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"Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are" by Robert Plomin
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From Nature (theoretically, a science journal):

Genetic determinism rides again

25 SEPTEMBER 2018

Nathaniel Comfort questions a psychologist’s troubling claims about genes and behaviour.

by Nathaniel Comfort

Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are by Robert Plomin, Allen Lane (2018)

It’s never a good time for another bout of genetic determinism, but it’s hard to imagine a worse one than this. Social inequality gapes, exacerbated by climate change, driving hostility towards immigrants and flares of militant racism. At such a juncture, yet another expression of the discredited, simplistic idea that genes alone control human nature seems particularly insidious.

And yet, here we are again with Blueprint, by educational psychologist Robert Plomin. Although Plomin frequently uses more civil, progressive language than did his predecessors, the book’s message is vintage genetic determinism: “DNA isn’t all that matters but it matters more than everything else put together”. “Nice parents have nice children because they are all nice genetically.” And it’s not just any nucleic acid that matters; it is human chromosomal DNA. Sorry, microbiologists, epigeneticists, RNA experts, developmental biologists: you’re not part of Plomin’s picture.

Crude hereditarianism often re-emerges after major advances in biological knowledge: Darwinism begat eugenics; Mendelism begat worse eugenics. The flowering of medical genetics in the 1950s led to the notorious, now-debunked idea that men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY genotype) were prone to violence. Hereditarian books such as Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s The Bell Curve (1994) and Nicholas Wade’s 2014 A Troublesome Inheritance (see N. Comfort Nature 513, 306–307; 2014) exploited their respective scientific and cultural moments, leveraging the cultural authority of science to advance a discredited, undemocratic agenda. Although Blueprint is cut from different ideological cloth, the consequences could be just as grave.

The scientific advance this time is the genome-wide association study (GWAS). Invented in 1996, GWAS has gained massively in predictive power with the advent of ‘polygenic scores’, a statistical tool that in recent years has lured social scientists to the genome, with the promise of genetic explanations for complex traits, such as voting behaviour or investment strategies. As Plomin notes, it was something they had been trying to do for a long time.

Plomin’s predecessors tried to get monogenic risk scores. … No one is so foolish as to believe in a single gene for learning disability any more.

Actually, from Wikipedia:

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder. … Fragile X syndrome is typically due to an expansion of the CGG triplet repeat within the Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene on the X chromosome.

What people don’t believe in (at least not all that much) anymore is a single gene that has a massive effect for learning ability. It’s easy to break intelligence, it’s hard to build intelligence.

Comfort continues:

.. As population geneticist Richard Lewontin pointed out in a scathing critique of Jensen’s approach in 1970, in times of plenty, height is highly heritable; in a famine, much less so (R. C. Lewontin Bull. Atom. Sci. 26, 2–8; 1970).

Womp womp, hereditarians, womp womp!

To paraphrase Lewontin in his 1970 critique of Jensen’s argument, Plomin has made it pretty clear what kind of world he wants.

I oppose him.

Now, that’s Science!

From Quillette:

Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won

written by Gregory Cochran

A review of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are by Robert Plomin. MIT Press (November 2018) 280 pages.

 
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  1. songbird says:

    Sorry, microbiologists, epigeneticists, RNA experts, developmental biologists: you’re not part of Plomin’s picture.

    It is all probiotics. Blacks need to eat yogurt, but they can’t because it is a dairy product.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  2. MBlanc46 says:

    If it’s science vs “democracy”, there’s no doubt that science will win in the end. But it will be a very nadty scrap.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @F0337
  3. Social inequality gapes…

    ( ⊃O⊂ )

    Goatse be nature or goatse be nurture?

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
  4. ‘…Social inequality gapes, exacerbated by climate change, driving hostility towards immigrants and flares of militant racism. At such a juncture, yet another expression of the discredited, simplistic idea that genes alone control human nature seems particularly insidious…’

    This guy is illiterate.

  5. “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.”

    It will take a while for liberals to come around. They have to do some radical reprogramming and rerouting but in the end, they will convince themselves that they were right all along in believing that underprivileged people are victimized by cruel forces of Nature that are beyond their control which makes them, therefore, worthy of special dispensations and consideration.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Anon
  6. F0337 says:

    Social inequality gapes, exacerbated by climate change, driving hostility towards immigrants and flares of militant racism.

    Huh? What about college fraternities? HOW COULD HE LEAVE OUT… oh nvm

  7. F0337 says:
    @MBlanc46

    If it’s science vs “democracy”, there’s no doubt that science will win in the end. But it will be a very nasty scrap.

    Well, since you put democracy in quotes, you must mean what now passes for democracy, and I believe it will beat science in a rout. Okay, for a while anyway.

