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From a new paper (PDF) released yesterday:

GENETIC CONSEQUENCES OF SOCIAL STRATIFICATION IN GREAT BRITAIN

ABSTRACT
Human DNA varies across geographic regions, with most variation observed so far reflecting distant ancestry differences. Here, we investigate the geographic clustering of genetic variants that influence complex traits and disease risk in a sample of ~450,000 individuals from Great Britain. Out of 30 traits analyzed, 16 show significant geographic clustering at the genetic level after controlling for ancestry, likely reflecting recent migration driven by socio-economic status (SES). Alleles associated with educational attainment (EA) show most clustering, with EA-decreasing alleles clustering in lower SES areas such as coal mining areas. Individuals that leave coal mining areas carry more EA-increasing alleles on average than the rest of Great Britain. In addition, we leveraged the geographic clustering of complex trait variation to further disentangle regional differences in socio-economic and cultural outcomes through genome-wide association studies on publicly available regional measures, namely coal mining, religiousness, 1970/2015 general election outcomes, and Brexit referendum results.

In other words, even leaving aside immigrants, scientists can see that English people who migrate out of coal towns like Rotherham for the bright lights of the metropolis tend to have higher polygenic scores for educational attainment (i.e., years of education) than English people who stay home in dead end coal towns. Of course, a simpler way to do this would be just to ask people what their years of educational attainment are, but it’s kind of cool that you can get to a similar result by looking at their DNA.

Once you have some proof of concept studies like this, it might be possible to move on to tests where the answers are more up in the air at present. For example, Dalton Conley wants to test Richard Herrnstein’s famous 1972 theory that in the past in America there was less assortative mating on IQ than after the college testing revolution. One way to do it is look at the DNA of old people or of dead people and estimate their IQ (or a correlate like educational attainment) from that and see if they married less assortatively than young people.

I look forward to testing Herrnstein’s thesis because, while it seems obvious on logical grounds, it would be nice to know for sure. After all, Herrnstein wasn’t really that familiar with the Old America, so he was just making up a plausible story. Social history can be complicated.

Conley’s first try a half decade ago using very early polygenic scores didn’t find much support for Herrnstein’s theory, but now polygenic scores are based on much larger sample sizes, so his rather brilliant brainstorm is now more practicable.

 
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  1. J.Ross says: • Website

    Twitter appears to have suspended Julian Assange’s account. As always there is the completely meaningless, uncheckable, and unappealable claim that rules or terms of service were somehow violated. How’s your Sesame Credit score?

    https://twitter.com/JulianAssange

    • Replies: @Lot
  2. Richard Herrnstein’s famous 1972 theory that in the past in America there was less assortative mating on IQ than after the college testing revolution.

    There was plenty of assortative mating in the past on things other than IQ. Particularly class and religion. There’s only so much room in one’s society, and in one’s mind, to assort with.

    And that’s assorta the way it’s always been.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  3. nglaer says:

    Unz has taken all the anti-Semitic stuff off the front page of his website. Wonder why.

  4. @J.Ross

    Is that Don Lemon?

    Way OT: It has snowed in LA only once in Steve’s lifetime, when he was three:

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @duncsbaby
  5. Individuals that leave coal mining areas carry more EA-increasing alleles on average than the rest of Great Britain.

    It is less well known that they leave at a velocity proportional to the number of EA-increasing alleles. And so John Derbyshire found himself in China.

  6. Lot says:
    @J.Ross

    Assange is a traitor to the Anglosphere who will eventually be evicted from his embassy and brought to justice in an American prison. One thing both Obama and Trump got right.

  7. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    That photo is 1844 feet above sea level, on Foothill Blvd in Tujunga. iSteve HQ would not have had nearly so much snow.

  8. istevefan says:

    I don’t know if someone has posted this tweet from Trump, but it is a doozy. He is really hitting it hard on immigration. This one is a gem.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  9. slumber_j says:

    When I used to drink with Oxford graduate students in philosophy in the very early Nineties, one of the funniest guys was a former rail switch attendant (or whatever that job was actually called) who, given the only intermittent demands of his former occupation, had for some years found himself with a lot of time on his hands.

    He’d left school without any whatever-levels and I think maybe without even having graduated, but in that time he devoted this time to reading stuff, and a lot of the stuff he read was philosophy. And then he went to Oxford to finish his studies.

    I particularly remember one of his papers’ titles: Popper’s Got a Brand-New Bag.

