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    The English psychologist Charles Spearman was the first to argue that a single factor, called "g," explains most of the variability in human intelligence. When observing the performance of children at school, he noticed that a child who did well in math would also do well in geography or Latin. There seemed to be a...
  • […] The human brain has a special region, called the Visual Word Form Area, that is used to recognize written words and letters. If it is damaged, your reading ability will suffer but not your recognition of objects, names, faces, or general language abilities. At The Unz Review […]

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  • If shame (observed wrongdoing) is really more important in regulating crime rates in East Asian societies, I wonder if security cameras are more effective there than in the UK for example. Also, does the public accept them more there than they seem to do in many places in the USA and Canada?

    I think their prevalence in the UK was originally justified on the basis of public safety from terrorism (initially the IRA) rather than as a general crime deterrent. I know that in South Korea there are cities that are under extensive video surveillance but I don’t know about in other East Asian countries. Are the justifications the same? Of course, comparing and contrasting crime statistics between South and North Korea would be especially interesting if such data were available.

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  • @Peter Frost
    "lying and corruption really are primarily driven by environment. East Germans lie more than West Germans"

    Syndrome,

    The study's findings are correct. It's your inference that is false. You seem to feel it is sufficient to show that variation in a mental trait has an environmental component to prove that this variation is primarily environmental. Do you see the flaw in your reasoning?

    I'm not arguing that mental traits are 100% heritable, any more than I'm arguing they're 0% heritable.

    You make a similar mistake when you compare Singapore with mainland China. The relevant comparison is between East Asians and Western Europeans under the same social conditions. This would be a difficult comparison to make for two reasons:

    1. Even highly Westernized countries like Singapore and South Korea have not undergone the same degree of social atomization as Western countries have undergone.

    2. Unwitnessed "private" crimes are difficult to measure, by their very nature. The overwhelming majority fly under the radar of official statistics. Even when people get caught, charges are usually never laid. And if charges are laid, the matter is usually settled out of court. So the official statistics are of dubious value:

    “I don’t know any other major country ― South Korea is an OECD member, a G20 member, the world’s seventh-largest exporter, you know, a big economy now ― where it is now routine for people, not just any old businessman, but the top people … (to) get convicted of stuff, (then) they hardly serve any time and the very next thing they are pardoned because they are so important to the economy,” said Aidan Foster-Carter, a long-time Korea observer based in the U.K."

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20120305001330

    Perhaps it doesn't matter. These societies are able to deliver the goods: a high level of material well being. They do so, however, by maintaining a level of community surveillance and family discipline that would be unacceptable in Western societies.

    This is the crux of my argument. If East Asian societies undergo the sort of social atomization that we accept as normal, the results will be much more catastrophic for them than for us.

    Hence why I stated, one should look at the body of research about Korean adoptees, raised by white families in the US and Europe.

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  • Peter Frost,
    Here is a hypothesis on why emotion identification is poorly correlated with g.
    Consider reading. Reading is a learned task but is somewhat correlated with g. Why? Because higher g individuals read more (aswell as improving more quickly for every hour of reading). Maybe emotion identification is likewise learned, or at least substantially so. Who, then, would learn to do it better than whom? My hypothesis is that it would be the shy. For shy people social interactions induce more stress and anxiety; the brains way of saying “pay attention! This is important.” Unlike whether one reads a lot, whether one is shy is probably not itself correlated with g.

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  • Max Payne tries to prey on the white man‘s guilt by bringing up all those horrible things he knows the white man feels guilty about.

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  • “lying and corruption really are primarily driven by environment. East Germans lie more than West Germans”

    Syndrome,

    The study’s findings are correct. It’s your inference that is false. You seem to feel it is sufficient to show that variation in a mental trait has an environmental component to prove that this variation is primarily environmental. Do you see the flaw in your reasoning?

    I’m not arguing that mental traits are 100% heritable, any more than I’m arguing they’re 0% heritable.

    You make a similar mistake when you compare Singapore with mainland China. The relevant comparison is between East Asians and Western Europeans under the same social conditions. This would be a difficult comparison to make for two reasons:

    1. Even highly Westernized countries like Singapore and South Korea have not undergone the same degree of social atomization as Western countries have undergone.

    2. Unwitnessed “private” crimes are difficult to measure, by their very nature. The overwhelming majority fly under the radar of official statistics. Even when people get caught, charges are usually never laid. And if charges are laid, the matter is usually settled out of court. So the official statistics are of dubious value:

    “I don’t know any other major country ― South Korea is an OECD member, a G20 member, the world’s seventh-largest exporter, you know, a big economy now ― where it is now routine for people, not just any old businessman, but the top people … (to) get convicted of stuff, (then) they hardly serve any time and the very next thing they are pardoned because they are so important to the economy,” said Aidan Foster-Carter, a long-time Korea observer based in the U.K.”

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20120305001330

    Perhaps it doesn’t matter. These societies are able to deliver the goods: a high level of material well being. They do so, however, by maintaining a level of community surveillance and family discipline that would be unacceptable in Western societies.

    This is the crux of my argument. If East Asian societies undergo the sort of social atomization that we accept as normal, the results will be much more catastrophic for them than for us.

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    • Replies: @Myra Esoteric
    Hence why I stated, one should look at the body of research about Korean adoptees, raised by white families in the US and Europe.
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  • @Syndrome
    It is worth noting that attitudes toward lying and corruption really are primarily driven by environment. East Germans lie more than West Germans: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21607830-more-people-are-exposed-socialism-worse-they-behave-lying-commies . Or compare Singapore with mainland China. There may be some racially driven differences in flavor--e.g. I can't yet rule out the hypothesis that East Asians may be more comfortable with draconian punishments than NW Europeans because, in a society of East Asians, they may be more necessary--but they are demonstrably of at most secondary importance here.

    Construction and maintenance of high-trust environments is near, or arguably at, the top of the list of genuinely worthwhile social projects.

    19.

    The last sentence is quoteworthy, to say the least.

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  • It is worth noting that attitudes toward lying and corruption really are primarily driven by environment. East Germans lie more than West Germans: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21607830-more-people-are-exposed-socialism-worse-they-behave-lying-commies . Or compare Singapore with mainland China. There may be some racially driven differences in flavor–e.g. I can’t yet rule out the hypothesis that East Asians may be more comfortable with draconian punishments than NW Europeans because, in a society of East Asians, they may be more necessary–but they are demonstrably of at most secondary importance here.

    Construction and maintenance of high-trust environments is near, or arguably at, the top of the list of genuinely worthwhile social projects.

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    • Replies: @David II
    19.

    The last sentence is quoteworthy, to say the least.
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  • “if the white man did feel guilt we wouldn’t have such great inventions such as nuclear weapons (in ludicrous apocalyptic amounts; as the rest of the planet struggles to feed itself), the Holocaust, colonialism, neocolonialism (because its not over just yet), commercial international slavery, and my personal favorite total war in the modern industrial era”

    Max,

    There seems to be a big misunderstanding over the nature of guilt (and also empathy, which is closely related). Guilt is something you feel when you break a social rule even though no one else has seen you break it. Guilt is a “virtual witness.” To differing degrees, people seem to have an innate tendency to identify social rules in their society and then feel guilty if they break them. But the rules themselves are arbitrary.

    If you live in a society where “racism” is the worst sin, you will feel profoundly guilty if you commit racism, even though this word did not exist a century ago. In general, a social rule functions by convincing people that (a) it is accepted by everyone in moral authority and (b) people who break it are morally worthless.

    Seth,

    Yes, that meta-study has been overturned by subsequent studies, notably:

    Glezer, L.S. and M. Riesenhuber (2013). Individual Variability in Location Impacts Orthographic Selectivity in the “Visual Word Form Area” The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(27): 11221-11226

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/33/27/11221.full

    “Strong evidence exists for a key role of the human ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) in reading, yet there have been conflicting reports about the specificity of this area in orthographic versus nonorthographic processing. We suggest that the inconsistencies in the literature can be explained by the method used to identify regions that respond to words. Here we provide evidence that the “visual word form area” (VWFA) shows word selectivity when identified at the individual subject level, but that intersubject variability in the location and size of the VWFA causes this selectivity to be washed out if defining the VWFA at the group level or based on coordinates from the literature. Our findings confirm the existence of a word-selective region in vOT while providing an explanation for why other studies have found a lack of word specificity in vOT.”

    The current debate is not over whether the VWFA exists but over whether it is hardwired or acquired through learning. In my opinion, it is hard to reconcile the second theoretical model with the presence of the VWFA in kindergarten children. When kindergarten children were asked to play a grapheme/phoneme correspondence game, their VWFAs preferentially responded to pictures of letter strings after a total of 3.6 hours of practice over an 8-week period. Only a few of the children could actually read, and even then only at a rudimentary level.

    Brem, S., S. Bach, K. Kucian, T.K. Guttorm, E. Martin, H. Lyytinen, D. Brandeis, and U. Richardson. (2010). Brain sensitivity to print emerges when children learn letter-speech sound correspondences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 107, 7939–7944.

    http://psyserv06.psy.sbg.ac.at:5916/fetch/PDF/20395549.pdf

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  • The American IQ, modular or otherwise, is nosediving. But not to worry — letting anybody into college and letting everybody pass every test so that they can graduate will solve the problem.

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  • I lived in Northeast DC for over 20 years, 20 years ago, back when DC was Blacker and meaner. I was in the DC Guard which was a mostly Black outfit. I didn’t have a car and I walked the streets a lot. I am prefacing this to explain my experience. It is my suspicion that Black people are not as dumb as they test out to be. Patterns on paper and SAT testing is just not what they evolved for. Isn’t that part of the point of this article? If Middle easterners are better readers due to something that happened 6000 years ago, would not the same forces work on Blacks?Anyway I have always felt they put their mental powers into body language and tone of voice. They read your twitches like a book.Ha ha. Move your eyes twice and that means more to them than it does to you, a white guy lost in his abstractions. So if human intelligence is modular, have they done studies on reactions to body movements, stance, relaxation etc.? or how about reactions to modulations and tone of voice. If they did, I think Blacks would score the highest.