    The nasty part is the part I’d enjoy, though I doubt I’ll be around for it.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  8. Social inequality gapes, exacerbated by climate change, driving hostility towards immigrants and flares of militant racism.

    This is one of the most Current-Leftist sentences ever written. Four sacred cows bound together in just sixteen words!

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @NOTA
  9. Anonymous[207] • Disclaimer says:

    Holy cow, I just read the comments under the review in Quillette. A guy aptly named Afrosapiens was lecturing to a rapt audience in comment after comment about how there was no connection between genes and IQ, and some dude came along and delivered a smackdown of near epic proportions, to which Afrosapiens responded by crying and taking his ball home.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @res
  10. At such a juncture, yet another expression of the discredited, simplistic idea that genes alone control human nature seems particularly insidious.

    The strawman. AFAIK, nobody is defending that every detail of your life is genetically determined, just that a lot of them are, specially in developed countries where the environment is close to optimal.

    Sorry, microbiologists, epigeneticists, RNA experts, developmental biologists: you’re not part of Plomin’s picture

    .

    Development is determined mostly by the genes. RNA metabolism is genetically encoded. Epigenetics, this God-of-the-lacunes of antigeneticists, depends on proteins regulating DNA methylation in response to environment… proteins which are, naturally, also encoded by the genome. Gut microbiome (which I think is what he’s referring to) is the only thing in that list that may depend less on human genetics and more on environment.

    Genetics is inescapable.

    Crude hereditarianism often re-emerges after major advances in biological knowledge: Darwinism begat eugenics; Mendelism begat worse eugenics.

    That should get one thinking, no?

    The flowering of medical genetics in the 1950s led to the notorious, now-debunked idea that men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY genotype) were prone to violence.

    Yes… and also let to the description of hundreds of monogenic genetic diseases. One failure, hundreds of successes.

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  11. trelane says:

    Mr. Comfort, as far as I can tell from Google, has never done a day’s work in his life and appears to be a rent-extracting parasite residing in the make-believe Mr. Rogers world of elite academia.

    • Replies: @TGGP
    , @F0337
  12. TGGP says: • Website
    @trelane

    Specifically, Comfort’s PhD is in history (which is what he teaches), although he does have an M.S in neurobiology and behavior. Plomin is a psychologist & geneticist, and Nature could have chosen someone in one of those fields.

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @trelane
  13. trelane says:
    @TGGP

    My dentist has academic credentials equal to Mr. Comfort. He has a B.A. in biology and a medical degree. He also makes a lot more money than Comfort. But I don’t turn to my dentist for advice on social or political issues. I don’t know why Nature does.

    • Replies: @res
  14. Sean says:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6170137/Is-thought-knew-parenting-wrong-Geneticist-reveals-secret.html

    Plomin’s revolutionary conclusion — outlined in a challenging and thought-provoking new book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are — is a game-changer, he claims, with far-reaching implications for psychology and for society.

    He turns much conventional thinking on its head, controversially calling into question many basic assumptions, such as the value of formal education to change people’s lives.

    It also undermines the parenting advice industry, the basis of all those groaning shelves of manuals telling us the right way to bring up our children and the disasters that will ensue if we get it wrong.

    These sell because every parent wants to think they can make a difference to their child, that they can help him or her with reading and arithmetic or teach them how to be kind or conscientious. But, says Plomin, there’s no hard evidence that this is true. [...] And whether we’re resilient to life’s catastrophes or cave in is determined by our DNA, too.

    Plomin writes: ‘Expensive schooling cannot survive a cost–benefit analysis on the basis of school achievement itself.’

    If your genes fit, you’ll do well; and, if they don’t, no amount of cash can change the abilities you’re born with.

    What all schools should aspire to, he maintains, is to be places where children can learn to enjoy learning for its own sake, rather than frenetically teaching pupils to pass the exams that will improve the school’s standing in league tables.

    Not that the influence of our DNA is confined to our early years when we’re growing up.

    Indeed, Plomin shows that it gets stronger as we get older. More and more, we revert to type. Yes, other factors impact on us, such as our relationships with partners, children and friends, our jobs and interests. All contribute to give life meaning.

    But they don’t fundamentally change who we are psychologically — our personality, our mental health and our cognitive abilities. Good and bad things happen to us, but eventually we rebound to our genetic trajectory. Many people, Plomin acknowledges, will be aghast at his ‘bold conclusion’.

    • Replies: @F0337
    , @Sean
    , @Pat Shuff
  15. BenKenobi says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Lewd!