    Excellently he was from a formerly coal-mining town in Derbyshire called–and this is actually true–Clowne.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    , @dearieme
  10. istevefan says:
    @Lot

    Elaborate.

    • Replies: @Lot
  11. @Seminumerical

    Yes, but did he take a slow boat to get there.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  12. @Lot

    Surely Bradley Manning has priority on being brought back to justice and back to prison. He committed the crime.

    • Replies: @Lot
  13. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Lot

    Yeah, and Obama and Arbusto are USAPATRIOTs.

  14. Daniel H says:
    @Lot

    >>Assange is a traitor to the Anglosphere…

    Are you riding us? Are we supposed to have an allegiance to this thing called the Anglosphere?

    • Replies: @Lot
  15. @Lot

    Assange is a traitor to the Anglosphere who will eventually be evicted from his embassy and brought to justice in an American prison. One thing both Obama and Trump got right.

    The problem with making a massive dump of state secrets, à l’Assange and Snowden, is that it inherently makes you simultaneously a criminal and a hero.

    Simply because some of those secrets should never be exposed, while others must be.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Lot
  16. Andrew M says:

    The corollary of this is that as time goes on, there are fewer “diamonds in the rough” left in former coal mining towns.

    This has several policy implications. One is that government education spending won’t get as much bang-for-the-buck in poor places, and thus should be concentrated in wealthier areas.

    Also, government shouldn’t try to push major transformation on poor places. How many times have we heard politicians promising to recreate Silicon Valley in their local town? How much time, effort, and money has been wasted in the pursuit of such goals? Silicon Valley prospered because it was bootstrapped by DoD research spending, which attracted very smart people to the area. It can’t be replicated elsewhere. You can’t get code from coal miners.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  17. @istevefan

    Ay caramba! El es una neuva Willie Hortano!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  18. @slumber_j

    Is this your friend? If so, you missed the punch-line to your story.

    The paper’s author is, appropriately, named James Brown.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3750367?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    • Replies: @Seminumerical
    , @slumber_j
  19. What are the genetic consequences of Soros short-selling in Great Britain? (Besides not being able to say that ten times in succession.)

    How Vilification of George Soros Moved From the Fringes to the Mainstream

    (Sorry to those outside the paywall.)

  20. Anonymous[378] • Disclaimer says:

    Rotherham is back in the news:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grooming-gangs-rotherham-suspects-victims-girls-rape-uk-nca-prosecutions-a8609511.html

    Rotherham grooming gangs: National Crime Agency investigating more than 420 suspects in ‘unprecedented’ operation

    Investigators are working to trace a total of 426 grooming gang members who abused an estimated 1,500 victims in Rotherham.

  21. @PiltdownMan

    Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. A new ‘bag’ being a new interest, in the dialect of the time.

  22. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    There’s absolutely nothing controversial or theoretical about Soros’s aggressive sponsorship of subversion. He talks about it himself in interviews (in different language of course). It’s the reason he’s banned from several countries. This is 2+2=5 territory.

  23. Anon[148] • Disclaimer says:

    Herrnstein’s theory makes a lot of sense to me because my impression was that back before the smarties all trotted off to the Ivies, it was much more common for the smart fraction in a city to end up in the mayoral or councilman’s office, as presidents of local banks, companies, and nonprofits, as police chief, and so on. I think Murray presented evidence of more social diversity in residential neighborhoods, with the richer people in nicer or bigger houses mixed in with more middle class and working class in less impressive houses. So the kids would play together. The cops all lived in the city and were your neighbors.

    My first girlfriend in high school was from “across the tracks” and had no college ambitions, but was really sweet and attractive. Hypothetically, if all she had to do is raise kids and cook, she wouldn’t have needed college. But my kids would be dumber. But did people think about that then?

    Nowadays you need two incomes, or at least a fallback wife job for when the male gets discarded from the work force. And with the smarties all congregating in Murray’s five elite zip code cluster areas, they never even meet any dumb people who aren’t black or immigrants (who somehow are mysteriously never are considered marriage material).

    • Replies: @Jack D
  24. Lot says:
    @istevefan

    If you want his exact criminal offenses:

    “18 USC 371, 641, 793(d), 793(g), and 1030, which include espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, theft or conversion of property belonging to the United States government, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and general conspiracy. According to the statement by WikiLeaks, the alleged offenses could add up to a total of 45 years of imprisonment each for Assange and other WikiLeaks staff.”

