again a large family with the same two parents as in the above example? Has that been studied at all- would appreciate links if you’ve blogged about that, thanks.

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  • @Casey
    "Your birth family/clan heavily determines your eventual social status. Social status is in fact as heritable as height, and decays very slowly generation after generation in all different social systems across different countries. Social mobility, by in large, doesn’t exist."

    This seems to conflict with the oft-repeated claim that IQ is a strong predictor of success. To use Robert of Arabia's example, say his nieces and nephews had a wide IQ range. If they are a working class family how could the high IQ children be successful without some serious social mobility?

    Hmm, okay, but focussing on the mean still doesn’t explain why the successful high IQ sibling isn’t an example of social mobility. Social mobility happens to individuals, right? We expect significant IQ differences in families, yet it is true that we don’t see a lot of social mobility.

    So IQ is important, but doesn’t really overcome class background, which is what some of us have been saying all along. Or, possibly “social status” and “success” aren’t exactly the same thing…

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  • @Casey
    "Your birth family/clan heavily determines your eventual social status. Social status is in fact as heritable as height, and decays very slowly generation after generation in all different social systems across different countries. Social mobility, by in large, doesn’t exist."

    This seems to conflict with the oft-repeated claim that IQ is a strong predictor of success. To use Robert of Arabia's example, say his nieces and nephews had a wide IQ range. If they are a working class family how could the high IQ children be successful without some serious social mobility?

    IQ is strongly predictive of success. There is a large variation in life success within a family, just less so than the general population (often with a different mean).

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  • “Your birth family/clan heavily determines your eventual social status. Social status is in fact as heritable as height, and decays very slowly generation after generation in all different social systems across different countries. Social mobility, by in large, doesn’t exist.”

    This seems to conflict with the oft-repeated claim that IQ is a strong predictor of success. To use Robert of Arabia’s example, say his nieces and nephews had a wide IQ range. If they are a working class family how could the high IQ children be successful without some serious social mobility?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Casey:

    IQ is strongly predictive of success. There is a large variation in life success within a family, just less so than the general population (often with a different mean).

    , @Casey
    Hmm, okay, but focussing on the mean still doesn't explain why the successful high IQ sibling isn't an example of social mobility. Social mobility happens to individuals, right? We expect significant IQ differences in families, yet it is true that we don't see a lot of social mobility.

    So IQ is important, but doesn't really overcome class background, which is what some of us have been saying all along. Or, possibly "social status" and "success" aren't exactly the same thing...

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  • […] Here’s I’ll post a series of tweets I made on the subject. Much of the matter is discussed in my post IQ and Death (see also my post “Squid Ink”). […]

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  • […] And hence, not to add insult to injury upon the various strands of blank slatists and other “environmentalists”, but the fact of the matter, as established by the evidence, is even more far removed from what that might hope, and cling to. As accounted in my earlier post “Squid Ink”: […]

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  • We were all waiting for it (I know I was). "Misdreavus" has chimed in on the hubbub surrounding Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance. Here's what he has to say:
  • […] affair, or deny that we have such evidence entirely. A key reason for that is as Misdreavus once put […]

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  • EDIT, 5/1/14: Looks like my comment did finally appear, buried among over 500 others. Comment moderation is an understandable practice, but at times it is rather annoying, especially when it's used for less than above-board purposes. I left a comment to Jared Taylor's review of Nicholas Wade's forthcoming book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and...
  • But the African-American thing could go very, very bad. Anywhere from nothing to Jim Crow coming back.

    I presume you’re indulging a bit of humor and hyperbole, but if not? I highly doubt anything that drastic will go down; there’s too much variation and too many counter-examples prevalent as symbols and memes; I think hbd verification could actually have reifying effect on black pop imagery, as it conceivably could bolster black physical iconry and priority.

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  • I've been getting a lot of this lately, especially during the ongoing discussion about Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance (like this joker here – or maybe some of my detractors at my now restored comment over at the Southern Poverty Law Center's hit piece). But let me tell you, it's hardly limited to that. You...
  • Humans will become Romulans or Vulcans.

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  • @LLL
    I'm still enjoying your blog but never commenting. Anyway, there's a book you might enjoy. "The Triple Package" by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld might interest you.

    Probably not…

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  • I’m still enjoying your blog but never commenting. Anyway, there’s a book you might enjoy. “The Triple Package” by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld might interest you.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @LLL:

    Probably not...

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  • @thisismypp
    The thing is that denying these things actually makes a difference to the evidence itself. No matter the accuracy or use.

    The longer it takes the more blurry the lines get, the more exceptions to the rule and smaller the gaps become, no matter the cause. Your enemies are becoming more powerful little by little, not the other way around.

    Be careful what you sow Jayman.

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  • The thing is that denying these things actually makes a difference to the evidence itself. No matter the accuracy or use.

    The longer it takes the more blurry the lines get, the more exceptions to the rule and smaller the gaps become, no matter the cause. Your enemies are becoming more powerful little by little, not the other way around.

    Be careful what you sow Jayman.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @thisismypp:

    (start at 0:28)

    http://youtu.be/puFJ_hBTplc?t=28s

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  • I know we have lots of Malcolm Gladwell fans around here, but did anyone see this thing on reddit a few days ago?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2740ct/hi_im_malcolm_gladwell_author_of_the_tipping/chx7vmv

    Made me laff, anyway.

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  • @ckp
    Re: your HBD FAQ. It probably wouldn't have convinced me back when I was in my blank-slatist days (I was never committed; I just picked it up from the cultural milieu). There's LOTS of "X FAQs" on the internet that purport to explain why you should believe in X and all the anti-Xists have it wrong. Since there are many mutually contradictory X's, my prior for any specific pro-X FAQ was and is low. I don't think you can convince anybody with a relatively short document like that one.

    What would have convinced me? Break each section into separate posts, give both a top-down (here's what the data shows) and a bottom-up (this is what we should see given only a few basic assumptions) account, address common counter-arguments, and address hypothetical counter-arguments.

    If you've ever read the Sequences on LessWrong you know the kind of structure I'm talking about, even if you don't agree with the content.

    Yeah I feel you. You’ve done a great job with the HBD fundamentals page too.

    Maybe I’ll write the intro to HBD that I’d send to my past self some day ;)

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  • @Sisyphean
    Until they show up in groups with pitchforks at your place of work/home that is.

    There is that…

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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @ckp
    Re: your HBD FAQ. It probably wouldn't have convinced me back when I was in my blank-slatist days (I was never committed; I just picked it up from the cultural milieu). There's LOTS of "X FAQs" on the internet that purport to explain why you should believe in X and all the anti-Xists have it wrong. Since there are many mutually contradictory X's, my prior for any specific pro-X FAQ was and is low. I don't think you can convince anybody with a relatively short document like that one.

    What would have convinced me? Break each section into separate posts, give both a top-down (here's what the data shows) and a bottom-up (this is what we should see given only a few basic assumptions) account, address common counter-arguments, and address hypothetical counter-arguments.

    If you've ever read the Sequences on LessWrong you know the kind of structure I'm talking about, even if you don't agree with the content.

    Well, J.P. Rushton’s and Arthur Jensen’s 2010 paper Race and IQ: A Theory-Based Review of the Research in Richard Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It was the thing that really convinced me of HBD, at least the racial aspect of it. It is written in the format you describe. But, there in lies the problem with your suggestion: Rushton & Jensen already wrote it! I see no need to write it again, my FRB links to my Fundamentals page, which itself links to that paper, and many others. I don’t know if I’m feeling reinventing the wheel because of my readers’ laziness, if you dig me…

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  • @grey enlightenment
    You over the head with facts and figure and if they fail to come around it's their problem not yours

    Until they show up in groups with pitchforks at your place of work/home that is.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Sisyphean:

    There is that...