    Back in 2004 when I was Private Kenobi living in the barracks that grouping of websites was still generally new. My barracks, G-101 on CFB Petawawa, became the site of the notorious “Spin War”.

    The website was [meat/spin+dot=com]. If you’re familiar you understand why I broke up the link.

    This was the game: sneak into someone’s room and set their browser homepage to the link in question. This went on for some time. I eventually developed a technique I called the “counter-spin”: set my own homepage to the link in question and leave my room deliberately unguarded, so that whoever opened my browser to spin me was instead himself spun.

  16. F0337 says:
    @trelane

    Mr. Comfort, as far as I can tell from Google, has never done a day’s work in his life and appears to be a rent-extracting parasite residing in the make-believe Mr. Rogers world of elite academia.

    Just saying: that right there’s a whole mess of redundancy.

  17. El Dato says:

    It’s sad to see the Lysenkoist style in Nature’s pages.

    Gulagization soon.

    science to advance a discredited, undemocratic agenda

    Because science teaches us that the universe tends towards max democracy.

    For long before MIT Press wakes up to its democratic potential and delists the book? Their catalogue is rather woke already.

    (Is there a specific reason why people publish with MIT Press? Their books are rather pricey and content quality varies widely; although the hardcovers really look good.)

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  18. F0337 says:
    @Sean

    Apparently the DM hasn’t gone full PC yet after all. Good to see.

    Quick G search indicates that the American MSM is ignoring the book.

    • Replies: @Sean
  19. Wikipedia is unusually silent on Plomin’s background. He was born in Chicago. That’s it. He’s the third husband of a much older British scientist.

    Plomin is a city in Istria, basically an Alsace on the Adriatic. But that’s not where folks named Plomin are distributed.

    It’s even more silent on Comfort, but from his picture, I doubt he is Nigerian. Nigeria may soon overtake the US in the number of Comforts.

    https://forebears.io/surnames/plomin

    https://forebears.io/surnames/comfort

  20. Nature is a very important science journal and its editorial policies can impact the direction of scientific research. For an early-career scientist, one article accepted into Nature could mean a career as a research-oriented academic at a top institution; an article rejection could mean instead a career as a teaching-oriented faculty at a lower-grade institution. So this kind of blatant political bias is not a joke – it is a serious problem for scientific progress.

    In terms of content, this book review in Nature is a sad joke – it belongs in an undergraduate newspaper at a left-wing college, ignored by all but a few hopeless ideologues smoking dope. That this is published in Nature should make all who care about scientific progress both laugh and cry.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  21. El Dato says:

    OT: Anti-manspreading art&protest project in Putin’s Russia

    https://www.rt.com/news/439420-bleach-st-petersburg-manspreading/

    Anna Dovgalyuk, who previously gained notoriety for fighting upskirting with a video of a girl flashing her underwear, has now felt it necessary to take a stand against men who spread their legs when they sit. A woman of action, Ms. Dovgalyuk says she mixed 30 liters of water with 6 liters of bleach, and an accomplice of hers then poured the patriarchy-cleansing cocktail on the crotches of various “manspreading” strangers minding their own business on the St. Petersburg metro.

    There seem to be not many aggressive males in St. Petersburg.

  22. “No one is so foolish as to believe in a single gene for learning disability any more.”

    What’s Down’s syndrome caused by then? Or is a single extra chromosome considered to be a lot of genes (which it is)? As they all come together in one lump, that seems to be hair splitting.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_21

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  23. Anon[394] • Disclaimer says:

    You could coin a law similar to Godwin’s Law here. Rather than, When you mention Hitler you lose the argument, it’s, When you mention epigenetics you are admitting that you know you’ve lost the argument and are retreating to your backup position.

  24. The flowering of medical genetics in the 1950s led to the notorious, now-debunked idea that men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY genotype) were prone to violence.

    I know a biology teacher who, as recently as 25 years ago, was still spreading that one.

    … leveraging the cultural authority of science to advance a discredited, undemocratic agenda.

    Science is democratic? You mean, the ultimate nature of reality is up for a vote? Kewl! Then I say, free ice cream for everybody!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @F0337
  25. Anon[402] • Disclaimer says:
    @ThreeCranes

    Yep. Judging from Kathryn Paige Harden’s recent NY Times op piece, after the July GWAS IQ paper announcement, her upcoming book will lean this way. Yes, intelligence is genetic, but it’s unearned, so the dull will have to be compensated, and their environmental needs accommodated, however little benefit they really derive.

    But success in our educational system is partially a result of genetic luck. No one earned his or her DNA sequence, yet some of us are benefiting enormously from it. By showing us the links between genes and educational success, this new study reminds us that everyone should share in our national prosperity, regardless of which genetic variants he or she happens to inherit.