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  • Wikipedia points us to a meta-review that calls into question the VWFA. Has this study been responded to? Or is it an old study that has been overturned by recent imaging advances?

    Link to the skeptical study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811903000843

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  • @AG
    According to you, Lance Armstrong must be an East Asian disguised as white man, who loves to cheat.

    Joke aside. Opinion is opinion. Facts are based on data. Guilt is closed to related to empathy. Studies show prevalence of psycopathy for major ethnic groups as black > white > East Asian. psychopathy is defined by lack of empathy. Most animals in this world lack empathy. So most animals will not give a damn about others suffereing. The studies have been backed up by historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. The very fact slavery is form of lack of empathy. Let us fact it. When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them? Just ask youself and your common white friends.

    Confucious teaching actually is most based on personal disciplines which only can be achieved by personal guilt and honor. When people like you make assumption about East Asian, it very much close to `whitchhunt'

    Just be honest, how much of your assumption is based on your cherry picking? Have you compared it to how much white prevalence of cheating? If you did not do that, you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt? or just believe the world as you wish?

    WOW ! Did you even bother to carefully read my post ? I doubt it because I wasn’t making any statement at ALL or making ANY “assumptions” at all. I was merely asking Mr. Frost his ( not your ) opinion concerning some allegations ( which I believed to be false ) which I had read. I gather from the fractured syntax of your post that English is probably not your primary language. I would suggest that for YOUR benefit you might have someone better grounded in the English language read what you mistakenly believe to be an insulting comment before resorting to the flame thrower.

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  • @AG
    According to you, Lance Armstrong must be an East Asian disguised as white man, who loves to cheat.

    Joke aside. Opinion is opinion. Facts are based on data. Guilt is closed to related to empathy. Studies show prevalence of psycopathy for major ethnic groups as black > white > East Asian. psychopathy is defined by lack of empathy. Most animals in this world lack empathy. So most animals will not give a damn about others suffereing. The studies have been backed up by historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. The very fact slavery is form of lack of empathy. Let us fact it. When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them? Just ask youself and your common white friends.

    Confucious teaching actually is most based on personal disciplines which only can be achieved by personal guilt and honor. When people like you make assumption about East Asian, it very much close to `whitchhunt'

    Just be honest, how much of your assumption is based on your cherry picking? Have you compared it to how much white prevalence of cheating? If you did not do that, you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt? or just believe the world as you wish?

    Yeah I laughed at the guilt part too. I have nothing against the white man and his culture but if the white man did feel guilt we wouldn’t have such great inventions such as nuclear weapons (in ludicrous apocalyptic amounts; as the rest of the planet struggles to feed itself), the Holocaust, colonialism, neocolonialism (because its not over just yet), commercial international slavery, and my personal favorite total war in the modern industrial era.

    But its a good and very informative article irregardless of the examples used.

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  • Mental traits vary within human populations just as they vary between them. The capacity for empathic guilt is no exception.

    Psychopaths seem to have intact cognitive empathy but impaired affective empathy. In other words, a psychopath has a keen understanding of how another person feels, but he doesn’t experience that person’s feelings, at least not the negative aspects. Is psychopathy less common among East Asians than among Europeans? It’s difficult to answer that question because the cultural constraints are different. East Asian societies are very effective at restraining psychopathic behavior through family and community monitoring. The problems arise when an East Asian enters an atomized Western environment where this kind of monitoring is largely absent.

    Research on Chinese subjects suggests that affective empathy does not differentiate from cognitive empathy to the same degree during adolescence, but more research is needed.

    “historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. ”

    You’re misunderstanding the nature of empathy. Empathy is an instrument for enforcement of social rules. If a person is perceived as being an incorrigible rule-breaker, empathy will go into reverse. The person will be judged to be morally worthless and excluded from the moral community.

    “When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them?”

    I see lots of empathy and guilt among white folks, especially guilt.

    “you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt?”

    Sour grapes? No. I may be just plain stupid. That’s for others to judge.

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  • @Peter Frost
    Reiner,

    Most academics still think that way. They'll even argue that the Visual Word Form Area must be an acquired trait because the invention of writing is too recent. Yet the VWFA is already present in kindergarten children who are just starting to become familiar with writing.

    Foreign,

    Everyone can learn to read. Even if your Visual Word Form Area is completely destroyed, you can regain some reading ability, but you will never be able to read as well as before. The VWFA seems to be composed of face-recognition neurons that have become specialized for the task of reading. So I guess one can learn to read by using any kind of face-recognition neuron, but your reading ability will be below par.

    Myra,

    East Asians have low crime rates in cases where the crime is publicly witnessed. If the crime is not witnessed (other than by the person or persons committing the crime), the crime rate is much higher. This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as "corruption."

    In general, East Asians have a strong capacity for shame but a relatively weak capacity for guilt. Shame is effective only against publicly witnessed wrongdoing. Guilt deters both public and private wrongdoing.

    Bill,

    This study used a Euro-American sample, and assortative mating is relatively weak in that population. Even for stature, the r value is only about 0.2 or 0.3.

    “Even if your Visual Word Form Area is completely destroyed, you can regain some reading ability, but you will never be able to read as well as before.”

    Or else, those unused brain cells, when rewired towards other activities, might give one an edge in developing other kinds of talents to an extent that people with a fully functioning VWFA are unlikely to ever match.

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  • @AG
    According to you, Lance Armstrong must be an East Asian disguised as white man, who loves to cheat.

    Joke aside. Opinion is opinion. Facts are based on data. Guilt is closed to related to empathy. Studies show prevalence of psycopathy for major ethnic groups as black > white > East Asian. psychopathy is defined by lack of empathy. Most animals in this world lack empathy. So most animals will not give a damn about others suffereing. The studies have been backed up by historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. The very fact slavery is form of lack of empathy. Let us fact it. When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them? Just ask youself and your common white friends.

    Confucious teaching actually is most based on personal disciplines which only can be achieved by personal guilt and honor. When people like you make assumption about East Asian, it very much close to `whitchhunt'

    Just be honest, how much of your assumption is based on your cherry picking? Have you compared it to how much white prevalence of cheating? If you did not do that, you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt? or just believe the world as you wish?

    I don’t know. Your counterexamples are not very convincing, but neither was the original assertion.

    I think we need further studies to determine whether Asians feel more or less guilt independent of shaming.

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  • @Oldeguy
    "This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as "corruption".' Would this also refer to such activities as cheating on tests, false credentials and resumes ? I have read accusations of that type of activity and have tended to dismiss them as "sour grapes".

    According to you, Lance Armstrong must be an East Asian disguised as white man, who loves to cheat.

    Joke aside. Opinion is opinion. Facts are based on data. Guilt is closed to related to empathy. Studies show prevalence of psycopathy for major ethnic groups as black > white > East Asian. psychopathy is defined by lack of empathy. Most animals in this world lack empathy. So most animals will not give a damn about others suffereing. The studies have been backed up by historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. The very fact slavery is form of lack of empathy. Let us fact it. When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them? Just ask youself and your common white friends.

    Confucious teaching actually is most based on personal disciplines which only can be achieved by personal guilt and honor. When people like you make assumption about East Asian, it very much close to `whitchhunt’

    Just be honest, how much of your assumption is based on your cherry picking? Have you compared it to how much white prevalence of cheating? If you did not do that, you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt? or just believe the world as you wish?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don't know. Your counterexamples are not very convincing, but neither was the original assertion.

    I think we need further studies to determine whether Asians feel more or less guilt independent of shaming.
    , @Max Payne
    Yeah I laughed at the guilt part too. I have nothing against the white man and his culture but if the white man did feel guilt we wouldn't have such great inventions such as nuclear weapons (in ludicrous apocalyptic amounts; as the rest of the planet struggles to feed itself), the Holocaust, colonialism, neocolonialism (because its not over just yet), commercial international slavery, and my personal favorite total war in the modern industrial era.

    But its a good and very informative article irregardless of the examples used.
    , @Oldeguy
    WOW ! Did you even bother to carefully read my post ? I doubt it because I wasn't making any statement at ALL or making ANY "assumptions" at all. I was merely asking Mr. Frost his ( not your ) opinion concerning some allegations ( which I believed to be false ) which I had read. I gather from the fractured syntax of your post that English is probably not your primary language. I would suggest that for YOUR benefit you might have someone better grounded in the English language read what you mistakenly believe to be an insulting comment before resorting to the flame thrower.
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  • Fantastic post! This is very educational.

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  • @Peter Frost
    Reiner,

    Most academics still think that way. They'll even argue that the Visual Word Form Area must be an acquired trait because the invention of writing is too recent. Yet the VWFA is already present in kindergarten children who are just starting to become familiar with writing.

    Foreign,

    Everyone can learn to read. Even if your Visual Word Form Area is completely destroyed, you can regain some reading ability, but you will never be able to read as well as before. The VWFA seems to be composed of face-recognition neurons that have become specialized for the task of reading. So I guess one can learn to read by using any kind of face-recognition neuron, but your reading ability will be below par.

    Myra,

    East Asians have low crime rates in cases where the crime is publicly witnessed. If the crime is not witnessed (other than by the person or persons committing the crime), the crime rate is much higher. This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as "corruption."

    In general, East Asians have a strong capacity for shame but a relatively weak capacity for guilt. Shame is effective only against publicly witnessed wrongdoing. Guilt deters both public and private wrongdoing.

    Bill,

    This study used a Euro-American sample, and assortative mating is relatively weak in that population. Even for stature, the r value is only about 0.2 or 0.3.