    His collaboration with the idiot Chelsea Manning resulted in considerable damage to our international relations and compromised our soldiers and allies.

    If he somehow slips out of England, Huck and Palin advocate disappearing or drone striking him:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/01/us-embassy-cables-executed-mike-huckabee

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  25. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Nothing. He might have broken the impossible UK-protoEuro peg a week sooner than otherwise.

    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @slumber_j
  26. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrew M

    Silicon Valley prospered because it was bootstrapped by DoD research spending, which attracted very smart people to the area. It can’t be replicated elsewhere. You can’t get code from coal miners.

    I never thought much about the cognitive level of coal miners one way or the other, but I work on contract with a company sometimes that works with companies that are often located in small towns and rural areas and we had a job that involved one area where I had to deal with a fair number of retired coal miners. They, nearly to a man, seemed to be not very smart. They were well mannered but could not follow instructions very well and would get frustrated easily.

    Perhaps the smarter people quit coal mining early on, maybe something about the job made them mentally challenged in their old age, I don’t know. But this trend was strong enough to be very noticeable.

    With truck drivers, you certainly find a segment of them that are not too bright, poorly educated, or generally intransigent, but if you deal with enough of them you find the ones in MENSA and the refugees from white collar or professional life sooner or later. These coal miners seemed universally dopey.

    • Replies: @black sea
  27. Lot says:
    @Daniel H

    Of course. The Five Eyes are part of a permanent alliance. Treachery toward one harms all.

    All of the white English speaking nations, so adding in Ireland too, form a single supra-nation governed by English common law.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  28. Lot says:
    @Seminumerical

    Of course.

    The Manning pardon and the Israel UN resolution were Obama’s two big lame duck f-u’s to the security state and its friends abroad.

  29. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Sure, Reality Winner isn’t on the CIA kill list because her national security leak was very limited, not a data dump.

  30. @Lot

    Other than fake passports, I don’t think the Irish contribute much.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  31. BenKenobi says:
    @Lot

    In your opinion was Bradley Manning’s gender conversion a cynical attempt to circumvent legal consequences or was he mentally destroyed in the Ministry of Love?

  32. Pericles says:
    @Lot

    Who knows, maybe President Chelsea Manning-Clinton will pronounce the sentence.

  33. Gordo says:

    “The corollary of this is that as time goes on, there are fewer “diamonds in the rough” left in former coal mining towns.”

    They are still our people, unlike the items imported to attack them.

    I am loyal to our people, f*ck knows what our elites are loyal to?

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Andrew M
  34. LondonBob says:

    My great grandfather’s five brothers were all coal miners in the West Midlands, he was very briefly a coal miner before becoming a professional footballer then shopkeeper, he probably married up. His son went to Grammar school and moved away to the South after being offered a degree which was to lead to a teaching position at the University there, he married a fellow academic, albeit one teaching the less intellectually demanding but incredibly useful home economics. My father was sent to private school followed by a professional career in the City where he was asked to be in Debretts, he married similar class and education.

  35. @LondonBob

    Ali G : Check dis. I is now in a coal mine which is where the Wales people used to live, underground. Millions of years ago miners lived under here before they became human beings.

    Miner : They never lived here, they just worked here.

    Ali G : They worked in ‘ere? What a crap job.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  36. duncsbaby says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Bob Hope’s career was never the same.

  37. One way to do it is look at the DNA of old people or of dead people and estimate their IQ (or a correlate like educational attainment) from that and see if they married less assortatively than young people.

    But wouldn’t the older generations, especially those in the top 1% of income, have been just as aggressively mating with high income folks just like themselves? (like they always have and probably always will). In other words, mating for IQ may not have been a conscious effort (and one could make the same case at present, “Oh, do you have a high IQ? Oh, you don’t? Well then I can’t marry you.” That’s not really a conscious thing among the top 1%ers), but the end results would be the same.

    If IQ and income have always been fairly correlated, then the top 1% married for IQ just as they do now, except that (just like now) it wasn’t a conscious thing. More of an unconscious thing.

    Example, Donald Trump’s first wife was definitely in the smart/high IQ category. One could make a similar case for First Lady Melania as well (attended college, parents weren’t peasants but held mid level jobs within the local communist party of Slovenia, etc.).

  38. slumber_j says:
    @Lot

    I was living in England at the time, and from a pure purchasing-power-parity standpoint the GBP/USD exchange rate was unsustainable and due for a huge correction. I actually stopped keeping any money in Sterling as a result and was therefore hugely relieved when it finally happened.