    A college friend makes his living as a shadow to an autistic, attending classes with him in case the student acts up. In the future smart people may work as buddies to dumb people, paid for by the government

  26. Sean says:
    @Sean

    When it comes to ideological space, America is a rather small country.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  27. @Digital Samizdat

    Wiki

    “In April 1968, The New York Times—using Telfer as a main source—introduced the XYY genetic condition to the general public in a three-part series on consecutive days that began with a Sunday front-page story about the planned use of the condition as a mitigating factor in two murder trials in Paris[38] and Melbourne[39]—and falsely reported that Richard Speck was an XYY male and that the condition would be used in an appeal of his murder conviction.[34][40] The series was echoed the following week by articles—again using Telfer as a main source—in Time and Newsweek,[41] and six months later in The New York Times Magazine.[42]

    In December 1968, the Journal of Medical Genetics published the first XYY review article—by Michael Court Brown,[43] director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit—which reported no overrepresentation of XYY males in nationwide chromosome surveys of prisons…”

    Amazing. Debunked within the year, yet the lie went round the world. As adolescents in the UK we’d look at some thuggish chap we encountered and smirk to each other – “extra Y chromosome’.

    Anon 8.34 – “In the future smart people may work as buddies to dumb people, paid for by the government” – but in the future there won’t be enough smart people to go round, and the dumb people won’t pay enough taxes to fund the smart people looking after them.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  28. anon[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    That’s how Negroes act when they meet an enemy that threatens them when they can’t swarm it with higher numbers.

  29. F0337 says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    I know a biology teacher who, as recently as 25 years ago, was still spreading that one.

    I think they all do now, or at least most of them.

    Science is democratic? You mean, the ultimate nature of reality is up for a vote? Kewl! Then I say, free ice cream for everybody!

    Similarly, “Science” has “cultural authority” insofar as it can be “leveraged” in support of our Woke political objectives. Any other use is Nazi.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  30. Pat Shuff says:
    @Sean

    “As Plomin puts it, parents are not carpenters who construct their children, and are hardly even gardeners.”

    ‘Parenting barely matters’ is increasingly embraced by professionals with supportive data.
    Having three kids and now six preschool grandkids I simply cannot accept it, prima facie.
    The moment to moment evidence screams otherwise. I continue learning in behavior altering ways from my long deceased parents, my kids from us, theirs from them and us and ours. It is simply so.

    These professionals surely have, had children, grandchildren, varying in age and of different genders.

    “But they don’t fundamentally change who we are psychologically — our personality, our mental health and our cognitive abilities.”

    Balderdash. From penitentiary populations to Nobelists argue otherwise and will attest to it unreservedly. My story, stickin’ to it.

  31. @Pat Shuff

    I would hardly be surprised that the notion that Nature obliterates Nurture may have more to do with what is measured than what matters.

    • Replies: @Pat Shuff
    , @Desiderius
    , @F0337
  32. Strangely enough, useless genetic information is very important in animal breeding. There’s even an EPD (Expected Progeny Difference) score for temperament.

  33. Anonymous[159] • Disclaimer says:

    ” To paraphrase Lewontin in his 1970 critique of Jensen’s argument, Plomin has made it pretty clear what kind of world he wants. I oppose him.”

    - This is the modern leftist in a nutshell. When a mountain of facts and logic come along that disagree with my worldview, I am not to carefully consider them and make adjustments in my views so they align more closely with reality, no, the problem is that the facts don’t fit my worldview, and I should silence (by any means necessary) anyone who does anything other than denounce them.

  34. ic1000 says:

    Elite University Professor Nathaniel Comfort could learn quite a lot from reading the humble bloggers Jayman and HBD Chick.

    In terms of “how to write an intellectual essay.” He would also benefit from their subject-matter expertise.

  35. NOTA says:
    @ThirdWorldSteveReader

    The sentence is wonderful. It makes no real sense on an object level, but it absolutely piles on the negatively-charged words. You can almost see the fnords!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  36. Flip says:

    This guy is no different than a creationist or a flat earther.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  37. Anonymous[126] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Shuff

    Don’t disagree that parenting matters but another point to consider is that your genetic make up has a big role in how you parent. For instance it has significant influence on intelligence, traits like patience and impulsivity, whether you are prone to easily anger, generosity, hard working, mental illness, addiction etc.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  38. ic1000 says:

    I scored each sentence of Prof. Comfort’s review and came up with this tally (a few multi-clause sentences went to two categories):

    31 — Recitations of uncontested facts and/or neutral tone
    8 — Points of general agreement with Plomin
    3 — Points of intellectual disagreement with Plomin
    23 — Assertions of moral superiority to Plomin and/or “point-and-sputter”
    3 — Lies and/or distortions

    The latter category is comprised of:

    Plomin understands this [that polygenic scores themselves are in no sense causal] and says so repeatedly in the book — yet [Plomin] contradicts himself several times by arguing that the scores are, in fact, causal.