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  • ckp says:

    Re: your HBD FAQ. It probably wouldn’t have convinced me back when I was in my blank-slatist days (I was never committed; I just picked it up from the cultural milieu). There’s LOTS of “X FAQs” on the internet that purport to explain why you should believe in X and all the anti-Xists have it wrong. Since there are many mutually contradictory X’s, my prior for any specific pro-X FAQ was and is low. I don’t think you can convince anybody with a relatively short document like that one.

    What would have convinced me? Break each section into separate posts, give both a top-down (here’s what the data shows) and a bottom-up (this is what we should see given only a few basic assumptions) account, address common counter-arguments, and address hypothetical counter-arguments.

    If you’ve ever read the Sequences on LessWrong you know the kind of structure I’m talking about, even if you don’t agree with the content.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @ckp:

    Well, J.P. Rushton's and Arthur Jensen's 2010 paper Race and IQ: A Theory-Based Review of the Research in Richard Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It was the thing that really convinced me of HBD, at least the racial aspect of it. It is written in the format you describe. But, there in lies the problem with your suggestion: Rushton & Jensen already wrote it! I see no need to write it again, my FRB links to my Fundamentals page, which itself links to that paper, and many others. I don't know if I'm feeling reinventing the wheel because of my readers' laziness, if you dig me...

    , @ckp
    Yeah I feel you. You've done a great job with the HBD fundamentals page too.

    Maybe I'll write the intro to HBD that I'd send to my past self some day ;)

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  • You over the head with facts and figure and if they fail to come around it’s their problem not yours

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    Until they show up in groups with pitchforks at your place of work/home that is.
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  • That awkward moment when someone tries to correct you on something you clearly know more about.

    It’s been clearly proven that race doesn’t exist, because 1) Stephen Jay Gould; 2) the Holocaust; 3) the Slave Trade; and 4) science (mustn’t forget science). So what else do they need to know? Chris Crawford on this thread at Evo&Proud is a good example:

    My claim is that the tests that are used to define g do not address factors such as social intelligence. I agree, the existence of social intelligence is compatible with g; it is even possible that g does in fact play a role in social intelligence. The fact remains, however, that there is no evidence whatsoever to support the belief that g plays a role in social intelligence.

    Your claim that g underlies “all cognitive ability” is contradicted by your later statement that:

    Yet the existence of varied mental abilities that are not necessarily commensurate with IQ or g does not remove the central importance of g.

    http://evoandproud.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/ron-unz-on-race-iq-and-wealth.html

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Jay,

    —” It is at times entertaining and at times quite annoying. But what can you do?”—

    Yes, well I fight libertarian fallacies which are passionately entrenched through moral intuition and repetition, not through correspondence with reality. And the only means of winning those arguments is (a) accumulating numbers of fellow critics, (b) repeating the central argument until its an equally dogmatic mantra. Most libertarians read the scripture of the movement. Same is for Cathedral dogma.
    (a) Overloading (saturating the environment with confirmatory fallacies.)
    (b) Framing (framing arguments as moral rather than scientific )
    (c) Dunning Krueger limits the ignorant
    (d) Cathedral Education and indoctrination limits the intelligent
    (e) Moral intuition providing positive reinforcement.
    (f) Confirmation bias, Illusion of asymmetric insight, Herd instinct, Projection bias, Outgroup homogeneity bias – all of them reinforce (a)-(e).

    Religions use these methods to systematically coerce members into high investment in their frame. The Cathedral is a religion: Postmodernism is its scripture. And ignorance is what it manufactures.

    Like Hayek stated, the 20th century will in retrospect be viewed as an era of attempted restoration of mysticism through mathematical platonism, pseudoscience, and philosophical anti-realism.

    And it’s our job, as people outside the Cathedral, to dismantle those fallacies and end that new era of mysticism.

    Curt Doolittle
    The Philosophy of Aristocracy
    The Propertarian Institute
    Kiev, Ukraine.

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  • @Charlie
    Very true but can so easily develop into something like.

    "I dismiss your claim because you know nothing and I conclude that you know nothing because I already dismissed your claim."

    Hard to avoid though when others are just lying and evading to obscure the real situation.

    : Well, I try not to remark on things I know nothing about, so if I can’t call the claim as being true, false, or at least plausible, I leave it alone.

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  • Very true but can so easily develop into something like.

    “I dismiss your claim because you know nothing and I conclude that you know nothing because I already dismissed your claim.”

    Hard to avoid though when others are just lying and evading to obscure the real situation.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Charlie: Well, I try not to remark on things I know nothing about, so if I can't call the claim as being true, false, or at least plausible, I leave it alone.
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  • “I’ve never won an argument with an ignorant, stupid person, and never lost an argument with an intelligent, reasonable person.”

    Forget where I read it, but it is very true.

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  • A common piece of advice that I've heard with the release of Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance is that in order to get people to accept the findings of HBD, you can't be too honest and direct with the reality of the situation. That is, you can't tell the full scope of the truth of...
  • @Staffan
    Regarding the squid ink: I think Steven Pinker and others use caution because there is something in psychology called Anchoring and Adjustment: people make their minds up and then adjust to minimize cognitive dissonance rather than for actual realism. So if you want to influence people in the right direction you have to look at how much they are willing to change. Look at Pinker's success and compare it with Judith Rich Harris. He coaxed people to adjust a little and they did. She asked people to pull up the anchor and drift far away, and they ignored her.

    I don't know what the perfect strategy is; clearly the evidence against the old Enlightenment worldview is mounting so much that a clean break may be a less painful option for some people. So perhaps you're on the right track. But I think you should consider marketing as a way of getting to the truth, and also consider that speaking frankly can scare people away from the truth. It may sound a bit sordid, but it's no different than adding a beautiful picture or a joke to a blog post to make it more digestible.

    Unfortunately, I’m not a marketer. That’ll be my wife… ;)

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  • We were all waiting for it (I know I was). "Misdreavus" has chimed in on the hubbub surrounding Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance. Here's what he has to say:
  • […] Staffan gives us perhaps the most biting example of the general non-existence of assimilation (emphasis added): […]

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  • A common piece of advice that I've heard with the release of Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance is that in order to get people to accept the findings of HBD, you can't be too honest and direct with the reality of the situation. That is, you can't tell the full scope of the truth of...
  • […] “Squid Ink” and Heritability, Changeability, and Cultural Shifts – A Quickie – from jayman. […]

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  • Regarding the squid ink: I think Steven Pinker and others use caution because there is something in psychology called Anchoring and Adjustment: people make their minds up and then adjust to minimize cognitive dissonance rather than for actual realism. So if you want to influence people in the right direction you have to look at how much they are willing to change. Look at Pinker’s success and compare it with Judith Rich Harris. He coaxed people to adjust a little and they did. She asked people to pull up the anchor and drift far away, and they ignored her.

    I don’t know what the perfect strategy is; clearly the evidence against the old Enlightenment worldview is mounting so much that a clean break may be a less painful option for some people. So perhaps you’re on the right track. But I think you should consider marketing as a way of getting to the truth, and also consider that speaking frankly can scare people away from the truth. It may sound a bit sordid, but it’s no different than adding a beautiful picture or a joke to a blog post to make it more digestible.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Staffan:

    Unfortunately, I'm not a marketer. That'll be my wife... ;)

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  • @misdreavus
    "“Lifestyle” (say diet and exercise) doesn’t appear to be primarily responsible for differences in illness or lifespan."

    Or perhaps, to put it more precisely, ordinary variation in so-called "lifestyle", disassociated from behavioral proclivities that are rooted in the genes, play a negligible role in long term health outcomes (e.g obesity).

    I mean there's no way that force feeding people with cheetos won't cause them to gain weight in the long term. take away the high calorie sources of nourishment, and obesity becomes a negligible problem.