    Not that George Soros is not an evil man, which he most certainly is.

    • Agree: Lot
  39. @Steve Sailer

    The “Wales people”? Oh, for goodness sakes. Even Snoop Dog isn’t that ignorant. Supposedly, Snoop has an IQ around 147. Wonder if Snoop has aggressively attempted to mate with another high IQ person?

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  40. slumber_j says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Wow. Bizarrely even for the NYT, that’s a news article.

  41. So my mother, who was born in 1950 to pretty strict Irish Catholic parents in Chicago, just found via ancestry.com (a long investigative side story accompanies this tale that I will mercifully leave out) that she has a maternal half sister, born in 1943 when my grandmother was only 22. This was before my grandmother married or even met my grandfather, and the baby was immediately given up for adoption amidst the mortifying scandal that surrounded the whole affair. My mother recently met with her and they took a picture. The woman looks exactly like my grandmother as I remember her and she has a son that looks like my uncle.

    All I know is this woman owes me 42 years of birthday, Christmas, and 1st communion checks.

    • Agree: Peter Johnson
  42. There is an (admittedly minor) mis-step in Steve Sailer’s discussion. He states:

    “Of course, a simpler way to do this would be just to ask people what their years of educational attainment are, but it’s kind of cool that you can get to a similar result by looking at their DNA.”

    The polygenic index for educational attainment, once it has been constructed from hundreds of thousands of individuals using linked years-of-education and DNA data, becomes a separate source of information. It contains some additional information, distinct from the information in an individual’s years-of-education data point. So for example if one were to calculate a polygenic index score for 100 individuals who all completed the same number of years of schooling, the highest index score individual would be distinctive. Once the index has been constructed, and assuming it has reasonable explanatory power, then observations of the index contain additional information not subsumed by the years-of-education observations.

    • Replies: @Philip Neal
  43. @Lot

    Assange is a traitor to the Anglosphere who will eventually be evicted from his embassy and brought to justice in an American prison. One thing both Obama and Trump got right.

    Assange even sued the Ecuadorian government for infringing his human rights. Yes, they will eventually kick him out. Asylum in the Embassy gave Assange a sporting chance to escape and flee the UK, but he has stubbornly stayed put and worn out his welcome.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  44. @Andrew M

    This “boiloff effect” on IQ has been proposed for other population groups – both those who have a non-mainstream lifestyle (e.g. Irish travellers), and those who live far from cities (the few such places that exist in the UK are only sparsely populated – but the effect has been reported in France).

    This has several policy implications. One is that government education spending won’t get as much bang-for-the-buck in poor places, and thus should be concentrated in wealthier areas.

    The UK government spends more per child on education in London than in the rest of the country. This might be rational, but it is also mildly scandalous.

    Also, government shouldn’t try to push major transformation on poor places.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
  45. Andrew M says:
    @Gordo

    I agree, they’re still our people. Yet our leaders would have them replaced. First they came for the former coal miners…

  46. Just one thing, “educational attainment” has increased massively in the UK over the last 40 years, while the population’s average IQ will have decreased due to immigration and the poor having most kids.

    We’ve gone from 10% higher-ed (Uni or teacher training) in 1970 to about 46% now, and the minimum school leaving age has gone from 15 to 18 in that time.

    So I hope this study takes that into account.

  47. black sea says:
    @Anonymous

    Among coal miners generally, 10% of those who work in the industry for 25 or more years develop black lung. For those in Central Appalachia, the figure is 25%.

    Then there are the cave-ins, the coal-dust explosions, the cramped, damp, and dirty working conditions, the fact that you can be crushed by heavy machinery, the night shifts, rarely seeing light even during the day shifts, the generally low pay, the lack of opportunity for advancement . . . I think this is not a job that would appeal to people with a lot of other options. I admire the fact that people are willing to do such work to support their families, but I also understand why lots of people choose to relocate in search of something better.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  48. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ali G is a Sacha Baron Cohen character. He’s supposed to be funny.

  49. dearieme says:

    In the 80s, at the time of the great coalminers’ strike-cum-fascist/communist-uprising, a vicar who had served many years in coal-mining areas said something publicly of appalling frankness. He said that for several generations anyone with any brains or energy had left such areas; the people left behind were a pretty dreadful lot.

    Happily twitter and facebook didn’t exist so nobody could try to drive him to suicide.

  50. dearieme says:
    @slumber_j

    “And then he went to Oxford to finish his studies.”