    …the benefits of good teaching, of school lunches and breakfasts, of having textbooks and air-conditioning and heating and plumbing have been established irrefutably. And they actually are causal: we know why stable blood sugar improves mental concentration. Yet Plomin dismisses such effects [the benefits of good teaching, of school lunches and breakfasts, of having textbooks and air-conditioning and heating and plumbing] as “unsystematic and unstable, so there’s not much we can do about them”.

    His [Plomin's] utopia is a forensic world, dictated by polygenic algorithms and the whims of those who know how to use them. People would be defined at birth by their DNA. Expectations would be set, and opportunities, resources and experiences would be doled out — and withheld — a priori, before anyone has had a chance to show their mettle. [I'm counting Comfort's description of Plomin's "utopia" as a single lie or distortion.]

    I haven’t read Plomin’s book, but I strongly suspect that Comfort is lying when he asserts: that Plomin argues that polygenic scores are causal, and that Plomin dismisses good teaching, textbooks, etc. as unsystematic and unstable, and that Plomin’s utopic vision is that people be defined at birth by their DNA. (It’d be nice if somebody with the ebook could comment!)

    Three points of intellectual interest in an 18-paragraph review is a pretty meager return for the reader. By a different metric, the 1:1 ratio of fact-checking failures and points of interest is a pretty damning critique of Nature‘s editorial practices.

  39. @Peter Johnson

    SJWism is a virus that feeds on men who thought they had better things to do growing up than master dominance hierarchies.

    We’d best make up for lost time with all due pace.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
  40. Anon[226] • Disclaimer says:

    Professor Comfort and his female wife and daughter and son, presumably fathered by the professor.

    Many photos online of his ear piercings, which seem to have proliferated with age, and are not crazy things from his youth.

  41. @Anon

    This is rife in public schools, where they’re known as aides. It’s one of many reasons that schools have gotten so expensive.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  42. @Pat Shuff

    Yes, I always look at my kids and wonder what is the difference I’m making and what is inevitable. There’s just too many variables to put it down to this protein binding to that molecule, or not.

    One bad friend, or even one bad party in HS can mess somebody up for years, or for life.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  43. Just a thought – could the Comfort Girl be the real-world identity of Afrosapiens, prolific commenter on IQ across any site where its discussed (including Cochran’s review)?

  44. @Pat Shuff

    The moment to moment evidence screams otherwise. I continue learning in behavior altering ways from my long deceased parents, my kids from us, theirs from them and us and ours. It is simply so.

    If parenting doesn’t matter, you can replace parents with professionals. Specifically the professionals telling you that parenting doesn’t matter.

    As I have learnt painfully, anytime someone tells you they deserve to have more power over other people, they are probably lying and planning on screwing you over.

  45. @ThirdWorldSteveReader

    “Development is determined mostly by the genes”

    Kostas Kampourakis writes in his book Making Sense of Genes (pg 19):

    First, I show that genes “operate” in the context of development only. This means that genes are impllicated in the development of characters but do not determine them. Second, I explain why single genes do not alone produce characters or disease but contribute to their variation. This means that genes can account for variation in characters but cannot alone explain their origin. Third, I show that genes are not the masters of the game but are subject to complex regulatory processes.

    • Replies: @ThirdWorldSteveReader
  46. @Desiderius

    That is a red queen’s race. The winning strategy is burning heretics.

  47. @Anon

    IQ tests involve formal thinking. Formal thinking is not a physical nor function of physical processes. The hunt for “IQ genes” is a waste of time. Cognition (thinking) is intentional and therefore irreducible.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  48. I have figured out why you fat lazy old men become scientific racists.

    Because you are stupid.

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @3g4me
  49. Sean says:
    @Pat Shuff

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3119063/Can-scientists-spot-pedophile-Study-claims-likely-physical-deformities-left-handed.html

    John Gotti had a prison tested IQ of over 140. I think I read somewhere that he tested 150 in high school.

    Nobel prize winner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nurse

    Obviously one can alter the context of decisions by carrot and stick, but you have only altered their behavior. You can’t alter them. Or yourself.

    Balderdash.From penitentiary populations to Nobelists argue otherwise and will attest to it unreservedly. My story, stickin’ to it.