    The question is *why* certain people have a proclivity to indulge in these behaviors to begin with, once an array of other alimentary options are available? Hardly anyone bothers to devote some serious reflection as to why diets fail so often in the long run, why drug addiction is so difficult to treat for certain individuals, and why some people never take to the bottle (in spite of considerable peer pressure).

    Obesity has been linked to low IQ, impulsiveness, lack of self-discipline etc. But sure, the market for disease theories is bigger.

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  • I am 70 years old. I was the baby of the family. My oldest nephew is 66 years old. His mother, my sister, had nine children. I watch all of her children from birth onwards. All of them were raised by the same parents in the same home. All of them had fully formed characters by age 2. All of them are different from each other. None of them has ever changed their basic character.

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  • […] previous post – “Squid Ink” – has spawned a little discussion about the role of the “environment.” However, […]

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  • @Luke Lea
    Remind us just how and why you consider yourself a liberal? Is there such a thing as good public policy in your opinion? Can you imagine public policies that would make all or most groups better off than they are now?

    I think Gregory Clark’s thoughts on the matter cover it well. Did you see his video on his latest book?

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  • Remind us just how and why you consider yourself a liberal? Is there such a thing as good public policy in your opinion? Can you imagine public policies that would make all or most groups better off than they are now?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Luke Lea:

    I think Gregory Clark's thoughts on the matter cover it well. Did you see his video on his latest book?

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  • @Anonymous
    Wade might be understating the case, but aren't you overstating it?

    For instance, it makes good theoretical sense that male homosexuality would be caused by a pathogen. The hallmarks are there (twin discordance, nothing showing up in gwas, low heritability). But do we *know* that it's caused by a pathogen? No, we don't. We'll know it's caused by a pathogen when someone's got some bacterium in a test tube, isolated from the womb of a mother who birthed a gay child, that reliably turns rat embryos gay. Right?

    Basically, I think overstating the case is more damaging to the HBD movement than understating it, at this point.

    @Virtue:

    Wade might be understating the case, but aren’t you overstating it?

    For instance, it makes good theoretical sense that male homosexuality would be caused by a pathogen. The hallmarks are there (twin discordance, nothing showing up in gwas, low heritability). But do we *know* that it’s caused by a pathogen?

    Let’s put it this way: go ahead and bet the farm on it.

    Basically, I think overstating the case is more damaging to the HBD movement than understating it, at this point.

    I’d agree. I’m not overstating anything here.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Wade might be understating the case, but aren’t you overstating it?

    For instance, it makes good theoretical sense that male homosexuality would be caused by a pathogen. The hallmarks are there (twin discordance, nothing showing up in gwas, low heritability). But do we *know* that it’s caused by a pathogen? No, we don’t. We’ll know it’s caused by a pathogen when someone’s got some bacterium in a test tube, isolated from the womb of a mother who birthed a gay child, that reliably turns rat embryos gay. Right?

    Basically, I think overstating the case is more damaging to the HBD movement than understating it, at this point.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Virtue:

    Wade might be understating the case, but aren’t you overstating it?

    For instance, it makes good theoretical sense that male homosexuality would be caused by a pathogen. The hallmarks are there (twin discordance, nothing showing up in gwas, low heritability). But do we *know* that it’s caused by a pathogen?
     

    Let's put it this way: go ahead and bet the farm on it.

    Basically, I think overstating the case is more damaging to the HBD movement than understating it, at this point.
     
    I'd agree. I'm not overstating anything here.
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  • Dude, man up and publish a book.

    You have 200 long ass blog posts, that would easily give you a 500 page book with or without all the pictures/figures.

    I’ll buy it.

    Books–> wider readership–> ??
    Blog –> hbd circlejerk

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  • @Dan
    Good post, but it is just not true that environment doesn't matter.

    Plainly if my kid runs with a gang they are more likely to get shot or turn to a life of crime.

    Plainly most of the illiterates in India could be literate under the right environment. Basic literacy in America is near 100% and we have plenty people on the left end of the curve.

    How do you explain the Flynn effect if not my improved nutrition (environment)?

    On the other hand, maybe you are right to emphasize the hereditary aspect uber alles, because that is what is glaringly lacking in policy. You can give people a great environment and still lose civilization if your society changes to where it lacks the proper innate/genetic characteristics.

    Thanks for the compliments by the way!

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  • @Dave Pinsen
    Why not blog this stuff under your own name? Do you work in such a precarious position up in Maine that that would get you fired? You may not be a marketer, but I suspect you'd acquire a soupçon of polish if you dropped the pseudonym. And you'd be better positioned to suggest to Wade and others how to make their cases.

    I came here to say the same thing. He’s been brave enough to share pictures of his newborn son as well as his location; I think it’s okay to reveal his true identity. It will give what he says much more clout, and he will be taken more seriously.

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  • @Dave Pinsen
    Why not blog this stuff under your own name? Do you work in such a precarious position up in Maine that that would get you fired? You may not be a marketer, but I suspect you'd acquire a soupçon of polish if you dropped the pseudonym. And you'd be better positioned to suggest to Wade and others how to make their cases.

    I’ve always assumed that Jay is his real name.
    But seriously, that sounds like a bad idea, unless one likes getting personally hate-targeted in real life.

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  • “They have an innate belief that we can engineer a better society if we try hard enough – the Utopian Vision, as discussed by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate.”

    That is true. From The Better Angels of Our Nature:
    “Figure 7–10 plots the surveyed annual rate of rape over the past four decades. It shows that in thirty-five years the rate has fallen by an astonishing 80 percent, from 250 per 100,000 people over the age of twelve in 1973 to 50 per 100,000 in 2008. In fact, the decline may be even greater than that, because women have almost certainly been more willing to report being raped in recent years, when rape has been recognized as a serious crime, than they were in earlier years, when rape was often hidden and trivialized.”

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  • The amazing part about differences in population intelligence levels is: 1.how highly correlated these “unreliable” measurements world wide are with intellectual achievement and economic success, and 2. how easily they are explained by environmental factors including isolation, lack of intellectual work in the population, bottlenecks, etc. I guess some scientists (and economists like Greg Clark) are just incredibly lucky.

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  • @elijahlarmstrong
    We can engineer a better society without the use of eugenics or genetic changes. To claim otherwise is ludicrous. Over the past hundred years, tribalism, poverty and violence have greatly declined, and (some factors of) intelligence have increased –– although the genetic propensity for poverty, violence and stupidity increased substantially.

    No, they haven’t Elijah, except that technological change engineered primarily by European whites has (temporarily) reduced poverty in many areas due to external exploitation of natural resources. There are numerically more tribal and clannish humans than ever, and they have not been able to successfully adopt western civilization, chiefly because they lack the right genetic traits. For example, if all non-Africans disappeared from S.Africa tomorrow, who believes that they could maintain their current economic or political status rather than turning into Zimbabwe?

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  • @pseudoerasmus
    Flynn Flynn Flynn Flynn ! I hate that monosyllable. When someone as well informed and intelligent as Tyler Cowen can keep repeating that every time the subject of IQ comes up, you know there is something seriously wrong. Even Flynn himself acknowledged (or seemed to, at some point), what's driving the Flynn Effect is what drives the racial gap in IQ.

    …IS NOT…

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  • Flynn Flynn Flynn Flynn ! I hate that monosyllable. When someone as well informed and intelligent as Tyler Cowen can keep repeating that every time the subject of IQ comes up, you know there is something seriously wrong. Even Flynn himself acknowledged (or seemed to, at some point), what’s driving the Flynn Effect is what drives the racial gap in IQ.

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    • Replies: @pseudoerasmus
    ...IS NOT...
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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Dan
    Good post, but it is just not true that environment doesn't matter.

    Plainly if my kid runs with a gang they are more likely to get shot or turn to a life of crime.

    Plainly most of the illiterates in India could be literate under the right environment. Basic literacy in America is near 100% and we have plenty people on the left end of the curve.