    Do you think Harvard admits many chaps like that? Nowadays, I mean, not in some Golden Age.

  51. Cato says:
    @Andrew M

    In rural counties throughout the South, the smart kids go off to college. If they come back, the only jobs for college grads are in the public school system. So only the education majors return. The others move to big cities. Rural communities have a cognitive elite at the level of public school teachers, and a very large number of ignorant, brutish louts.

  52. @Seminumerical

    “And so John Derbyshire found himself in China.”

    I love The Derb but enjoy the good natured jabs almost as much.

    • Replies: @Seminumerical
  53. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    There was plenty of assortative mating in the past on things other than IQ. Particularly class and religion.

    Look, even now people don’t look up their mate’s IQ scores and choose directly on that basis. The way this works is that IQ is correlated with lots of things – with race, with class, with religion, etc. So if you say “people didn’t used to look at IQ, only at class” , they were sorting on IQ anyway, even if IQ wasn’t even known as a concept.

  54. @Reg Cæsar

    PSA: if you don’t have a chrome extension that gets around (some) paywalls, another trick is to quickly do Ctrl+P as if to print the page before the overlay alms bowl comes up. You need to time things (too soon and no content, too late and you get the pay wall) and the formatting is not always great, but it works.

  55. Jack D says:
    @black sea

    I think you are referring to an earlier era. Most coal mining today is done by open pit methods or by continuous mining machines and the coal miners are well paid. The days of dirty faced miners with picks and shovels are over. There may still be some marginal operations but the reason coal mining jobs are prized is because they are lucrative, at least compared to making $10/hr as a Walmart shelf stocker, which is the alternative.

    • Replies: @black sea
  56. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    Back in the day, it was more common for lawyers to marry their secretaries, doctors their nurses, etc. But these women were not the same women who become secretaries and nurses today. These were women who today would become lawyers and doctors themselves.

    Now there were (and are) some rich guys who only care about looks – they don’t want an intellectual equal, they just want a “10″. Trump seems to pick wives this way. Wives plural because women who are “10s” don’t stay that way for very long so you have to keep trading them in on a new model.

  57. JLK says:

    The IQ of spouses correlates more highly than that of siblings. Source: The Bell Curve.

    • Replies: @res
  58. black sea says:
    @Jack D

    According to the report, the national prevalence of black lung in miners who have worked 25 years or more now exceeds 10 percent. In central Appalachia, which includes Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia, 20.6 percent of coal miners have evidence of the disease—the highest level recorded in 25 years.

    This is from an article published in July of this year. The article I originally looked at had a somewhat higher figure for incidents of black lung among central Appalachian miners, but used the terminology “signs of black lung.”

    I agree with you that more coal is now taken through surface mining, which would suggest that the dangers of subsurface mining are still quite severe, given the numbers cited. If you go into the mines at 18, you will have done your 25 years by the age of 43. Too young to retire, but continuing in that line of work only becomes increasingly dangerous:

    “Miners are dying at a much younger age,” he says, noting that in the 1990s, the clinic’s PMF diagnoses typically involved miners in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Now the disease strikes miners in their 50s, 40s and even 30s with fewer years mining coal.

    From NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/02/06/583456129/black-lung-study-biggest-cluster-ever-of-fatal-coal-miners-disease

    Payscale lists the average pay for a coal miner as $20.41 per hour. Given the nature of the work, and the health risks it entails, that’s really not so much. Better than a fast food worker, but worse, perhaps, than a meth cooker, which I guess has its own risks as well.

    For those interested, this is a documentary about miners still working underground in Appalachia:

    • Replies: @Jack D
  59. Jack D says:
    @black sea

    “evidence of the disease”, “signs of black lung.”

    This smells of weasel wording and advocacy “journalism”. Either you have the disease or not. You raise 10% (the actual incidence) to 25% with a little bit of spin.

  60. Luke Lea says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    What are the genetic consequences of Soros short-selling in Great Britain? (Besides not being able to say that ten times in succession.)

    How Vilification of George Soros Moved From the Fringes to the Mainstream

    (Sorry to those outside the paywall.)

    My Google Chrome browser has an “Open New Tab in Incognito Window” which goes right around the NYT firewall. You just double click on the link and choose that option.

  61. @James N. Kennett

    “Asylum in the Embassy gave Assange a sporting chance to escape and flee the UK”

    With UK police/MI5/CIA outside the doors, what was he supposed to do, fly out of the window?