    Like the pine trees lining the winding road
    I got a name, I got a name
    Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
    I got a name, I got a name
    And I carry it with me like my daddy did
    But I’m living the dream that he kept hid
    Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway
    Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
    Like the north wind whistlin’ down the sky
    I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
    Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
    I’ve got a song, I’ve got a song
    And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
    If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud
    Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway
    Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by
    And I’m gonna go there free
    Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
    I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream
    They can change their minds but they can’t change me …

    I Got A Name (Jim Croce)

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  50. MBlanc46 says:
    @F0337

    My saving grace is that I’ll be checking out in 10–15 years.

  51. res says:
    @Anonymous

    Just to make sure I did not miss an even better smackdown of Afrosapiens… ; )

    This was the comment, right?

    https://quillette.com/2018/09/25/forget-nature-versus-nurture-nature-has-won/#comment-37015

    Afrosapiens’ “response” was pretty funny as well (and typical of him). I wonder if he realizes how much his comments reek of projection?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  52. res says:
    @trelane

    I don’t know why Nature does.

    Because the writing on the wall is so obvious at this point that they can’t find anyone more qualified willing to parrot the Narrative?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  53. res says:
    @Anon

    Thanks. I managed to miss that somehow. Here is a link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/opinion/dna-nature-genetics-education.html

    Paige Harden’s views seem to be evolving a bit. This iSteve post from last year offers a comparison: http://www.unz.com/isteve/vox-charles-murray-is-once-again-peddling-junk-science-about/#comment-1877892

  54. Anon[830] • Disclaimer says:

    He says that nature or genetic explanations tend to emerge after major scientific advances. And then, without any explanation, he seems to want us to conclude that that fact makes the explanations suspect or false.

    Wouldn’t the opposite be true, that when each new advance seems to further verify a theory, from a different direction or with different evidence, the theory is strengthened?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  55. Sean says:
    @F0337

    Plomin chose wisely when he came here, he dominates the field in this country. Britain is unimportant, so he is given more leeway. But God help someone like Arthur Jensen (trained in London by Hans Eysenck ) who goes back to America thinking that they will be allowed to teach this stuff .

    • Agree: F0337
    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  56. @YetAnotherAnon

    the dumb people won’t pay enough taxes to fund the smart people looking after them.

    They don’t pay much if anything in taxes today.  By the time you’re down to the average Af-Am IQ of 85, you’re looking at a per-capita tax sink of over $10,000 per year.  (The USA needs an IQ floor for reproduction, probably around 93.)

    Dumb people can’t afford to pay smart people to babysit them individually, period.  The opportunity cost is too great.  Ayn Rand was foresighted enough to put the reaction in her character John Galt.

    in the future there won’t be enough smart people to go round

    The existence of shithole countries is caused by not enough smart people to run them at a first-world standard.  See “smart fraction theory”.

  57. @Sean

    He taught at the U of Colorado and Penn State before moving to the UK in 1994. One of the 52 signatories on the WSJ Op-Ed supporting The Bell Curve. Jensen only got in trouble when he wrote that 1969 article, he apparently changed his mind regarding IQ after studies at Berkeley.

    • Replies: @Sean
  58. @stillCARealist

    My niece babysits, er, I mean teaches, Kindergarten in Falls Church and she has an aide. Which might be one reason why Falls Church spends $18,418 per student per school year.

    • Replies: @F0337
  59. @stillCARealist

    Just do the best you can. Like I told my kids, that is all the world, and God, requires of us.

    • Agree: ic1000
  60. 3g4me says:
    @obwandiyag

    @52 Obwandiyag: “I have figured out why you fat lazy old men become scientific racists.

    Because you are stupid.”

    Aw Bandylegs, you mad again bro? Yeah, being alien, ugly, and ignorant must get tiresome.

  61. MarkinLA says:
    @RaceRealist88

    Well one of the components of IQ testing is time limits. There has to be something physical in the ability of two people to see the correct answer at different times. Derbyshire has talked about this when he was a math student and I saw it myself. He admitted that it took him a lot longer to see what the professor was trying to explain than the truly gifted math students. I saw 18 year olds talking to the professor at his level in an upper division math class that all math majors took and above everybody else. Nobody in that class would have studied material like that in any high school. Nobody in the class was incapable of understanding what was said by those two – we just needed a whole day to put the pieces together and not the 5 minutes it took that one student.

  62. MarkinLA says:
    @Sean

    John Gotti had a prison tested IQ of over 140. I think I read somewhere that he tested 150 in high school.

    Gotti was a success in his world. Technology just overwhelmed him by catching him plotting to whack Sammy Gravano.