    How do you explain the Flynn effect if not my improved nutrition (environment)?

    On the other hand, maybe you are right to emphasize the hereditary aspect uber alles, because that is what is glaringly lacking in policy. You can give people a great environment and still lose civilization if your society changes to where it lacks the proper innate/genetic characteristics.

    Let’s get it right: I didn’t say the environment doesn’t matter. Never have.

    Plainly if my kid runs with a gang they are more likely to get shot or turn to a life of crime.

    Would your kid run with a gang? Why does a kid that does so end up with one? That’s the problem with peer group research.

    Actually, allow me to outline a basic problem with all your thought here: how do you know? You are presupposing that environment works in these ways. If you then appeal to correlations, then you suffer from the problem of all of social science: how do you control for the genetic confound?

    Plainly most of the illiterates in India could be literate under the right environment. Basic literacy in America is near 100% and we have plenty people on the left end of the curve.

    Sure, I made that point to Elijah above.

    How do you explain the Flynn effect if not my improved nutrition (environment)?

    I’m questioning the whole nutrition bit (see the WW II Dutch famine). As for the Flynn effect, see Elijah’s paper.

    I’m starting to notice that when people say I say “environment doesn’t matter” (when I don’t say that), it’s because I said the way they think the environment matters doesn’t. Sorry, environment isn’t anything goes. Sure, some forces in the environment have an effect, but we can tell you which ones certainly and very likely don’t.

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  • Dan says:

    Good post, but it is just not true that environment doesn’t matter.

    Plainly if my kid runs with a gang they are more likely to get shot or turn to a life of crime.

    Plainly most of the illiterates in India could be literate under the right environment. Basic literacy in America is near 100% and we have plenty people on the left end of the curve.

    How do you explain the Flynn effect if not my improved nutrition (environment)?

    On the other hand, maybe you are right to emphasize the hereditary aspect uber alles, because that is what is glaringly lacking in policy. You can give people a great environment and still lose civilization if your society changes to where it lacks the proper innate/genetic characteristics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Dan:

    Let's get it right: I didn't say the environment doesn't matter. Never have.


    Plainly if my kid runs with a gang they are more likely to get shot or turn to a life of crime.
     
    Would your kid run with a gang? Why does a kid that does so end up with one? That's the problem with peer group research.

    Actually, allow me to outline a basic problem with all your thought here: how do you know? You are presupposing that environment works in these ways. If you then appeal to correlations, then you suffer from the problem of all of social science: how do you control for the genetic confound?


    Plainly most of the illiterates in India could be literate under the right environment. Basic literacy in America is near 100% and we have plenty people on the left end of the curve.
     
    Sure, I made that point to Elijah above.

    How do you explain the Flynn effect if not my improved nutrition (environment)?
     
    I'm questioning the whole nutrition bit (see the WW II Dutch famine). As for the Flynn effect, see Elijah's paper.

    I'm starting to notice that when people say I say "environment doesn't matter" (when I don't say that), it's because I said the way they think the environment matters doesn't. Sorry, environment isn't anything goes. Sure, some forces in the environment have an effect, but we can tell you which ones certainly and very likely don't.

    , @JayMan
    @Dan:

    Thanks for the compliments by the way!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I would say we do have two current mostly unacknowledged eugenics programs in the US, one negative and one positive. Only problem is that with the positive program, those people are having the least amount of children. anyways, good writing as always Jayman

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  • @Sisyphean
    In my experience Liberals and Conservatives (especially those in the great meaty mass of the bell curve) are inextricably wedded to the influence of the environment, of the family, of parenting, of peer group, of educational attainment. Everyone wants to believe that they can be in control of their own destiny and that of their children. I often wonder if this is simply a fundamental human need that I appear to somehow lack. So much art and writing has been devoted to this concept: the intractable nature of fate, the struggle to wrest control away from the unseen forces pulling the strings. I read such things and I think: "Why so much struggle? Why spend so much time thinking and praying about what your god or gods are planning for you? Why not just live, just be?" Maybe I'm the broken one.

    the public prefers science that removes limits, rather than science that explains/predicts/understands limits! (& individual exceptionalism rather than most people are average). hopefully, the extreme blank-slatism movement is receding & the pendulum is swinging back, but there’s no guarantee the pendulum won’t suddenly do elliptical loop-de-loops.

    the blank slate view is bizarre for its a priori belief that all population groups are = on all traits (equal population mu’s) which requires if a smart person from one group died, a smart person from another group must immediately die in order for the population means to remain absolutely equal at all times.

    maybe the public could first accept group differences in variances/standard deviations before they could accept mean differences. i doubt much of the public understands variance, tho. or overlapping normal curves.

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  • […] JayMan writes on “Squid Ink” […]

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  • @Sisyphean
    In my experience Liberals and Conservatives (especially those in the great meaty mass of the bell curve) are inextricably wedded to the influence of the environment, of the family, of parenting, of peer group, of educational attainment. Everyone wants to believe that they can be in control of their own destiny and that of their children. I often wonder if this is simply a fundamental human need that I appear to somehow lack. So much art and writing has been devoted to this concept: the intractable nature of fate, the struggle to wrest control away from the unseen forces pulling the strings. I read such things and I think: "Why so much struggle? Why spend so much time thinking and praying about what your god or gods are planning for you? Why not just live, just be?" Maybe I'm the broken one.

    Some of that is a general Western thing, I suspect. Even Western conservatives, while more inbred than liberals likely, are outbred globally speaking.

    But it’s more than just that. Future post…

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  • @pseudoerasmus
    I’m not sure which is more of a problem — biologists/geneticists who hold HBD to a much higher standard than they would demand for any evolutionary speculations unrelated to human differences, or social scientists/humanists who find the application of sociobiology to history & society “too crude”.

    The sceptical scientists usually demand genomic evidence, even though such evidence is pretty sparce in general, for any proposition. Also those people usually know very little about the social sciences and they don’t take the powerful “social phenotype” evidence for HBD very seriously. No one finds it remarkable — and I mean really remarkable, for it has never been done — that Clark has documented in microdata (wills) an actual eugenic effect in historical time. This has got to be as close to an actual witnessing of human evolution by natural selection as it is possible to get. It is literally comparable with lepidopterists discovering that moths changed colour in response to the industrial revolution — a pure phenotype evidence that biologists have little problem accepting as signs of natural selection. Actually, in some ways Clark’s evidence is better than the moths. No one actually counted the eggs laid by the moths with the better-adapted colours. Clark counted the “eggs”.

    But social scientists and humanists don’t understand the power of that phenotype evidence, either. (Hence, a fellow economic historian mocked Clark for publishing “Some Observations on Suffolk Testators, 1423-1688” and calling it “A Brief History of the World”.) One reason may be they don’t know the science. But there’s probably another reason.

    [1] ”One example is Wade’s stress that the understanding of inherited differences between people and the effects of these on national outcomes is largely “speculative.”

    [2] ”This scales up to larger groups: the average intelligence and distribution of behavioral traits of a nation or a race/ethnicity within a nation are overwhelmingly the primary determinants of its outcome and social structure, and not its resource wealth or historical circumstances (generally).”

    [3] “Indeed, these imply that all of human history is largely the result of the churning of these behavioral and intellectual differences, enabled by technology (which itself is a function of the people”

    I unreservedly agree with #2 but #3 requires qualification because the aggregation of the micro (the genetic facts at the individual level) into the macro (at the level of countries, regions, etc.) is often non-linear and involves a random component. So the “churning” requires more description than a mere magnification of the individual-level traits. As someone who is primarily interested in how psychometric & behavioural-genetic facts translate into economic & political outcomes at the national, international & historical levels of aggregation, I can see how Wade’s presentation of Clark (for example) looks implausible to people, especially to those who are less interested in biology & genetics than in the social sciences. The Clarkian thesis is vulnerable to attack on historical grounds — e.g., were the 800 years prior to 1800 really as Malthusian as Clark’s thesis requires ? — for which you have to have a grasp of the relevant historical issues to argue back. Clark’s thesis also suffers from a serious misapprehension. Many many people — including people who know and like Clark — mistakenly believe that Clark was trying to explain the rise of England as opposed to everyone else. But Clark actually models the rise of NW Europe using England as a case study, and the subtleties of the difference need to be understood.