    “This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as “corruption”.’ Would this also refer to such activities as cheating on tests, false credentials and resumes ? I have read accusations of that type of activity and have tended to dismiss them as “sour grapes”.

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    • Replies: @AG
    According to you, Lance Armstrong must be an East Asian disguised as white man, who loves to cheat.

    Joke aside. Opinion is opinion. Facts are based on data. Guilt is closed to related to empathy. Studies show prevalence of psycopathy for major ethnic groups as black > white > East Asian. psychopathy is defined by lack of empathy. Most animals in this world lack empathy. So most animals will not give a damn about others suffereing. The studies have been backed up by historical evidence like Hitler nazi germany, KKK, ect. The very fact slavery is form of lack of empathy. Let us fact it. When unfortunate people suffer, how guilty or how much empathy the most white people feel about them? Just ask youself and your common white friends.

    Confucious teaching actually is most based on personal disciplines which only can be achieved by personal guilt and honor. When people like you make assumption about East Asian, it very much close to `whitchhunt'

    Just be honest, how much of your assumption is based on your cherry picking? Have you compared it to how much white prevalence of cheating? If you did not do that, you know what is going in your own mind. Sour grape? Studipity? or just whitch hunt? or just believe the world as you wish?
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  • Reiner,

    Most academics still think that way. They’ll even argue that the Visual Word Form Area must be an acquired trait because the invention of writing is too recent. Yet the VWFA is already present in kindergarten children who are just starting to become familiar with writing.

    Foreign,

    Everyone can learn to read. Even if your Visual Word Form Area is completely destroyed, you can regain some reading ability, but you will never be able to read as well as before. The VWFA seems to be composed of face-recognition neurons that have become specialized for the task of reading. So I guess one can learn to read by using any kind of face-recognition neuron, but your reading ability will be below par.

    Myra,

    East Asians have low crime rates in cases where the crime is publicly witnessed. If the crime is not witnessed (other than by the person or persons committing the crime), the crime rate is much higher. This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as “corruption.”

    In general, East Asians have a strong capacity for shame but a relatively weak capacity for guilt. Shame is effective only against publicly witnessed wrongdoing. Guilt deters both public and private wrongdoing.

    Bill,

    This study used a Euro-American sample, and assortative mating is relatively weak in that population. Even for stature, the r value is only about 0.2 or 0.3.

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    • Replies: @Oldeguy
    "This is the case with private crimes that we refer to as "corruption".' Would this also refer to such activities as cheating on tests, false credentials and resumes ? I have read accusations of that type of activity and have tended to dismiss them as "sour grapes".
    , @HA
    "Even if your Visual Word Form Area is completely destroyed, you can regain some reading ability, but you will never be able to read as well as before."

    Or else, those unused brain cells, when rewired towards other activities, might give one an edge in developing other kinds of talents to an extent that people with a fully functioning VWFA are unlikely to ever match.

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  • One way to locate these genes is through genome-wide association studies. We look at the various alleles of genes whose locations are already known, typically SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), and see whether this source of variability correlates with variability in a mental trait. If we find a significant correlation, the genes for that trait must be nearby.

    You have to be assuming no assortative mating (and no linkage disequilibrium) here. If guys with big feet always marry blondes, then blonde phenotype will correlate with big foot alleles, whether or not they are close to one another.

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  • How do you explain Asian adoptees’ lower crime rates, despite being raised without that kind of family discipline?

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  • @Foreign Expert
    If it evolved in the Middle East, how come Africans can read?

    If I understand correctly, the point is not that without the allele(s) you couldn’t read or write at all but that it would be much harder for you. And Africans are not known for their exceptional literary abilities.

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  • If it evolved in the Middle East, how come Africans can read?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    If I understand correctly, the point is not that without the allele(s) you couldn't read or write at all but that it would be much harder for you. And Africans are not known for their exceptional literary abilities.
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  • Interesting. I always assumed that reading ability was a kind of side effect of something else that was selected for. Now it seems actually possible that being a bookworm was a selection advantage in and of itself… (Or maybe no. Maybe just having better than average reading ability was a selection advantage, and bookworms are the homozygous ones, and it’s only a heterozygous advantage.)

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  • My weekly posts are now appearing on The Unz Review(http://www.unz.com/). By accepting Ron's invitation, I hope to reach a bigger audience and bring myself closer to other writers in the area of human biodiversity. When people work together, or simply alongside each other, minor differences can be ironed out and major differences narrowed or at...
  • The important cognition boosting alleles will probably be discovered by accident, the one said to have the most effect so far a functional sequence variant of Klotho was found by longevity researchers. Frequency of KL-VS heterozygous individuals plotted as 5-year averages in 1-year increments. Blue line represents Ashkenazi samples. Red lines represents Czech samples.

    Just shows how data mining is important because how do you separate the effect of Klotho counteracting aging by vitamin D (thats my understanding), the effect on IQ, and the effect of intelligence on enabling efficacious health practices suggested by Intelligence: Is It the Epidemiologists’ Elusive “Fundamental Cause” of Social Class Inequalities in Health?

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  • Post updated, 11/17/13 4/14/13 1/19/13, see below! It is already known that educational attainment and income are highly heritable. However, finding specific genes linked to cognitive and behavioral traits has been difficult. This is primarily because most traits arise not from a few genes with large effects, but from many genes with small effects (and...
  • […] fellow proponents consistently put the lie to them: one commenter on JayMan’s blog (asdf, here) put forward an interesting “quandry,” that of his black girlfriend. She is […]

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  • […] How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? – Quite pertinent at the moment, my post discussing the various bits of solid evidence for […]

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  • […] who vary in their evolutionary history. Well, has this been proven? Of course it has. [see How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need?]. “Heritability”, as the term is implemented in quantitative genetics, refers to the […]

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  • “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy” by Gunnar Myrdal was published in 1944. Gunnar Myrdal was a Swedish Nobel Laureate in economics. This book argued that black social pathology and inferior academic performance were caused by racial discrimination, and that they were used to justify racial discrimination.

    Gunnar Myrdal argued that when blacks were no longer discriminated against most of them would perform and behave as well as most whites. The book was published when it was likely to be most effective. The Nazi movement had discredited the belief that racial differences are significant.

    Because in 1944 most blacks in the United States were discriminated against the book had an element of plausibility about it. Because blacks are currently discriminated in favor of with affirmative action policies, and because vast sums of tax money have been spent in efforts to bring blacks up to white levels, this plausibility no longer exists.

    As the Nazi movement fades from living memory, as black behavior and performance continues to disappoint Dr. Myrdal’s optimistic predictions, and as more is learned about the human genome, the constraints of political correctness will crumble and fall. America will have a dialogue on race.

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  • […] […]

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  • @panjoomby
    excellent post! btw, the visual word form area of the brain is a subset of what was formerly all facial recognition -- we hijacked a part of that existing system/area for reading - hence the left over difficulty with letter reversals in some kids - formerly that region was mirror invariant - see a face from either side you recognize it as same face - so developmentally for some b/d/p/q are hard to keep straight, b/c they're still retraining their brain to learn to notice the difference between those things! Stanislas DeHaene & colleagues have done much fMRI research in this area (in the field of dyslexia).

    I just noticed the excellent advice you gave to asdf above – especially the part about moving to Maine! Would moving to Maine be part of his offspring’s shared (& unshared) environment?:) Lest you think i’ve become an environmentalist – much of that good Maine “environment” can be attributed to the genetics of Maine inhabitants:)

    btw, you, hbdchick & westhunt have some of the finest commenters on the internet (i refer to some familiar names above). thank you to all for your well-thought out empiricism (which, i guess means thank you for your genes & the unshared/shared environments you create with them:)

    now back to snark & sarcasm!

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  • @Dave Chamberlin
    Just a general compliment for now. I'm impressed with your blog. Thanks for all the hard work. I'll be dropping in now and then with comments because I find your blog very much worth following.

    @dave chamberlin:

    Thank you!

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  • Just a general compliment for now. I’m impressed with your blog. Thanks for all the hard work. I’ll be dropping in now and then with comments because I find your blog very much worth following.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    @dave chamberlin:

    Thank you!

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  • excellent post! btw, the visual word form area of the brain is a subset of what was formerly all facial recognition — we hijacked a part of that existing system/area for reading – hence the left over difficulty with letter reversals in some kids – formerly that region was mirror invariant – see a face from either side you recognize it as same face – so developmentally for some b/d/p/q are hard to keep straight, b/c they’re still retraining their brain to learn to notice the difference between those things! Stanislas DeHaene & colleagues have done much fMRI research in this area (in the field of dyslexia).

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    • Replies: @panjoomby
    I just noticed the excellent advice you gave to asdf above - especially the part about moving to Maine! Would moving to Maine be part of his offspring's shared (& unshared) environment?:) Lest you think i've become an environmentalist - much of that good Maine "environment" can be attributed to the genetics of Maine inhabitants:)

    btw, you, hbdchick & westhunt have some of the finest commenters on the internet (i refer to some familiar names above). thank you to all for your well-thought out empiricism (which, i guess means thank you for your genes & the unshared/shared environments you create with them:)

    now back to snark & sarcasm!

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  • […] How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? […]

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  • This year, look for advances in the following areas: Brain growth genes Back in 2005, it was found that human populations vary considerably at two genes, ASPM and microcephalin, that control the growth of brain tissue. The finding seemed to be ‘huge’ in its implications. Then, it all fizzled out. No correlation could be found...
  • Here is an argument against sexual selection being the reason for lighter skin…

    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2007/07/08/skin-color-vitamin-d-1/

    There is another one – natural selection wrt protection against folic-acid depletion
    Dark skin is a protective factor for folic-acid levels. It was an article in the scientitific american a couple of years ago

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  • Post updated, 11/17/13 4/14/13 1/19/13, see below! It is already known that educational attainment and income are highly heritable. However, finding specific genes linked to cognitive and behavioral traits has been difficult. This is primarily because most traits arise not from a few genes with large effects, but from many genes with small effects (and...
  • @The fourth doorman of the apocalypse
    But not identical genetics. I need not tell you that the Chinese in Singapore are not representative of the Chinese in China (doubly so for Indians in Singapore), yes? That the average IQ differs (108 Singapore vs. ≤105 China) is a clue.