    • Replies: @Sean
  63. @RaceRealist88

    I stand by what I wrote. Most of the development is genetically encoded. The “regulatory processes” (assuming he means regulation of gene expression) are themselves genetically encoded, and respond to environment according to the organism’s genetics. That’s not to say that environment plays no role; just that the role is smaller than assumed. A human embryo will never end up looking like a chimp, no matter the environmental conditions.

    If genes were not the main drivers for organism development, how would you explain the extreme physical similarity between identical twins, as compared to siblings or fraternal twins?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  64. @Pat Shuff

    From penitentiary populations to Nobelists argue otherwise and will attest to it unreservedly.

    Regression to the mean.

  65. .. As population geneticist Richard Lewontin pointed out in a scathing critique of Jensen’s approach in 1970, in times of plenty, height is highly heritable; in a famine, much less so (R. C. Lewontin Bull. Atom. Sci. 26, 2–8; 1970).

    My question: do these modern “progressives” have a clue?

    Of course, “nurture” is extremely powerfully … negatively. If you don’t get enought to eat, or proper nutrition, you’ll be stunted–physically and mentally. If you are “raised by wolves”, you aren’t going to ace the SAT verbal. If someone shoots you in the head, your IQ will be really low.

    But contrary wise is not true. You can’t make a Down’s syndrome kid a genius by playing Baby Einstein tapes or giving him AP classes. Nutrition and stretching exercises can’t give an average kid the body of an NBA center. Nothing you can do can get a chimpanzee to write Shakespeare. There is a genetic “ceiling”.

    Thus he more you “equalize the enivironment”–adequate nutrition, decent schooling; the sort of stuff old style leftists and progressives used to care about–then more and more of the differences that remain will be genetic. Back in the day this was understood–ok not by commie true believers, but by progressives–and the idea was “equal opportunity” would allow intrinsic “merit” to rise to the top.

    Is this not obvious? Progressively improve and equalize “nurture” and “nature” will be increasingly dominant? We aren’t talking high level triple bank shot reasoning here. I could suss this out when i was ten.

    Now we have vast numbers of our “elites” who rant wildly as if the obvious is beyond them. Weird.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  66. F0337 says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    Falls Church and Arlington used to have stellar demographics and sterling finances. But their tax base (particular Arlington’s) was so productive (particularly commercial & institutional real estate) that the cash flow proved too great a temptation to the Democrats that residents started electing to ‘serve’ them back in the 90s.

    Now both jurisdictions have been raising taxes to pay for the imported underclass, mostly latino. I will say one thing though–it’s a great place to be a third-world immigrant. But so is most of America, and such is the problem. It’s hard to believe, but both of these solidly-democrat locales were republican barely a generation ago.

  67. @AnotherDad

    “We aren’t talking high level triple bank shot reasoning here. “

    Don’t sell yourself short. That’s a powerful insight I hadn’t considered.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  68. F0337 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Yep that says a mouthful.

    • Replies: @Pat Shuff
  69. The Replication Crisis continues to reveal that “science” has a powerful publication bias toward politically correct results. By contrast, non-PC results (see e.g. Putnam’s research on the negative effects of diversity on social capital), must run a far more rigorous gauntlet of methodology, sample size and peer review to ever see the light of day.

    Has it finally started to sink in to the masses yet that the more PC a study result is, the less likely it is to be true? And the more non-PC it is, the more reliable it must be. This kind of heuristic is inevitable to anyone who really cares to discern the truth.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  70. @Desiderius

    I agree. It is an important insight that equality of opportunity is the enemy of equality of outcome, at least when people have widely varying levels of talent.

    For example, giving everyone access to free K-12 education sets a (not very high), floor on basic literacy. But it also creates a stark hierarchy based on GPA, AP classes, etc. that sorts the wheat from the chaff in terms of who is smart and/or hard-working enough for college and good jobs.

    So people talk about education as a social equalizer, when mostly it serves to sort the winners from the losers.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  71. Sean says:
    @Unladen Swallow

    I do not think anyone changed Jensen’s mind really, everyone in the field had always known these things although almost all of them did not discuss it in public. Jensen did post doctorate work in London under Eysenck in the mid 50s. Presumably he chose to go to Eysenck, but a bit of Eysenck’s readiness to engage in controversy rubbed off.

  72. anon[156] • Disclaimer says:

    Sure, in the Soviet Union publishing articles that went against the Party’s ideology was also next to impossible. We live in a modern-day Soviet Union, but at least there are no lines for bread and toilet paper (yet).