    Well put!

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  • JayMan says: • Website
    @Test Subject
    You seem to suggesting that any attempt at reasonable caution is disingenuous. However, both Razib Khan and Steve Hsu have written much more nuanced posts in which they suggest that your position, generally speaking, is possibly correct but that we don't have anywhere near enough evidence for your level of certainty. I am sure you have read both so I won't bother repeating them.

    It's one thing to say here's the evidence that evolution has been recent, copious and regional and that it involves the brain and another to simply assert that their are innate racial iq differences. It is reasonable to say that their are plenty of holes in an environmental account of IQ, but not that we know for certain what the genetic basis of IQ is.

    In general I find that much of the HBD style discussion of the develoment/history of the world has the feel of crude 19th century world history. Just because genetic factors play some part in history doesn't mean that everything can be subsumed into them. It is obvious that on both recent and historical scales that groups of people, with the same ancestry, can have radically different fortunes.

    It is just my opinion but you could dial back the certainty from 110% to about 80%.

    You seem to suggesting that any attempt at reasonable caution is disingenuous. However, both Razib Khan and Steve Hsu have written much more nuanced posts in which they suggest that your position, generally speaking, is possibly correct but that we don’t have anywhere near enough evidence for your level of certainty.

    How about Greg Cochran?

    Yeah, a lot of the apparent waffling depends on your precise claim. As per Misdreavus’s tweets featured in my previous post, that biology is behind racial/ethnic differences is a given. We don’t hear too much talked about Dan Freedman‘s babies for some reason. We have plenty of evidence for national/racial/ethnic IQ differences and the biological basis of these (e.g., national/racial achievement output, global consistency, lack of convergence among long-resident populations). We also do indeed have some genetic links, even if many older ones are false positives, including EDAR and ALDH2*504Lys. There is no question that biology is behind group differences to some degree.

    What is debatable, at least at this point, is to what degree that is. The genetic component is looking is good, and evidence is mounting. The non-genetic component? Not so much.

    What we also don’t know, at least not for sure, is how many of differences came to be, evolutionarily. That is the realm of speculation, although we do have some support for certain ideas from the evidence there, too. But, as I am apt to say, establishing that differences exist does not depend on establishing how they came to be. They are separate issues entirely. But they are often conflated in discussion about them.

    In general I find that much of the HBD style discussion of the develoment/history of the world has the feel of crude 19th century world history. Just because genetic factors play some part in history doesn’t mean that everything can be subsumed into them. It is obvious that on both recent and historical scales that groups of people, with the same ancestry, can have radically different fortunes.

    Are you sure about that? Like whom, exactly? Is Korea your example?

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that inherent behavioral differences have played a big role in the course of history. And no, I’m not saying that biology explains ALL of history. Chance and technology are also factors. (But, then, where does technology come from?)

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  • In my experience Liberals and Conservatives (especially those in the great meaty mass of the bell curve) are inextricably wedded to the influence of the environment, of the family, of parenting, of peer group, of educational attainment. Everyone wants to believe that they can be in control of their own destiny and that of their children. I often wonder if this is simply a fundamental human need that I appear to somehow lack. So much art and writing has been devoted to this concept: the intractable nature of fate, the struggle to wrest control away from the unseen forces pulling the strings. I read such things and I think: “Why so much struggle? Why spend so much time thinking and praying about what your god or gods are planning for you? Why not just live, just be?” Maybe I’m the broken one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Sisyphean:

    Some of that is a general Western thing, I suspect. Even Western conservatives, while more inbred than liberals likely, are outbred globally speaking.

    But it's more than just that. Future post...

    , @panjoomby
    the public prefers science that removes limits, rather than science that explains/predicts/understands limits! (& individual exceptionalism rather than most people are average). hopefully, the extreme blank-slatism movement is receding & the pendulum is swinging back, but there's no guarantee the pendulum won't suddenly do elliptical loop-de-loops.

    the blank slate view is bizarre for its a priori belief that all population groups are = on all traits (equal population mu's) which requires if a smart person from one group died, a smart person from another group must immediately die in order for the population means to remain absolutely equal at all times.

    maybe the public could first accept group differences in variances/standard deviations before they could accept mean differences. i doubt much of the public understands variance, tho. or overlapping normal curves.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @misdreavus
    "“Lifestyle” (say diet and exercise) doesn’t appear to be primarily responsible for differences in illness or lifespan."

    Or perhaps, to put it more precisely, ordinary variation in so-called "lifestyle", disassociated from behavioral proclivities that are rooted in the genes, play a negligible role in long term health outcomes (e.g obesity).

    I mean there's no way that force feeding people with cheetos won't cause them to gain weight in the long term. take away the high calorie sources of nourishment, and obesity becomes a negligible problem.

    The question is *why* certain people have a proclivity to indulge in these behaviors to begin with, once an array of other alimentary options are available? Hardly anyone bothers to devote some serious reflection as to why diets fail so often in the long run, why drug addiction is so difficult to treat for certain individuals, and why some people never take to the bottle (in spite of considerable peer pressure).

    @Misdreavus:

    I’d say the stronger form is probably more correct. Force feeding might cause someone to gain weight, and forced fasting might cause most to lose weight, but the evidence that ordinary behavioral proclivities, even those that are heritable, leads to obesity, say, isn’t as strong as we’d think. It is even weaker when we are talking adverse health outcomes (e.g. heart disease) or shortened life.

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  • ““Lifestyle” (say diet and exercise) doesn’t appear to be primarily responsible for differences in illness or lifespan.”

    Or perhaps, to put it more precisely, ordinary variation in so-called “lifestyle”, disassociated from behavioral proclivities that are rooted in the genes, play a negligible role in long term health outcomes (e.g obesity).

    I mean there’s no way that force feeding people with cheetos won’t cause them to gain weight in the long term. take away the high calorie sources of nourishment, and obesity becomes a negligible problem.

    The question is *why* certain people have a proclivity to indulge in these behaviors to begin with, once an array of other alimentary options are available? Hardly anyone bothers to devote some serious reflection as to why diets fail so often in the long run, why drug addiction is so difficult to treat for certain individuals, and why some people never take to the bottle (in spite of considerable peer pressure).

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Misdreavus:

    I'd say the stronger form is probably more correct. Force feeding might cause someone to gain weight, and forced fasting might cause most to lose weight, but the evidence that ordinary behavioral proclivities, even those that are heritable, leads to obesity, say, isn't as strong as we'd think. It is even weaker when we are talking adverse health outcomes (e.g. heart disease) or shortened life.

    , @Staffan
    Obesity has been linked to low IQ, impulsiveness, lack of self-discipline etc. But sure, the market for disease theories is bigger.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @pseudoerasmus
    I’m not sure which is more of a problem — biologists/geneticists who hold HBD to a much higher standard than they would demand for any evolutionary speculations unrelated to human differences, or social scientists/humanists who find the application of sociobiology to history & society “too crude”.

    The sceptical scientists usually demand genomic evidence, even though such evidence is pretty sparce in general, for any proposition. Also those people usually know very little about the social sciences and they don’t take the powerful “social phenotype” evidence for HBD very seriously. No one finds it remarkable — and I mean really remarkable, for it has never been done — that Clark has documented in microdata (wills) an actual eugenic effect in historical time. This has got to be as close to an actual witnessing of human evolution by natural selection as it is possible to get. It is literally comparable with lepidopterists discovering that moths changed colour in response to the industrial revolution — a pure phenotype evidence that biologists have little problem accepting as signs of natural selection. Actually, in some ways Clark’s evidence is better than the moths. No one actually counted the eggs laid by the moths with the better-adapted colours. Clark counted the “eggs”.