    It seems highly likely to me that a great deal of downward mobility has occurred in China over the last two thousand years, which has flushed out alleles that reduce IQ.

    I am married to a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, but her ancestors are Hakka and from further inland. She is pretty smart.

    I suspect that the small differences in IQ you mention are entirely environmental, on average.

    你会不会说中文?

    Average IQ varies significantly across China. And even if it didn’t, since Singapore was essentially a founded colony with a fairly select group of settlers, you could easily end up with a population that is significantly genetically different from its source population (imagine if I founded a new city and drew my inhabitants entirely from Manhattan’s Upper East and Upper West Sides, for example).

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  • @Y.
    Myopia is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during development.

    Remember reading about a study comparing Singapore Chinese with a rural Chinese group of similar ancestry. 80% vs 5%, very similar genetics.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/files/2012/05/myopia-graph.jpg

    Besides, if it were genetic, how could it've increased ~2x inside two generations?

    But not identical genetics. I need not tell you that the Chinese in Singapore are not representative of the Chinese in China (doubly so for Indians in Singapore), yes? That the average IQ differs (108 Singapore vs. ≤105 China) is a clue.

    It seems highly likely to me that a great deal of downward mobility has occurred in China over the last two thousand years, which has flushed out alleles that reduce IQ.

    I am married to a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, but her ancestors are Hakka and from further inland. She is pretty smart.

    I suspect that the small differences in IQ you mention are entirely environmental, on average.

    你会不会说中文?

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Average IQ varies significantly across China. And even if it didn't, since Singapore was essentially a founded colony with a fairly select group of settlers, you could easily end up with a population that is significantly genetically different from its source population (imagine if I founded a new city and drew my inhabitants entirely from Manhattan's Upper East and Upper West Sides, for example).
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  • [...] -Anonymous. [...]

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  • @Anonymous
    If you consider how conditional probability works there actually is not anything stupid or irrational in judging another based on a properly formed racial stereotype (based on a statistically representative sample) provided you don´t know anything else about the other being judged besides race (or other category, like sex). Unfortunately a lot of people have a hard time updating their believes based on new information, which is what you should be doing (quickly) when you learn more about a specific individual.

    Very good point!

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  • [...] But some of you may be thinking that “these are all stereotypes, right?” They can’t be true; they have to be misinformed or irrational, right? Wrong. As evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa points out, all stereotypes are true, statistically anyway. As he notes, stereotypes are what scientists call “empirical generalizations.” The trouble happens when people assume that stereotypes apply in every last instance, when they clearly do not. However, if there wasn’t some sort of statistical trend, the stereotype could not persist (not mention that the stereotype would probably never have become one in the first place). (Of course, there might be some good reasons why people sweepingly apply stereotypes the way they often do. I’ll discuss that in a future post). [...]

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  • [...] How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? [...]

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If you consider how conditional probability works there actually is not anything stupid or irrational in judging another based on a properly formed racial stereotype (based on a statistically representative sample) provided you don´t know anything else about the other being judged besides race (or other category, like sex). Unfortunately a lot of people have a hard time updating their believes based on new information, which is what you should be doing (quickly) when you learn more about a specific individual.

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    • Replies: @JayMan
    Very good point!
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  • [...] rarely or never a priori rule out heredity as being responsible for group differences (and indeed, evidence points to heredity typically being involved), it makes sense to research how heritable differences could be behind such group [...]

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  • [...] [Me]: I don’t walk away from anything on my blog (I would hope not, I wrote it). The facts are the facts. I would recommend reading this post however since you’ve touched on that topic: How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? | jaymans.wordpress.com [...]

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  • [...] course, using the same data, as previously mentioned, Kanazawa also discovered that Black women are, on average, less attractive than women of other [...]

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  • @Y.
    Myopia is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during development.

    Remember reading about a study comparing Singapore Chinese with a rural Chinese group of similar ancestry. 80% vs 5%, very similar genetics.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/files/2012/05/myopia-graph.jpg

    Besides, if it were genetic, how could it've increased ~2x inside two generations?

    Myopia is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during development.

    Is there any evidence that this actually occurs in humans? Be wary of generalizing from non-human animals to humans, something that is done too much these days.

    Remember reading about a study comparing Singapore Chinese with a rural Chinese group of similar ancestry. 80% vs 5%, very similar genetics.

    But not identical genetics. I need not tell you that the Chinese in Singapore are not representative of the Chinese in China (doubly so for Indians in Singapore), yes? That the average IQ differs (108 Singapore vs. ≤105 China) is a clue.

    Besides, if it were genetic, how could it’ve increased ~2x inside two generations?

    IQ, height, and BMI are all highly heritable (>.8), and all have increased in the past century. A change in the prevalence of a phenotype has little to nothing to do with whether there is a genetic component to that phenotype.

    In any case, twin studies have confirmed a high heritability of myopia. That myopia correlates with near work is to be expected, because in modern society, higher IQ individuals tend to do more near work (and probably have for a long time, in the case of Ashkenazi Jews or East Asians). Because of the connection between IQ and near work, it’s unclear if there is a causal role between near work and myopia.

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  • @hbd chick
    @jayman - In short, it’s because people are stupid.

    most people are definitely stupid. (~_^)

    but i think almost equally important here, or perhaps even more important, is that most people are herders (i.e. social animals). most everybody, if they thought about it for half a second, would acknowledge that the reason they find yao ming so interesting (apart from his playing skills) is that he is really tall while at the same time most chinese people are pretty short. they all know that, on average, chinese people are pretty short. they get it. and it's not a problem to get that.

    the problem is the conflict that sets in regarding things we are not supposed to know -- or notice. that's when the herding drive takes over common sense (and the little bit of logic that some humans possess).

    “while at the same time most chinese people are pretty short. they all know that, on average, chinese people are pretty short.”

    I met the Chinese wife of a friend last week who moved here from China four years ago. She is 5′-9″ tall. I asked her if that was exceptional where she came from (lived in Beijing). She said not, that with good nutrition Chinese are getting much taller. FWIW

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  • Besides, if it were genetic, how could it’ve increased ~2x inside two
    generations?

    There could still be a genetic predisposition for degree of response to the differences in environmental stimuli between the rural and urban Chinese.

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  • [...] How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need? – “[T]hree dopamine genes … examined, the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1), the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2), and the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4), had small but reliable effects on educational attainment, such that those with a higher ‘dopamine index’ tended to attain less education…. But what’s much more interesting is that they found significant differences in the prevalence of the alleles of theses genes between the White and the Black subjects, with Blacks having tending to have higher dopamine indices.” – from jayman (at his new location!). [...]

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  • Myopia is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during development.

    Remember reading about a study comparing Singapore Chinese with a rural Chinese group of similar ancestry. 80% vs 5%, very similar genetics.

    Besides, if it were genetic, how could it’ve increased ~2x inside two generations?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Myopia is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during development.
     
    Is there any evidence that this actually occurs in humans? Be wary of generalizing from non-human animals to humans, something that is done too much these days.

    Remember reading about a study comparing Singapore Chinese with a rural Chinese group of similar ancestry. 80% vs 5%, very similar genetics.
     
    But not identical genetics. I need not tell you that the Chinese in Singapore are not representative of the Chinese in China (doubly so for Indians in Singapore), yes? That the average IQ differs (108 Singapore vs. ≤105 China) is a clue.

    Besides, if it were genetic, how could it’ve increased ~2x inside two generations?
     
    IQ, height, and BMI are all highly heritable (>.8), and all have increased in the past century. A change in the prevalence of a phenotype has little to nothing to do with whether there is a genetic component to that phenotype.

    In any case, twin studies have confirmed a high heritability of myopia. That myopia correlates with near work is to be expected, because in modern society, higher IQ individuals tend to do more near work (and probably have for a long time, in the case of Ashkenazi Jews or East Asians). Because of the connection between IQ and near work, it's unclear if there is a causal role between near work and myopia.

    , @The fourth doorman of the apocalypse
    But not identical genetics. I need not tell you that the Chinese in Singapore are not representative of the Chinese in China (doubly so for Indians in Singapore), yes? That the average IQ differs (108 Singapore vs. ≤105 China) is a clue.

    It seems highly likely to me that a great deal of downward mobility has occurred in China over the last two thousand years, which has flushed out alleles that reduce IQ.

    I am married to a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, but her ancestors are Hakka and from further inland. She is pretty smart.

    I suspect that the small differences in IQ you mention are entirely environmental, on average.

    你会不会说中文?

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  • @Ray Sawhill
    Great posting.

    Hey, I'd be very interested in reading about your challenges and rewards in dating a white girlfriend.

    I'd also like to cast a vote for changing your blog theme. I find reading white text on a black background pretty hard after just a paragraph or two. Dark on light is much easier on my brain. FWIW, I used to work in magazines, and it was an accepted rule of thumb in the field that you NEVER used white-on-black text -- known as "reversed-out text" -- for more than a sentence or two. Cool-looking, but just too hard to read for extended periods. And since you tend to write pretty long blogpostings ...

    Great posting.

    Thanks!

    Hey, I’d be very interested in reading about your challenges and rewards in dating a white girlfriend.

    I have had to supply all the good food by introducing her to my Jamaican dishes! :P

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  • I will add that I think that your problem with your gf might not be your belief in HBD, but these:

    She tries to be an IWSB and mostly succeeds. But I don’t think she’s smart enough to overide her cathedral upbringing, especially since she is black.

    How do I keep my half & halfs from hanging out with blacks and acting black (IWSBs are ok in small doses I guess)

    That you think of her that way is probably not best.