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  73. Sean says:
    @MarkinLA

    It was just a bull session, but other top mafioso knew better that to ever talk about old murders with anyone.. The FBI counter intel people were suddenly looking for work and expended a vast amount of resources getting him him. They eventually manged to tape him reminiscing about the murder of Paul Castellano his old boss, which Gotti had done without sanction from head of the other Families (Gotti would have been killed with a car bomb by another Family, but the FBI warned him). Gotti was a powerful captain but too tempting a target for the FBI. Much too tempting. They wanted to be Eliot Ness.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-lance/al-qaeda-and-the-mob-how-_b_34336.html

    By 1997 “getting Gotti” became the “top investigative priority” of the NYO and the personal obsession of Special Agent Bruce Mouw who called the Gambino boss as “a stone cold killer.” [...] It wasn’t until Mouw and the FBI’s Special Operations Group (SOG) were able to install mikes in the apartment of Netti Cirelli, who lived upstairs from the club, that they caught Gotti in the incriminating conversations with Sammy “The Bull” Gravano that finally brought him down in 1992. It was a victory that cemented the reputation of the FBI as the law enforcement agency that “always gets its man.”

    This story is very well known. What’s not known — and will be revealed in detail with the publication next week of my new book Triple Cross — is that the same New York Office of the FBI – also known as the bin Laden “office of origin,” blew an opportunity in the summer of 2001 – to stop the 9/11 “planes as missiles” plot dead in its tracks. How? by merely applying the same dogged surveillance techniques across the Hudson in Jersey City to an al Qaeda hot spot that one former FBI informant had called “a nest of vipers.”

    The address was 2828 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City; the location of Sphinx Trading, a check cashing and mailbox store that does millions of dollars in wire transfers each year between New Jersey and the Middle East. Sphinx was incorporated on December 15th, 1987 by Waleed al Noor and Mohammed El-Attris, an Egyptian. The store was located only four doors down from the al-Salam mosque, presided over by blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (OAR). Rahman runs like a hot circuit cable through the epic story of FBI failures on the road to 9/11.

    Convicted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in 1995 along with 9 other members of a “jihad army” for seditious conspiracy, [...] So the NYO “office of origin” had good reason to focus on the dingy gray three-story building at 2824 Kennedy Boulevard that also housed what the Feds called “The Jersey Jihad Office.” [...] Ali Mohamed was a metaphor for the dozens and dozens of counterterrorism failures by the NYO and SDNY on the road to 9/11 – while agents in the New York office like Bruce Mouw remained so obsessed with bringing down “The Dapper Don.” .

  74. @Anonymous

    Yes. And the genetic traits of your children matter, too. If they are predisposed to be demanding and defiant, you can’t parent in the same way as if they were docile and compliant.

    Sociologists piled up a mountain of studies supposedly showing that permissive, kindly parenting made for better-behaved children. I think Judith Rich Harris was the first person to notice that this great body of research simply confuses correlation with causation — i.e., if your kids are well behaved in the first place you don’t need to hit them or yell at them.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  75. Pat Shuff says:
    @F0337

    Aye. Succinctly cleaved my mental conundrum, that both parenting positions may have validity albeit appearing to be mutually exclusive at first glance.

    ‘I would hardly be surprised that the notion that Nature obliterates Nurture may have more to do with what is measured than what matters.’ –Stevil

  76. johnD says: • Website

    re; airline food, not Gilbert Gottfried, but it will do..

  77. Dr bob says:

    For openers, Robert Plomin isn’t an “educational psychologist.” His work’s in behaviorial genetics, and has been since the 1970s.

    For another, please leave the twistings of the science to Trumpists. At least stop cherrypicking what the man wrote for your own purposes.

  78. MEH 0910 says:

  79. MEH 0910 says:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  80. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    The fault in his seeds: Lost notes to the case of bias in Samuel George Morton’s cranial race science

    Abstract

    The discovery of nearly 180-year-old cranial measurements in the archives of 19th century American physician and naturalist Samuel George Morton can address a lingering debate, begun in the late 20th century by paleontologist and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould, about the unconscious bias alleged in Morton’s comparative data of brain size in human racial groups. Analysis of Morton’s lost data and the records of his studies does not support Gould’s arguments about Morton’s biased data collection. However, historical contextualization of Morton with his scientific peers, especially German anatomist Friedrich Tiedemann, suggests that, while Morton’s data may have been unbiased, his cranial race science was not. Tiedemann and Morton independently produced similar data about human brain size in different racial groups but analyzed and interpreted their nearly equivalent results in dramatically different ways: Tiedemann using them to argue for equality and the abolition of slavery, and Morton using them to entrench racial divisions and hierarchy. These differences draw attention to the epistemic limitations of data and the pervasive role of bias within the broader historical, social, and cultural context of science.

    Comfort takes comfort from this?

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