    But social scientists and humanists don’t understand the power of that phenotype evidence, either. (Hence, a fellow economic historian mocked Clark for publishing “Some Observations on Suffolk Testators, 1423-1688” and calling it “A Brief History of the World”.) One reason may be they don’t know the science. But there’s probably another reason.

    [1] ”One example is Wade’s stress that the understanding of inherited differences between people and the effects of these on national outcomes is largely “speculative.”

    [2] ”This scales up to larger groups: the average intelligence and distribution of behavioral traits of a nation or a race/ethnicity within a nation are overwhelmingly the primary determinants of its outcome and social structure, and not its resource wealth or historical circumstances (generally).”

    [3] “Indeed, these imply that all of human history is largely the result of the churning of these behavioral and intellectual differences, enabled by technology (which itself is a function of the people”

    I unreservedly agree with #2 but #3 requires qualification because the aggregation of the micro (the genetic facts at the individual level) into the macro (at the level of countries, regions, etc.) is often non-linear and involves a random component. So the “churning” requires more description than a mere magnification of the individual-level traits. As someone who is primarily interested in how psychometric & behavioural-genetic facts translate into economic & political outcomes at the national, international & historical levels of aggregation, I can see how Wade’s presentation of Clark (for example) looks implausible to people, especially to those who are less interested in biology & genetics than in the social sciences. The Clarkian thesis is vulnerable to attack on historical grounds — e.g., were the 800 years prior to 1800 really as Malthusian as Clark’s thesis requires ? — for which you have to have a grasp of the relevant historical issues to argue back. Clark’s thesis also suffers from a serious misapprehension. Many many people — including people who know and like Clark — mistakenly believe that Clark was trying to explain the rise of England as opposed to everyone else. But Clark actually models the rise of NW Europe using England as a case study, and the subtleties of the difference need to be understood.

    I said : ” No one actually counted the eggs laid by the moths with the better-adapted colors “. I should qualify. You did have Kettlewell’s and Fisher’s experiments, but these experiments were spurred by the industrial melanism hypothesis. Clark’s “survival of the richest” observation gets dismissed by scientists and the public.

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  • I’m not sure which is more of a problem — biologists/geneticists who hold HBD to a much higher standard than they would demand for any evolutionary speculations unrelated to human differences, or social scientists/humanists who find the application of sociobiology to history & society “too crude”.

    The sceptical scientists usually demand genomic evidence, even though such evidence is pretty sparce in general, for any proposition. Also those people usually know very little about the social sciences and they don’t take the powerful “social phenotype” evidence for HBD very seriously. No one finds it remarkable — and I mean really remarkable, for it has never been done — that Clark has documented in microdata (wills) an actual eugenic effect in historical time. This has got to be as close to an actual witnessing of human evolution by natural selection as it is possible to get. It is literally comparable with lepidopterists discovering that moths changed colour in response to the industrial revolution — a pure phenotype evidence that biologists have little problem accepting as signs of natural selection. Actually, in some ways Clark’s evidence is better than the moths. No one actually counted the eggs laid by the moths with the better-adapted colours. Clark counted the “eggs”.

    But social scientists and humanists don’t understand the power of that phenotype evidence, either. (Hence, a fellow economic historian mocked Clark for publishing “Some Observations on Suffolk Testators, 1423-1688” and calling it “A Brief History of the World”.) One reason may be they don’t know the science. But there’s probably another reason.

    [1] ”One example is Wade’s stress that the understanding of inherited differences between people and the effects of these on national outcomes is largely “speculative.”

    [2] ”This scales up to larger groups: the average intelligence and distribution of behavioral traits of a nation or a race/ethnicity within a nation are overwhelmingly the primary determinants of its outcome and social structure, and not its resource wealth or historical circumstances (generally).”

    [3] “Indeed, these imply that all of human history is largely the result of the churning of these behavioral and intellectual differences, enabled by technology (which itself is a function of the people”

    I unreservedly agree with #2 but #3 requires qualification because the aggregation of the micro (the genetic facts at the individual level) into the macro (at the level of countries, regions, etc.) is often non-linear and involves a random component. So the “churning” requires more description than a mere magnification of the individual-level traits. As someone who is primarily interested in how psychometric & behavioural-genetic facts translate into economic & political outcomes at the national, international & historical levels of aggregation, I can see how Wade’s presentation of Clark (for example) looks implausible to people, especially to those who are less interested in biology & genetics than in the social sciences. The Clarkian thesis is vulnerable to attack on historical grounds — e.g., were the 800 years prior to 1800 really as Malthusian as Clark’s thesis requires ? — for which you have to have a grasp of the relevant historical issues to argue back. Clark’s thesis also suffers from a serious misapprehension. Many many people — including people who know and like Clark — mistakenly believe that Clark was trying to explain the rise of England as opposed to everyone else. But Clark actually models the rise of NW Europe using England as a case study, and the subtleties of the difference need to be understood.

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    • Replies: @pseudoerasmus
    I said : " No one actually counted the eggs laid by the moths with the better-adapted colors ". I should qualify. You did have Kettlewell's and Fisher's experiments, but these experiments were spurred by the industrial melanism hypothesis. Clark's "survival of the richest" observation gets dismissed by scientists and the public.
    , @JayMan
    @pseudoerasmus:

    Well put!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • […] of one or more groups in society, or even genocide. many people seem to think that if we unleash “the horror that is hbd”, some groups will be told to get to the back of the bus or the ovens will be fired up or even […]

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  • You seem to suggesting that any attempt at reasonable caution is disingenuous. However, both Razib Khan and Steve Hsu have written much more nuanced posts in which they suggest that your position, generally speaking, is possibly correct but that we don’t have anywhere near enough evidence for your level of certainty. I am sure you have read both so I won’t bother repeating them.

    It’s one thing to say here’s the evidence that evolution has been recent, copious and regional and that it involves the brain and another to simply assert that their are innate racial iq differences. It is reasonable to say that their are plenty of holes in an environmental account of IQ, but not that we know for certain what the genetic basis of IQ is.

    In general I find that much of the HBD style discussion of the develoment/history of the world has the feel of crude 19th century world history. Just because genetic factors play some part in history doesn’t mean that everything can be subsumed into them. It is obvious that on both recent and historical scales that groups of people, with the same ancestry, can have radically different fortunes.

    It is just my opinion but you could dial back the certainty from 110% to about 80%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Test Subject:

    You seem to suggesting that any attempt at reasonable caution is disingenuous. However, both Razib Khan and Steve Hsu have written much more nuanced posts in which they suggest that your position, generally speaking, is possibly correct but that we don’t have anywhere near enough evidence for your level of certainty.
     
    How about Greg Cochran?

    Yeah, a lot of the apparent waffling depends on your precise claim. As per Misdreavus's tweets featured in my previous post, that biology is behind racial/ethnic differences is a given. We don't hear too much talked about Dan Freedman's babies for some reason. We have plenty of evidence for national/racial/ethnic IQ differences and the biological basis of these (e.g., national/racial achievement output, global consistency, lack of convergence among long-resident populations). We also do indeed have some genetic links, even if many older ones are false positives, including EDAR and ALDH2*504Lys. There is no question that biology is behind group differences to some degree.

    What is debatable, at least at this point, is to what degree that is. The genetic component is looking is good, and evidence is mounting. The non-genetic component? Not so much.

    What we also don't know, at least not for sure, is how many of differences came to be, evolutionarily. That is the realm of speculation, although we do have some support for certain ideas from the evidence there, too. But, as I am apt to say, establishing that differences exist does not depend on establishing how they came to be. They are separate issues entirely. But they are often conflated in discussion about them.