    “IWSB” is only a step up from some other terms I can think of that aren’t all that flattering (like “WTN”, for example). I mean, do we need to invent a term for Whites who aren’t like this guy?

    Not a good idea to listen to Derbyshire on everything

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  • Ray, do you realize that unlike a magazine a computer monitor, when it shows any color besides black, is blasting radiation into your eyes and ruining your vision every second you look at it?

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  • Great posting.

    Hey, I’d be very interested in reading about your challenges and rewards in dating a white girlfriend.

    I’d also like to cast a vote for changing your blog theme. I find reading white text on a black background pretty hard after just a paragraph or two. Dark on light is much easier on my brain. FWIW, I used to work in magazines, and it was an accepted rule of thumb in the field that you NEVER used white-on-black text — known as “reversed-out text” — for more than a sentence or two. Cool-looking, but just too hard to read for extended periods. And since you tend to write pretty long blogpostings …

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    • Replies: @JayMan

    Great posting.
     
    Thanks!

    Hey, I’d be very interested in reading about your challenges and rewards in dating a white girlfriend.
     
    I have had to supply all the good food by introducing her to my Jamaican dishes! :P
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  • @hbd chick
    @jayman - In short, it’s because people are stupid.

    most people are definitely stupid. (~_^)

    but i think almost equally important here, or perhaps even more important, is that most people are herders (i.e. social animals). most everybody, if they thought about it for half a second, would acknowledge that the reason they find yao ming so interesting (apart from his playing skills) is that he is really tall while at the same time most chinese people are pretty short. they all know that, on average, chinese people are pretty short. they get it. and it's not a problem to get that.

    the problem is the conflict that sets in regarding things we are not supposed to know -- or notice. that's when the herding drive takes over common sense (and the little bit of logic that some humans possess).

    but i think almost equally important here, or perhaps even more important, is that most people are herders (i.e. social animals).

    That’s true. The was an excellent post by Razib(?) I remembered reading not too long ago that said something to that effect: most people believe in what’s popular because it’s a fairly safe bet in a world where it’s impossible to verify every fact oneself—but for the life of me I couldn’t find it. I think that’s fairly accurate, as most people are too dumb and/or uninterested to really give it strong thought but just go with the flow.

    I would argue that it’s not the bulk of the masses we’d have to worry about, but the minority of people who would use knowledge of HBD to cause trouble. I mean, look how much facts are distorted in common discourse, even when it’s not something controversial (e.g., evolution).

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  • @asdf
    Jayman,

    Here is an interesting quandry. I have a girlfriend who in theory it is getting pretty serious with. She is black. She is cathedral in idealogy and semi cathedral in career (government contractor, which is a lot like working for the government).

    She is above average IQ but not a genuis. She tries to be an IWSB and mostly succeeds. But I don't think she's smart enough to overide her cathedral upbringing, especially since she is black.

    And yet she shows some understanding of the reality on the ground. The other day she told me that she, "just doesn't like black people for the most part." She can't acknowledge it, or follow through on it logically, but its clear a part of her brain gets that black people and black culture have been nothing but trouble for her and her live has improved as she hung out with white people and acted white.

    If we got married and had kids, I'm wondering how to handle the tough decisions. Or perhaps better, explain them. Currentely I do what I do with everyone else. Don't talk politics or HBD ever, but act based on my knowledge. I know some of the good code words like, "good schools." I'm wondering if I need to expand my vocuabulary, or learn new ways of manuevering without actually coming out in favor of HBD (if I just told her I believe in HBD she would call me a racist and dump me, despite the fact that by dating a black woman seriously I'm less racist then probably 95% of whites). How do I keep my half & halfs from hanging out with blacks and acting black (IWSBs are ok in small doses I guess). How do I tell her that her crazy black relatives would be bad influences (much the same way as in a white family I suppose, just moreso).

    Your black but believe in HBD. That is an amazing combination. How do you deal with it?

    Your black but believe in HBD. That is an amazing combination. How do you deal with it?

    I grew up in the South Bronx. I have lots of first-hand experience.

    But the real answer is that it’s just like any other uncomfortable fact about the universe. It sucks, but it just is. I had to give up a lot of my idealism to accept the reality of HBD, but my hopes for the future wouldn’t do anyone any good if they weren’t physically possible.

    if I just told her I believe in HBD she would call me a racist and dump me, despite the fact that by dating a black woman seriously I’m less racist then probably 95% of whites

    I’m lucky in that I’m a Black man dating a White woman. I have had to convince her of the reality of HBD. But I can profess belief in HBD without being accused of being racist (most of the time, anyway).

    And yet she shows some understanding of the reality on the ground. The other day she told me that she, “just doesn’t like black people for the most part.”

    See Those Who Can See. Many, if not most Blacks have good understanding of the reality on the ground. Many poor Black parents try hard to insulate their children from the influences of the ghetto, with varying degrees of success.

    Many beliefs are like politics or religion. They are hard-and-fast and no level of argument—no matter how well reasoned and factually supported—can change the minds of those who hold them. That’s a tough one to deal with.

    Maybe as the reality of HBD becomes more apparent to more people, you can talk about it more freely.

    She can’t acknowledge it, or follow through on it logically, but its clear a part of her brain gets that black people and black culture have been nothing but trouble for her and her live has improved as she hung out with white people and acted white.

    I’m sure quite a few White people have been trouble for her, too. All groups have their good points and bad points, they just vary in degree and how they require you to approach them.

    Part of the problem with accepting HBD is hope. As I noted, you have to give up your hope of people improving their lot in life en masse to accept HBD.

    How do I keep my half & halfs from hanging out with blacks and acting black

    You can’t control what you get. Their personalities will be what they’ll be. You can only hope to luck out (and you’ll probably will).

    But the answer is move to Maine! :) The most reliable way for your children to have more positive influences from their peers is to live in a more White area. Minorities in predominantly White areas tend to be of much higher quality (selection effects operate).

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  • Jayman,

    Here is an interesting quandry. I have a girlfriend who in theory it is getting pretty serious with. She is black. She is cathedral in idealogy and semi cathedral in career (government contractor, which is a lot like working for the government).

    She is above average IQ but not a genuis. She tries to be an IWSB and mostly succeeds. But I don’t think she’s smart enough to overide her cathedral upbringing, especially since she is black.

    And yet she shows some understanding of the reality on the ground. The other day she told me that she, “just doesn’t like black people for the most part.” She can’t acknowledge it, or follow through on it logically, but its clear a part of her brain gets that black people and black culture have been nothing but trouble for her and her live has improved as she hung out with white people and acted white.

    If we got married and had kids, I’m wondering how to handle the tough decisions. Or perhaps better, explain them. Currentely I do what I do with everyone else. Don’t talk politics or HBD ever, but act based on my knowledge. I know some of the good code words like, “good schools.” I’m wondering if I need to expand my vocuabulary, or learn new ways of manuevering without actually coming out in favor of HBD (if I just told her I believe in HBD she would call me a racist and dump me, despite the fact that by dating a black woman seriously I’m less racist then probably 95% of whites). How do I keep my half & halfs from hanging out with blacks and acting black (IWSBs are ok in small doses I guess). How do I tell her that her crazy black relatives would be bad influences (much the same way as in a white family I suppose, just moreso).

    Your black but believe in HBD. That is an amazing combination. How do you deal with it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Your black but believe in HBD. That is an amazing combination. How do you deal with it?
     
    I grew up in the South Bronx. I have lots of first-hand experience.

    But the real answer is that it's just like any other uncomfortable fact about the universe. It sucks, but it just is. I had to give up a lot of my idealism to accept the reality of HBD, but my hopes for the future wouldn't do anyone any good if they weren't physically possible.


    if I just told her I believe in HBD she would call me a racist and dump me, despite the fact that by dating a black woman seriously I’m less racist then probably 95% of whites
     
    I'm lucky in that I'm a Black man dating a White woman. I have had to convince her of the reality of HBD. But I can profess belief in HBD without being accused of being racist (most of the time, anyway).

    And yet she shows some understanding of the reality on the ground. The other day she told me that she, “just doesn’t like black people for the most part.”
     
    See Those Who Can See. Many, if not most Blacks have good understanding of the reality on the ground. Many poor Black parents try hard to insulate their children from the influences of the ghetto, with varying degrees of success.

    Many beliefs are like politics or religion. They are hard-and-fast and no level of argument—no matter how well reasoned and factually supported—can change the minds of those who hold them. That's a tough one to deal with.

    Maybe as the reality of HBD becomes more apparent to more people, you can talk about it more freely.


    She can’t acknowledge it, or follow through on it logically, but its clear a part of her brain gets that black people and black culture have been nothing but trouble for her and her live has improved as she hung out with white people and acted white.
     
    I'm sure quite a few White people have been trouble for her, too. All groups have their good points and bad points, they just vary in degree and how they require you to approach them.

    Part of the problem with accepting HBD is hope. As I noted, you have to give up your hope of people improving their lot in life en masse to accept HBD.


    How do I keep my half & halfs from hanging out with blacks and acting black
     
    You can't control what you get. Their personalities will be what they'll be. You can only hope to luck out (and you'll probably will).

    But the answer is move to Maine! :) The most reliable way for your children to have more positive influences from their peers is to live in a more White area. Minorities in predominantly White areas tend to be of much higher quality (selection effects operate).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In short, it’s because people are stupid.

    No, I think it’s because anti-racism is crypto-religious and parasitic on all sorts of ancient psychological mechanisms (Watson was a blasphemer and heretic questioning revealed Truth). Doubt even becomes a driver of faith: it’s when you feel insecure, or know at some level or other that you’re lying, that you get more inclined to persecute. There’s a special term for the hatred generated by theological disputes: odium theologicum. There’s no odium mathematicum. The liars and the doubters have worked harder to plug their line because they’ve known time isn’t on their side.