    In general I find that much of the HBD style discussion of the develoment/history of the world has the feel of crude 19th century world history. Just because genetic factors play some part in history doesn’t mean that everything can be subsumed into them. It is obvious that on both recent and historical scales that groups of people, with the same ancestry, can have radically different fortunes.
     
    Are you sure about that? Like whom, exactly? Is Korea your example?

    I think it's pretty safe to say that inherent behavioral differences have played a big role in the course of history. And no, I'm not saying that biology explains ALL of history. Chance and technology are also factors. (But, then, where does technology come from?)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Why not blog this stuff under your own name? Do you work in such a precarious position up in Maine that that would get you fired? You may not be a marketer, but I suspect you’d acquire a soupçon of polish if you dropped the pseudonym. And you’d be better positioned to suggest to Wade and others how to make their cases.

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    • Replies: @EvolutionistX
    I've always assumed that Jay is his real name.
    But seriously, that sounds like a bad idea, unless one likes getting personally hate-targeted in real life.
    , @Andrew Selvarasa
    I came here to say the same thing. He's been brave enough to share pictures of his newborn son as well as his location; I think it's okay to reveal his true identity. It will give what he says much more clout, and he will be taken more seriously.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • JayMan says: • Website
    @elijahlarmstrong
    We can engineer a better society without the use of eugenics or genetic changes. To claim otherwise is ludicrous. Over the past hundred years, tribalism, poverty and violence have greatly declined, and (some factors of) intelligence have increased –– although the genetic propensity for poverty, violence and stupidity increased substantially.

    Has tribalism, for that matter violence, actually decreased over the last century?

    Sure poverty has decreased. But that has occurred through massive technological change. We are running up against the limits of that in developed world, and some parts of the developing world (Africa) will likely miss much of that.

    Technology can affect things, often in unpredictable ways, but there’s only so much to do there without genetic change (at least for the foreseeable future).

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • We can engineer a better society without the use of eugenics or genetic changes. To claim otherwise is ludicrous. Over the past hundred years, tribalism, poverty and violence have greatly declined, and (some factors of) intelligence have increased –– although the genetic propensity for poverty, violence and stupidity increased substantially.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Has tribalism, for that matter violence, actually decreased over the last century?

    Sure poverty has decreased. But that has occurred through massive technological change. We are running up against the limits of that in developed world, and some parts of the developing world (Africa) will likely miss much of that.

    Technology can affect things, often in unpredictable ways, but there's only so much to do there without genetic change (at least for the foreseeable future).

    , @pyrrhus
    No, they haven't Elijah, except that technological change engineered primarily by European whites has (temporarily) reduced poverty in many areas due to external exploitation of natural resources. There are numerically more tribal and clannish humans than ever, and they have not been able to successfully adopt western civilization, chiefly because they lack the right genetic traits. For example, if all non-Africans disappeared from S.Africa tomorrow, who believes that they could maintain their current economic or political status rather than turning into Zimbabwe?
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  • We were all waiting for it (I know I was). "Misdreavus" has chimed in on the hubbub surrounding Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance. Here's what he has to say:
  • @szopen
    Jonatan Marks in one of his books has very positive things to say about one of the early creationists - that yes, he was wrong, but for good reasons, because he opposed racism. I guess this pretty much summarizes the attitude Marks has about the science.

    That’ll do it.

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  • @Staffan
    My favorite example of assimilation is southern Sweden, called Scania. It was taken from Denmark 1658, and they still behave as Danes, more ballsy and politically incorrect, more into visual and performing arts etc. Many even want to belong to Denmark and have a referendum about it. And that's after living in Sweden for 356 years. That's between two similar countries who have no special ethnic or religious conflicts, disputes over natural resources or anything of that sort.

    Great example! Tweeted:

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  • My favorite example of assimilation is southern Sweden, called Scania. It was taken from Denmark 1658, and they still behave as Danes, more ballsy and politically incorrect, more into visual and performing arts etc. Many even want to belong to Denmark and have a referendum about it. And that’s after living in Sweden for 356 years. That’s between two similar countries who have no special ethnic or religious conflicts, disputes over natural resources or anything of that sort.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Great example! Tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/JayMan471/status/466592667778813952

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  • Jonatan Marks in one of his books has very positive things to say about one of the early creationists – that yes, he was wrong, but for good reasons, because he opposed racism. I guess this pretty much summarizes the attitude Marks has about the science.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    That'll do it.
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  • […] and Agustín Fuentes is online, and can be streamed here. It’s worth a watch. More debate here, and here’s Steve Sailer’s old piece on reading Marks’ Human Biodiversity: […]

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  • […] – More “Misdreavus” Wisdom: ala A Troublesome Inheritance – comments on marks’ above review from both misdreavus and […]

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  • […] Jonathan Marks: “The Genes Made Us Do It:  The new pseudoscience of racial difference”  (This ideological hit piece is strong evidence that cultural anthropology is now more of a religion than an actual science.  Marks interestingly used to study genetics and hard science (and was briefly on Sailer’s email list), but then denounced science all in favor of Marxist critiques of culture.  Marks has even denounced genetics as a “political ideology“.  LOLs.   Old Sailer piece on Marks. Jayman responds. Outsideness parodying Marks: “Left-wing ideology is far more objective than genetic science. Hitler pretty much invented DNA out of pure hate.” Misdreavus responds here.) […]

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  • At Slate magazine – Andrew Gelman has a review of Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History. It is titled "The Paradox of Racism." Go there to check out. Hardly as scathing as one might imagine, indeed, it was (overall) pretty fair. I left a comment there with my thoughts (my review...
  • Apparently, Nicholas Wade is no longer with the NYT.

    First question: really? It’s not actually certain from the story.
    Second question: because of his views, or is he hoping to make more money elsewhere?

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  • […] JayMan in JayMan’s Blog […]

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  • Reblogged this on joelcuerrier.

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  • Walloons & Flemings may not be super-hyper-different, but small differences in population frequency of some trait may matter. I offer an historical example of ethnic selection/attrition to illustrate.

    One of the most enduring myths about European economic development is that the riches of the Americas or the East Indies were crucial to it. Thus the Dutch East India Company is frequently cited as a contributor to (and, by sillier people, the primary determinant of) Dutch wealth in the Golden Age. Never mind there is a problem with timing for this thesis, and that spices were a small part of the overall Dutch industrial mix. Far more important than spices was the influx of people fleeing the Counterreformation. After Antwerp fell to the American-bullion-fattened armies of the Holy Roman Emperor, Protestants in Flanders were given the choice of exile or recantation. As it so happened, Flemish Protestants were disproportionately merchants and craftsmen, and the loss of the future Belgium was the glory of the Netherlands. (Likewise, the Huguenots fleeing France and many of the Sepharadim who had already fled Spain for parts various also showed up eventually in Dutch cities. It’s not coincidental that France’s industrialisation was slower than Germany’s, and Spain’s even slower)

    Back to Belgium : the loss to Belgium was felt differentially. The Flemings remained much more agricultural than the Walloons into the early 20th century. And where was the first industrial area of continental Europe outside the English North and Midlands, in the early 19th century ? The Sillon industriel of Belgium — in the French-speaking Catholic Wallonia.


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  • Staffan says: • Website

    “how different can the Flemish and the Walloons be, really?”

    How different can Slovenians and Italians be? Hint: your eardrums will let you know.

    “Your review was fair up to this point, that is. Are you sure that’s the road you want to go down? What if inherited behavioral and intellectual differences between human groups are in fact the case (and they are)? Then it would be racist merely to believe in something which is true. Is that proper?”

    He is positioning himself. He can’t applaude this book but he can’t dismiss it altogether and end up on the same garbage heap where SJ Gould is lying. Still, it’s nice that the times are a changing.

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  • If I’m going to make the effort to read a review of “A Troublesome Inheritance,” I expect the reviewer to have the intellectual integrity to inform me of his or her stance on Wade’s central thesis. Fortunately, Wade makes that easy. The topic sentence of the second paragraph of Chapter One:

    It is now beyond doubt that human evolution is a continuous process that has proceeded vigorously within the past 30,000 years and almost certainly… throughout the historical period and up until the present day.

    And from paragraph two:

    Ever since the first modern humans dispersed from the ancestral homeland in northeast Africa some 50,000 years ago, the populations on each continent have evolved largely independently of one another as each adapted to its own regional environment. Under these various local pressures, there developed the major races of humankind, those of Africans, East Asians, and Europeans, as well as many smaller groups.

    Wade’s statements are clear and straightforward.

    Andrew Gelman: Before putting fingers to keyboard, did you think about these issues? Do you agree or disagree with Wade? Why? What’s your evidence, what’s your reasoning?

    Gelman skips past these basics. He seems more interested in figuring out who’s rracist and, by implication, who are the good folks who are not (Our Team!).

    Slate commenters’ responses to your remarks are in line with this approach, only more so.

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  • […] a rather bizarre review — as jayman (or jayman’s friend, rather) points out, the criticism seems to be an argument by analogy in which the problem with wade’s book is […]

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  • […] Andrew Gelman: “The Paradox of Racism” (Given that Gelman is a statistician, I was hoping for more than just the usual pointing and sputtering. Jayman responds to Gelman here.) […]

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  • […] – First Mainstream Notice of ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ – jayman’s response to gelman’s […]

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  • It’s now on Tyler Cowen’s blog too, which is essentially mainstream media – http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/05/nicholas-wades-a-troublesome-inheritance.html
    Tyler didn’t like the book, but there are some good/smart comments there (I hardly dare look at the comments on the Slate site).

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  • The piece uses the clever meta argument just in the way the book ‘This Time is Different’ uses it. He can’t find anything wrong, but he thinks ALL PAST RESEARCH WAS BUNK (of course this is also wrong. We now know about Morton’s skull measurements and Gould’s lying), so he’s asking, Why would this be right? Not a logical argument, but more of a fool-me-once thing.

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  • Francis Galton was pretty prescient about the Chinese in 1873 ( http://galton.org/letters/africa-for-chinese/AfricaForTheChinese.htm ) which would kind of argue against Andrew Gelman’s view that NEAsians were uniformly viewed as permanently backward a century ago….

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  • I created a new page, one that is perhaps the ultimate intro to HBD for people who have been woefully mislead all their lives: This can also been seen at right for future reference -> This is in response to the forthcoming book. I will imagine many of you will find it quite useful in...
  • I agree with Staffan. A great job. Maybe you should change your blog name to Jayman’s HBD Almanac or HBD Encyclopaedia. I don’t know where you get the energy…

    It does not compare with your herculean efforts, but I do my bit within my niche to address another frequently repeated bullshit (FRB) that I see all the time : rapid economic growth in lower-IQ countries does not invalidate the reality of IQ disparities between countries or their persistence.

    By the way, the economist Garrett Jones cleaned up Lynn & V’s IQ data, put them through rigourous robustness tests as used in the economic growth literature, and found that IQ is by far the best measure of human capital, even when you exclude the rich countries. See http://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jecgro/v11y2006i1p71-93.html In my opinion, LV’s IQ regressions on growth have been superseded by those in the Jones-Schneider paper which was published in the Journal of Economic Growth. JS situates human-capital-proxied-by-IQ squarely within the empirical research agenda of growth economists. You should list the JS paper on your HBD Fundamentals page.

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  • The next few weeks are going to be fun. Race deniers are going insane over this thing.

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  • I still wish there was a book on HBD (which might be a way to also monetize the blog), but this is the next best thing. It’s great to have the basics summarized like this, especially as a reference to people who just assume that this body of knowledge doesn’t exist. Great job!

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  • EDIT, 5/1/14: Looks like my comment did finally appear, buried among over 500 others. Comment moderation is an understandable practice, but at times it is rather annoying, especially when it's used for less than above-board purposes. I left a comment to Jared Taylor's review of Nicholas Wade's forthcoming book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and...
  • @erica
    I'd be interested in knowing if you expect a decent number or academics to include Wade's book on their required reading lists come next fall. If so, which departments will. Which assuredly won't (cultural/social anthro, eh?)

    Quite a few professors require students to read Stephen J. Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, which I review here for Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RHO8YJ618OUMX

    I am afraid that most of these professors require their students to agree with The Mismeasure of Man in order to get a good grade.

    Any teacher can tell that some students can learn faster with less effort than others, that those in the first group can learn what those in the second group cannot, that these differences correlate with race, and that while they also correlate with parental income some students from poor backgrounds are extremely intelligent.

    Teachers who deny the biological and racial implications of these observations are probably being dishonest.

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  • […] reviews nicholas wade’s upcoming book on race. – h/t hbd bibliography! – see also this comment from jayman. – and see also Harmful, toxic equalism from the awesome […]

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  • @Doug
    Off-topic, another majorly flawed product of correlation based medical research. High-protein diet as bad as smoking. How many people elderly people are going to be bed-ridden or demented in a few decades, because medical researchers don't understand the concept of confounding variables?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10676877/High-protein-diet-as-bad-for-health-as-smoking.html

    .

    Yup, saw it.

    Wait…

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  • Off-topic, another majorly flawed product of correlation based medical research. High-protein diet as bad as smoking. How many people elderly people are going to be bed-ridden or demented in a few decades, because medical researchers don’t understand the concept of confounding variables?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10676877/High-protein-diet-as-bad-for-health-as-smoking.html

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @Doug.

    Yup, saw it.

    Wait...

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  • Ah, so you admit this could be dangerous…this is exactly what liberals have been saying for years…

    I’m actually convinced the discovery of Jewish IQ will not be as detrimental to American Jews as my relatives fear…reactions will probably go from ‘oh, that’s nice!’ to ‘like we didn’t have that figured out after Nobel #185…’ The Nazis are still gonna hate, but they did before.

    But the African-American thing could go very, very bad. Anywhere from nothing to Jim Crow coming back.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    the empirical truth = Unfortunate implications…because it disagrees with falsely held beliefs? So much for honesty. Science has gone from becoming a way to determine the truth and discover knowledge, and become another religion, with academics as priests.

    By the way, jayman, this 116 year old japanese lady credits her age to “sushi and 8 hours of sleep a night”….I bet you would beg to differ, but wonder what you think?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/10670467/Worlds-oldest-person-celebrates-her-116th-birthday-Eat-and-sleep-and-you-will-live-a-long-time.html

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  • It will be interesting to see how – and if – it is received by MSM and Academia. But I don’t think this represents an imminent danger. The Blank Slate was killed in the mid 1980s but remains something people believe in today, some 30 years later, in varying degrees. Like Pinker predicted, it takes decades for this sort of knowledge to sink in. Rigth now, I think probably less than one percent of people in the West have even heard of HBD. Although the wheels are perhaps spinning a bit faster with the advent of the internet.

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  • @The Reluctant Apostate
    I was about to leave a comment on the Tibetan issue but saw that the commenter BonV.Vant had raised the point, albeit with much less detail than you went into above. I'm not sure what the reason for the moderation tie-up was, but yours might have flagged for having too many links. Whatever the reason, I hope that it ultimately shows up.

    I agree, links/possible spam seems like the most likely reason it’s not showing up.

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  • I was about to leave a comment on the Tibetan issue but saw that the commenter BonV.Vant had raised the point, albeit with much less detail than you went into above. I’m not sure what the reason for the moderation tie-up was, but yours might have flagged for having too many links. Whatever the reason, I hope that it ultimately shows up.

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    • Replies: @anon
    I agree, links/possible spam seems like the most likely reason it's not showing up.
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