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  • @jayman – In short, it’s because people are stupid.

    most people are definitely stupid. (~_^)

    but i think almost equally important here, or perhaps even more important, is that most people are herders (i.e. social animals). most everybody, if they thought about it for half a second, would acknowledge that the reason they find yao ming so interesting (apart from his playing skills) is that he is really tall while at the same time most chinese people are pretty short. they all know that, on average, chinese people are pretty short. they get it. and it’s not a problem to get that.

    the problem is the conflict that sets in regarding things we are not supposed to know — or notice. that’s when the herding drive takes over common sense (and the little bit of logic that some humans possess).

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    but i think almost equally important here, or perhaps even more important, is that most people are herders (i.e. social animals).
     
    That's true. The was an excellent post by Razib(?) I remembered reading not too long ago that said something to that effect: most people believe in what's popular because it's a fairly safe bet in a world where it's impossible to verify every fact oneself—but for the life of me I couldn't find it. I think that's fairly accurate, as most people are too dumb and/or uninterested to really give it strong thought but just go with the flow.

    I would argue that it's not the bulk of the masses we'd have to worry about, but the minority of people who would use knowledge of HBD to cause trouble. I mean, look how much facts are distorted in common discourse, even when it's not something controversial (e.g., evolution).

    , @Luke Lea
    "while at the same time most chinese people are pretty short. they all know that, on average, chinese people are pretty short."

    I met the Chinese wife of a friend last week who moved here from China four years ago. She is 5'-9" tall. I asked her if that was exceptional where she came from (lived in Beijing). She said not, that with good nutrition Chinese are getting much taller. FWIW

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  • A new article of mine has just appeared in the journal Futures. All comments are welcome. Abstract Most evolutionary psychologists share a belief in one key concept: the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), i.e., the ancestral environment that shaped the heritable mental and behavioral traits of present-day humans. It is usually placed in the African...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "This belief rests on two arguments: 1) such traits are complex and therefore evolve too slowly to have substantially changed over the past fifty thousand years; 2) because the same time frame has seen our species diversify into many environments, recent traits should tend to be environment-specific and hence population-specific, yet such specificity seems inconsistent with the high genetic overlap among human populations."

    Lactose tolerance.

    If a trait provides the difference between life and death and people are placed in a situation where that selective pressure is applied e.g. people with 80% intolerance are pushed by invaders into an environment where they have to rely on milk as a food supplement or starve. A shift to 80% lactose tolerance could happen within a few generations.

    The time it takes depends on the extremity of the selection pressure.

    Similarly if certain kinds of impulsive behavior in bronze age Peking got you sawn in half by a big dude in a black mask then the frequency of impulsive alleles might go down and the frequency of restraining alleles might go up over time.

    .
    "To me the big question is how any of those traits could have spreaded if they are partially recessive and don't give any selective advantage."

    More co-operativeness?

    This would be mainly useful in social animals and in proportion to how important co-operativeness was in a particular environment.

    If you took a bunch of chimps in a safe environment and instead of breeding them for intelligence, bred them solely for niceness instead i wonder what would happen?

    I think you'd get more co-operativeness. Would that in turn somehow create better conditions for selecting for higher IQ as a multiplier?

    If co-operativeness gave a benefit x and high IQ acted as a multiplier (e.g. 1.2 times x) then as x tended to zero the benefit of higher IQ would shrink but as x grew larger the benefit of larger IQ would increase also.

    .
    "the rate of gene flow between populations is so high that stable population-specific adaptations cannot develop."

    Lactose tolerance again and a million others. The medical consequences of keeping the truth covered up and preventing medicines being designed for specific populations are probably too big for all but the most extreme blank-slaters to swallow.

    .
    "How would you explain the high intelligence of many dark-skinned south Indians? Bangalore has become a major software center because of the relatively large number of high IQ individuals."

    I don't disagree with your basic point re skin color but if this stuff is all about frequencies then 6% of a billion is larger than the total population of most european descended majority countries. Both averages and total numbers matter.

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  • The US kids are not average either. They are made to be underperformers because it make sense within the rational of the 'system'.
    My point is that a lot of the actual situation is completely artifial and has nothing to do with the real capabilities and skills of such and such ethnic group in a fair darwinian competition. I see one historical precedent to this situation but it's not PC to mention.
    So, of course there are bright individuals in Bangalore, that's not the point, let's say the economic situation in the US becomes so bad and the US salaries so low that India becomes comparatively uncompetitive, and the bangalory software business shifts to Finland, you can't use this to make a point about Finish people suddenly being very smart and Bangalory people becoming stupid or lazy.
    Too much of what's going on is twisted and is profitable only for a few elite. In general,
    those who got positions through AA in the US tend to defend and reinforce this system, since they benefit from it, they will pretend for example that bright indivuals with high IQ abroad justifies delocalisation and they will do and say everything politically correct to keep the status quo.
    I say the country who sent men on the moon 40 years ago without asian and ashkenazi technology is perfectly capable of producing bright individuals from a pool of 350 millions people, but the elite has no interest in this to happen.

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  • Well, Ben10, I have been to Bangalore and talked to the software engineers there, and they are not average.

    IQ matters a great deal …

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  • "…Bangalore has become a major software center because of the relatively large number of high IQ individuals…"

    You overestimate IQ, Peter. This example is just an opportunistic use of AVERAGE human cognitive capabilities and of a NORMAL education system (i.e. not like in the US), designed and organised by white high IQ people. Same for Ashkenazis.
    I've been teaching in the US, middle and high schools, very ethnically diverse, very hard. The education system is discriminatory against WHITE kids to the extreme. These poor kids are forced to work in an inapropriate, violent, loud, unsafe environment. These kids are also led to believe the same stereotypes about asians being smart and themselves not smart. I try to remind them that 40 years ago, without any asians, the US were able to bring a man on the moon, mostly using german technology 'acquired' during the war, i.e, without ashkenazi technology either. How could have modern white kids lost 30 points of IQ in 40 years?
    The truth is, the 'system' enforces these stereotypes of smart-math-lovers asians because it needs to delocalise thinking and decision out of the white male mind. Why? because this mind is antithetic with the 'system' and the 'system' can't coexist and won't survive with it. It's a war for survival, as simple as that. So the US school produces kids who can barely focuse 3 minutes and who learn maths by playing 'educational' shoot-them-up videogames, on purpose.
    Now the 'system' can opportunistically claim it is in dire need of high IQ individuals, anywhere in the world. High IQ Bangalore is just in fact an averaged IQ person, but who can focuse normally, and who is not a future threat, politicaly and ideologically, for the 'system'.

    Please, Wilson troll, do not troll me unless you have been teaching in Washington dc or LA suburb.
    Recently a female teacher has been fired for ranting, anonymously with a pseudo (thanks for freedom of speech), that her school produces pre-criminal individuals. I confirm she is right. In many schools that i've been, the schools produce an amazing amount of criminal behavior: how to cheat, lie and navigate the system until more agressive beahviors. This mostly concerns minorities, latinos and blacks. So in addition to white kids unable to compete with averaged IQ Bangalories, minorities perpetuates a dysfunctional society. Please, Wilson, if you are youself a minority, make an effort to understand that the 'system' plays us all.

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  • Chuck,

    Penke (like other EEA proponents) assumes that a species is a panmictic gene pool, i.e., the rate of gene flow between populations is so high that stable population-specific adaptations cannot develop.

    What is the proof for this assumption? Inevitably, the proof is Lewontin's finding that there is much more genetic variability within human populations than between human populations.

    This high degree of genetic overlap, however, is also observable between many sibling species that are nonetheless morphologically and behaviorally distinct.

    How come? The paradox is easy to explain. Genes vary considerably in adaptive value, with most being of very low adaptive value. When two populations differentiate under the influence of differing selection pressures, the genetic differentiation primarily concerns a tiny fraction of the genome, i.e., those genes that are being pushed in different directions by the two sets of selection pressures. The rest of the genome remains pretty much the same in the two populations, the differences being minor and usually due to stochastic factors (founder effects, genetic drift, etc.).

    If the above sounds too difficult to think through, try this thought experiment. Why do human populations differ in complex anatomical traits? Aren't those traits polygenic? Aren't they likewise "complex systems of genetic structures"?

    Answer: the rate of gene flow between human populations has not been sufficient to prevent the evolution of complex population-specific anatomical traits. Why would things be any different for complex behavioral traits?

    Wilson,

    She doesn't like the photo either. Says it makes her nose look too big. By the way, she's not a girlfriend. She's a 'wife'.

    Maybe epsilon males like yourself don't know the difference.

    Sykes, Ishtara,

    Good point!

    Tod,

    How would you explain the high intelligence of many dark-skinned south Indians? Bangalore has become a major software center because of the relatively large number of high IQ individuals.

    I agree that there is a rough correlation between mean intelligence and latitude, but I don't think the mediating factor is skin color.

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  • I think 'Wilson' is probably a previous commenter with a grudge who is hiding behind a new pseudonym to gratuitously insult Peter.

    I could take a guess at what his real name is.

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  • All I'm saying is the guy studies sexual dimorphism and what leads to attraction in humans, and yet he chooses such an unattractive mate.

    You might expect more from him

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  • Tod, you'r correct, the foxes were selected for behavior and ended up with pedomorphic traits, some with apparent decrease fitness compared to wildtype, such as shortened jaw and smaller canines.
    How much smart, or smarter, were these pet foxes compared to WT, I don't know. I actually always thought that wolves were smarter than their tame cousins the dogs, and that it was the case for all wild versus tame animal, because life in the wild is more intellectually demanding than as a pet.

    Obviously i don't say that the same selective mechanism was applied to human hunter gatherers, but the siberian experiment shows that you can get pedomorphic traits within 3 generations. To me the big question is how any of those traits could have spreaded if they are partially recessive and don't give any selective advantage.
    In the case of foxes, not only the pet traits were selected but the wildtype were eliminated from the breed.

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  • Tod says:

    Even within Britain there would be a considerable difference between the EEA's until the mid 18th century. The Highlands were completely lawless until then.

    "So, if poverty was one keynote of Highland life, war and violence was another. It is what made the Highlander admired, and feared.

    Daniel Defoe watched them walk the
    streets of Edinburgh. They are formidable fellows, all gentlemen, will take no affront from any man, and insolent to the last degree. But he also noted the incongruity of one of these proud men with his weapons and tartan (another myth: genuine Highlanders wore plaids in any color that pleased them, regardless of their clan) walking as upright and haughty as if he were a lord, while driving a cow in front of him. Duels, murder, and feuding were constants in the Highlands, as was scorning, or taking food and shelter by force from tenants of other clans when a feud was under way."

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  • Tod says:

    Re Ben 10's comment: " 'They didn't select for a smarter fox but for a nice fox, says Hare. But they ended up getting a smart fox.'

    For humans to select on themselves for pedomorphic traits in postglacial Europe, while staying fit at the same time, some of these traits must have given them a selective advantage. Peharps being smarter "

    I think you're on to something there but you've got a bit confused, the morphic traits (including light coat colors) were a unexpected side effect in the in the Russian fox taming experiment.

    As I understand it Peter is saying that hair skin and eye color along with face shape were the focus of sexual selection of females. So being cute and cuddly would not have been selected for, at least not directly. The data about blue eyes preventing masculinization dovetails with the fox taming resuts I think.

    The realy interesting question to my mind is whether selection for light eyes hair and skin contributed toward creating a potential for humans to become nicer and smarter.

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  • This is one of those ideas that in retrospect I wish I had thought of, although in fairness I was coming to that conclusion.

    East Asians, for example, seem to have some different characteristics, including being much more superstitious.

    (Ignore those vile comments about the love of your life.)

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  • @ Sykes, i've seen the show on TV science channel about those siberian researchers who selected the foxes, i thought they said they got their pedomorphic foxes in only 3 generations. I also have the issue of National Geographic, March 2011, page 43, on these pet foxes. The article reports that only 9 generations were needed to get floppier ears. Different pedomorphic traits were acquired at different time. Selecting only for 'friendliness towards humans', the russian researchers got, in order (generation):
    Approachability (2nd), Tail wagging(4th) and Petting (kits whimper and allow themself to be petted and carried by humans), full affinity (6th), then only morphological changes such as floppy ears and coat color variation come, such as peibaldism and star pattern on forehead (9th), curly tail (13th), shorter tail (15th).

    So, indirect selection for pedomorphy/neoteny (via cuteness) can be quite fast, but there is a big problem:
    none of these pedomorphic foxes could survive in the wild. For humans to select on themselves for pedomorphic traits in postglacial europe, while staying fit at the same time, some of these traits must have given them a selective advantage. Peharps being smarter.

    I quote the article: "They didn't select for a smarter fox but for a nice fox, says Hare. But they ended up getting a smart fox".

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  • Surely there is some degree of genetic variation between, say, Indigenous Australians, the Inuit, and the Swedish people, despite the high genetic overlap between all human populations and the often cited fact that the amount of genetic diversity within each population is higher than the differences between them. Are changes in hair and eye pigmentation not complex enough to count as more recently evolved genetic traits? What about the narrow, long noses of most European populations, or the smooth and continuously growing hair?

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  • People who make comments like Wilson are not to be trusted. His name is linked to God knows what so don't click on it.

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  • The issue regarding "complex evolved adaptations" is, What constitutes complexity? There must be some differences in adaptation between individuals in a population for evolution to occur. Chuck's argument rapidly reduces to a proof against the possibility of evolution.

    Dobzhansky and Mayr solve the problem by positing that evolution occurs in small, sexually-isolated subpopulations. Moderate differences in adaptation can then accumulate, especially if there is some inbreeding.

    The famous Russian experiment in the domestication of foxes should also be noted here. Domestication of wild foxes was completed in 20 generations. That is about 500 years of human evolution. So, it seems likely that rapid, divergent evolution in the populations that left Africa is possible.

    As to the 500 years, it is now believed by some researchers that is about how long it took to fix relatively high IQs in the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe.

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  • I can't take you seriously with your ugly girlfriend on the side

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  • It might be helpful to clarify (for the readers and me) the difference between population specific EEAs and frequency differences in shared EEAs. (i.e. Penke. "Bridging the gap between modern evolutionary psychology and the study of individual differences":

    "If adaptations were to vary between members of the same species, different individuals must show different complex systems of genetic structures. If individuals with different adaptations then engaged in sexual reproduction (which should be possible for them to qualify as members of the same species), these different genetic structures would be broken up and mixed during the process of recombination, disrupting their complex organization and consequently their adaptiveness (Tooby & Cosmides, 1990a). Thus, complex evolved adaptations themselves cannot vary between individuals. However, adaptations are sometimes capable of producing different (morphological or behavioral) phenotypes under different conditions, and systems of adaptations are sometimes able to tolerate some genetic variation.
    ")

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  • “A chimpanzee’s ability to learn is drastically reduced upon reaching maturity. But baby chimps will eagerly mimic a human caretaker – sticking out their tongues, opening their mouth wide, or making their best effort at a kissy face.” (Geoff, 2009) A newborn creature will spend much time exploring its environment. As it comes to know...
  • Bob says:

    It has been recently suggested that domesticated dogs evolved from adolescent wolves, 'frozen adolescence'.

    In the same way, might women have evolved as 'frozen adolesecent' men, 'domesticated' men in fact?

    This makes homosexuality an evolutionary intermediate step towards sexual differentiation, and also explains pederasty from a social darwinist perspective – as evolutionary overshoot.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    (apologies if this is a repeat, my earlier post appears to have been swallowed)

    Androgens are tough to measure, but female 2D:4D, which has only neonatal hormone associations, has no positive associations with academic performance, although the verbal and spatial ability correlations are as expected. Very male 2D:4D appears to have associations with musical ability amongst males.

    As to androgen sensitivity and intelligence, one way to look into this would be to look into AIS women (XYs with androgen insensitivity who develop along XX lines). This is the only such study I can see online – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2060143 – which suggests that AIS women have impaired spatial ability (even relative to their own female siblings), but no verbal advantage, make of which what you will, particularly given the low sample sizes involved and the fact that control males in the sample showed no verbal performance defecit. As to associations between AIS and schizophrenia, I can find no evidence of any, positive or negative, other than that the conditions can coincide.

    Conversely, congenital adrenogenital syndrome which occurs in XX females and high levels of masculinization, appears to have a mixed picture of increased and decreased IQ.

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  • Matt says:

    The discussion is still fascinating, if not entirely OT with Frost's post (to which digression I have contributed, as the anonymous responsible for "Neoteny seems to explain human variation fairly well…").

    As to relative androgen and estrogen levels, levels are hard to measure, but using 2D:4D as a proxy it does not appear from cursory googling that more female 2D:4D has any association with overall intelligence within human populations, although the verbal:numerical/spatial pattern is as expected by Tod. More male 2D:4D does appear to have associations with musical ability, at least in terms of playing instruments (possibly high spatial ability and relative verbal disfluency are more likely to lead to an instrumental musical career?).

    As to insensitivity to androgen receptors overall contributing to IQ increase, it would be interesting to see if AIS women (XYs with total androgen insensitivity who develop like typical XXs) have higher intelligence than control males. This – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2060143 – indicates that AIS women have impaired spatial ability (relative even to XX non-AIS females and their own [possibly partially AIS] female siblings!) but no improvement in verbal ability, make of which what you will. Google does not reveal any associations, positive or negative, between AIS or schizophrenia, other than that cases do exist in which the conditions coincide.

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  • "It seems it's not the case, and intelligent women actually tend to be less feminine."

    How'd you reach this conclusion, anon?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "In individuals I would say that there is a tendency for intelligent men to be less masculine."

    "but I think humans are, as John Manning says, oestrogenized rather than neotenic."

    And what about intelligent women ? Are they more feminine, as they ought to be if human intelligence was related to oestrogenization ?

    It seems it's not the case, and intelligent women actually tend to be less feminine.

    But is reduction of sexual dimorphism actually a case of neoteny, or a case of hyposexualization ? In other terms, are intelligent people of either gender, more "childlike", or more "androgynous" ?

    Now, maybe hyposexualized individuals perform better in intellectual work, because their lower sexual urges helps them to keep being concentrated in their tasks ?

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  • Tod says:

    The three greatest scientists – Newton, Einstein and James Clerk Maxwell – show little sigh of being particularly masculine. If anything there is a tendency to schizophrenia spectrum disorders in the most brilliant scientists

    "Newton's character and life was one made of long flashes of brilliance and followed by unexplainable eccentric behavior". Newton never married and he spent a lot of time studying the bible in order to predict the future (which was also George Price's obsession).

    Maxwell was peculiarly shy (classmates called him 'daftie') and intensely religious, he married a woman several years older (pretty unusual in those days) and never fathered a child.

    Einstein was more normal but he fathered a schizophrenic son (as did James Watson).

    Some people (John Manning) have suggested that insensitive androgen receptors increase neural speed and that schizophrenia spectrum disorders are connected with the balance of, and sensitivity to, sex hormones.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It's a good hypothesis as long as you don't go overboard.

    Neoteny seems to explain human variation fairly well, but is a simplification and leaves out elements of the development of human form (for example, the globularisation of the braincase, in which the ancestral form of Neanderthals is shared by human neonates, with humans developing along a different, less neotenous trajectory) which aren't simply the results of neoteny.

    I get the impression (not having read any of) Montagu's stuff, that he kind of postulates that all human neoteny in skin, hair and so on has selective value, which I feel is wrong. Rather it seems more likely we are neotenous on such traits simply because the ancestral "adult" traits lacked selective value in the adaptive strategy early humans progressively took on and instead imposed a burden – probably not because they were selected because they "looked" young or as a necessary side effect of selecting for other neotenous characteristic, which are the explanations I seem to get the impression of from what little I have read from Montagu and Gould on the subject.

    I think humans are, as John Manning says, oestrogenized rather than neotenic

    From what little I can tell online, adult humans have higher testosterone levels and similar levels of estrogens to chimpanzees. However, there may be a) differences in receptor activity that make this irrelevant or b) chimps may have high t levels early in development.

    Other bloggers I have read on the net have suggested that creativity is highest in high t individuals, once g is factored in, and I have not seen a within population study that shows IQ to vary inversely with t.

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  • Tod says:

    Retention of mental plasticity would be the overall trend in the human lineage. But an complementary or alternative explanation for group differences emerging over time might be puberty. (There are group differences in age of onset.)

    "Inuit Greenlanders … have fewer alleles of the sort that increase androgen receptor activity or facilitate testosterone to DHT conversion."

    From what I have read about the Inuit they are the most intelligent of all hunter gatherer peoples

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  • In individuals I would say that there is a tendency for intelligent men to be less masculine.

    The brain is resource intensive as are big muscles and testicles, and I presume they compete with each other for resources. Many intelligent individuals have not undergone purifying selection to create both an efficient brain and an efficient, masculine body.

    Since iq has advantages these individuals will make do with the shortcut. Since it is a shortcut, there are more of them, those of developed minds and frail bodies, and hence these less masculine high intelligent persons will be more commonly encountered than other variants.

    As well, there is the case that a high iq allows for more clever planning and weaponry in war and conflict, relaxing selection on body structure.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "In individuals I would say that there is a tendency for intelligent men to be less masculine."

    I'd wonder if that is true on a purely biological hormonal level, or if it's just that more intelligent men are less 'controlled' by their hormones (or whatever you want to call it) due to their ability to be more controlled by reason. Or if it's a mix of both. The biological element seems true when comparing different population groups (African Americans compared to White Americans compared to Chinese Americans, for instance) but I don't know how true it is within a population.

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  • The neoteny hypothesis of human evolution actually goes back long before Montagu and Gould (not to mention Lorenz). I believe Bolk was the one who first came up with it. It's a good hypothesis as long as you don't go overboard.

    The term 'neoteny' may actually cover two distinct phenomena:

    Real neoteny – changes in developmental timing to extend the period of mental plasticity and cerebral development.

    Apparent neoteny (or infantile mimicry) – imitation of key visual, tactile, and auditory characteristics to elicit care-giving behavior from others and to inhibit their aggressive impulses. This would account for the more child-like facial shape of human adults, especially women, as well as women's higher pitch of voice and softer, smoother, and fairer skin.

    I've heard conflicting views (mostly anecdotal) about the aptitudes of Khoisan peoples. In any case, if they were more neotenous than most humans, they would also be more intelligent as adults.

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  • Is it true that neoteny was first suggested by Ashley Montagu and Steven J Gould? There is genetic evidence for the retained plasticity theory but I think humans are, as John Manning says, oestrogenized rather than neotenic.

    Women are less robust than men and the evolutionary trend is towards less robustness. Women have better verbal intelligence and language is surely a huge part of the human intellectual evolution towards learning and retaining knowledge in adulthood.

    Bushmen/Khoisans have infantile physical characteristics to a greater extent than other humans (J.Baker in his weighty tome Race goes into quite a lot of detail about that) Their mental characteristics could be seen as childlike too.

    If we are looking at major races the East Asians are the most like children in that they have reduced sexual dimorphism. Europeans do not. Bearing their overall achievements in mind have Europeans lagged behind East Asians. If neotony is the main determinant of mental plasticity and creativity we ought to expect East Asians to be more creative than anyone.

    I think that, for all their IQ and mental stamina, East Asians are more rigid in their thinking than Europeans. Europeans are obviously oestrogenized; their colour, face shape and finger ratios leave no doubt about that.

    In individuals I would say that there is a tendency for intelligent men to be less masculine.

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  • Drinking from the wrong chalice? By his mid-40s, Michael Jackson had skin like parchment. The end of 2010 is drawing nigh, and the time has come to review my predictions from last year. Brain growth genes Back in 2005, it was found that human populations vary considerably at two genes, ASPM and microcephalin, that control...
  • Geoffrey Miller's prediction didn't really pan out?

    "Human geneticists have reached a private crisis of conscience, and it will become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis has depressing health implications and alarming political ones. In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races…"

    http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14742737

    More of the article is republished here.

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  • "Different writers, for instance, have claimed that the English are descended from one of the tribes of Israel"

    Peter, It's different. The eddas are ancient and come from the german themselves. There are no obvious political agenda to be seen in the Eddas, as opposed to the tale which you are refering. You can't seriouosly compare the two.
    But, of course when the Eddas say 'Troy' we can be suspicious of another place, but the eddas are not talking about the migration of a population or even of a tribe, they talk about few idividuals who migrated and settled in the north.
    I thought that to be that precise, the eddas could not refer to an event 6000 years old or older, it had to be more recent, maybe like one or two thousand years old.
    Passed a certain point, tales of origins are blurred by the passage of time. The older the tale, the more symbols of the 'new place' replace the symbols of the old original place. You are probably familiar with the Inuit's tales of origins. I would expect some of their tales to remotly suggest an eurasian origin or the crossing of the Berring sea, but I am not aware of any such indian tale. It has been too long for them and they believe they come from 'here'. For the eddas to say that their ancestor came 'not from here' but somewhere south east is to suggest a more recent event, IMHO.

    PS: At a time when genealogy and ancestry has become a major hobby in the general population, the fact that only one person is still allowed to work on the gene timing says a lot.

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  • ItsTheWooo2,

    The worst part is that most vitamin D studies use subjects who are already elderly, so it's difficult to measure any impact on the aging process. I also suspect that any study of aging effects would have to be very long-term. Since few people (other than MJ) were taking mega doses of vitamin D more than ten years ago, it will be some time before all the evidence comes in.

    Tod,

    The fifth category looks interesting … (there goes my Christmas break)

    Ben10,

    Nothing this year. Two years ago, Heather Norton said that she would soon have firm dates for the depigmentation of European skin. As far as I know, no one else is working on this problem.

    There are traditions that the Viking's ancestors came from the East, although this kind of meme seems due, at least in part, to the prestige of Eastern civilizations. Different writers, for instance, have claimed that the English are descended from one of the tribes of Israel.

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  • You also predicted, or maybe expected, a more precise timing for the appearance of the fair skin, hairs and eyes color genes.
    The proposed range for the most recent varied from 6000to 3000 years. Big difference. You also thought that most of these genes appeared around the end of the last ice age, 12000 years ago.

    Is there any update on that? .
    The icelandic eddas were put on paper around the 12th centuries by Snorri Sturlson and would actually make a lot of sense with a very late appearance of these genes. These stories, in the prologue part III of:
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/pre/pre03.htm
    describe Thor as a real man with unusual golden hairs coming from "asia", namely Troy, and migrating North. It actually makes sense with 3000 years old, or so, set of mutations.

    These tales must have been circulating orally in the germanic world for a long time because frankish chroniquers refered to them before the eddas were written.

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  • I was taking 2 caltrate (800 iu), a multivitamin (400 iu) and ALSO i was taking 2000 iu every other day. As a result of taking roughly 2200 iu of vitamin d per day, my health deteriorated. I began having crap for an immune system. THe smallest colds would become overwhelming. Superficial cuts became red inflammed and infected. My entire life I had a wonderful immune system – i never was sick as a child other than ear infections and routine diseases, no one in my family has any autoimmune disease. My immune system was great, it was one of the few things i reliably knew was healthy in my body. All of a sudden it was gone and I was sick all the time, like most unhealthy people today.
    I imagined many scenarios. Perhaps the bright light therapy I use for my mood/amenorrhea was causing immunosuppression? Perhaps that experimental study I participated in resulted in an autoimmmune reaction and suppressed immunity?
    I am a healthcare worker and my worst fear was that somethow I contaminated myself with HIV. My mind was going crazy.
    Then I realized the sickness problems started when I added in that 2000 iu gelcap of vitamin d. Upon stopping the gelcap, within a few weeks, I no longer found myself falling ill all the time and I was back to my previous good health. It's been many months and my health is as good as it ever was – as a result of NOT USING vitamin D.

    I think vitamin D should only be given to people who have a documented history of an inflammatory or over-immune disorder: i.e. obesity, heart disease, diabetes type II, COPD, autoimmune diseases of any kind. For someone like myself, decidedly very low inflammation, thin, healthy, no autoimmune problems and no overactive immune system symptomology, in my body this stuff is basically poison. It was like having some kind of immunosuppression disorder. I couldn't fight off a cold, I frequently got skin infections.

    I also suspect it may be aging as I noticed my skin had aged a lot in that time. Again I thought this may be due to the light box and suppressed melatonin (I started light therapy several months before vitamin D) but it would not surprise me if it were vitamin D after all.

    I take my caltrates because I have a history of osteopenia (very thin/restricted eating) and I don't think 800 iu is quite as problematic. But if I could choose I would take no vitamin D at all.

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  • This year, look for advances in the following areas: Brain growth genes Back in 2005, it was found that human populations vary considerably at two genes, ASPM and microcephalin, that control the growth of brain tissue. The finding seemed to be ‘huge’ in its implications. Then, it all fizzled out. No correlation could be found...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it's up to you to take heed.
    [url=http://2012earth.net/astronomical_picture.html
    ]planet nibiru 2012
    [/url] – some truth about 2012

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  • "did you know that very recently it was found in Austria that 25(OH)D levels correlate very well with serum testosterone"

    Does the behavior of young black men in Finland suggest they are suffering from a lack of testosterone?

    High Vitamin D

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.