  62. @Jack D

    “they don’t want an intellectual equal”

    Surely most men want an intellectual nearly-equal?

    @Luke Lea – I was working in finance when the UK govt spent billions and raised interest rates several times in a morning – up to 15% IIRC – to defend sterling against Soros. But when the whole market followed him they threw in the towel. Should have gone to 25%!!

  63. @James N. Kennett

    State-funded schools in London are attended predominately by the children of new immigrants and the second or third generation children of immigrants. The middle and upper classes in London are forced to pay privately to educate their children. So the higher London spend on state school funding does not benefit that many high-IQ children. It pays for lots of English-language instruction, special needs instruction, etc.

  64. @LondonBob

    How do you get asked to be in Debrett’s? It lists the peerage families and those who have married into them.

    Perhaps you mean Who’s Who?

  65. @Jack D

    “Back in the day” for me means before the Civil War. I can only speak of the area I know well, which is New England. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were two sorts of Harvard and Yale families: those who had, in the broadest sense, founded both places, and all the rest.

    The first sent their sons to both colleges as a matter of course, most were clergymen or in the law. This kept on in a very regular pattern for the whole of the period I am addressing.

    The other sort were farmers who could just manage the costs of sending their promising second or third (or seventh or eighth) son to Harvard or Yale (the occasional truly remarkable ones getting scholarships); these invariably became clergymen or teachers in schools they often founded themselves. The truly brilliant might graduate to tutorships at their colleges, from which they would either go on to professorships or move into, again, the church or the law. Very few business people or traders were college men until the middle of the nineteenth century, even if throughout this period they might well have married the daughter of one. By the 1850s however it was increasingly the done thing for a newly opulent China trader to send his sons to Harvard, including the ones marked out to take over the family firm.

    The two sorts intermarried, less in the seventeenth century, but increasingly as the decades went by until, by around 1800 such intermarriages were quite unremarkable. My point is very simply that an intellectual elite was being formed from the very beginning of our nation’s history, at least in New England, and therefore, in this one particular and very remarkable part of America, Herrnstein’s guess is just plain wrong.

  66. @Jack D

    “Back in the day” for me means before the Civil War. I can only speak of the area I know well, which is New England. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were two sorts of Harvard and Yale families: those who had, in the broadest sense, founded both places, and all the rest.

    The first sent their sons to both colleges as a matter of course, most were clergymen or in the law. This kept on in a very regular pattern for the whole of the period I am addressing.

    The other sort were farmers who could just manage the costs of sending their promising second or third (or seventh or eighth) son to Harvard or Yale (the occasional truly remarkable ones getting scholarships); these invariably became clergymen or teachers in schools they often founded themselves. The truly brilliant might graduate to tutorships at their colleges, from which they would either go on to professorships or move into, again, the church or the law. Very few business people or traders were college men until the middle of the nineteenth century, even if throughout this period they might well have married the daughter of one. By the 1850s however it was increasingly the done thing for a newly opulent China trader to send his sons to Harvard, including the ones marked out to take over the family firm.

    The two sorts intermarried, less in the seventeenth century, but increasingly as the decades went by until, by around 1800 such intermarriages were quite unremarkable. My point is very simply that an intellectual elite was being formed from the very beginning of our nation’s history, at least in New England, and therefore, in this one particular and very remarkable part of America, Herrnstein’s guess is just plain wrong.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  67. Yes, of course bright people in England have migrated away from mining towns, mostly to London if they got into politics or broadcasting, and in fact many distinguished Britons have come from mining towns.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._H._Lawrence#Early_life

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

    Start at 7:15 for the coalminer’s son part.

  68. Jack D says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    I was referring to the more recent past, up until say the late 1950s when it became the norm for middle class families (and not just the elite) to send both their sons and daughters to college (and later even to grad school). Before the Civil War a lawyer’s secretary would have been male so it would have been very unusual, one might say even unheard of, for a lawyer to marry his secretary.

    I think the break came with the invention of the typewriter. I guess that it was noticed that women, with their strong fine motor coordination (traditionally used for sewing & such) , were good at typing.

    So the “marry your secretary” era would have been the era from say 1880 to 1960. Before that, no female secretaries, after that, secretaries come from a lower social class than lawyers.

  69. Philip Neal says: • Website
    @Peter Johnson

    Agreed. Not all of this is new but what is new is big, big, big.

    Not new (20th century studies of white populations):

    1. Intelligence correlates with occupational class.
    2. There is a strong hereditary component to intelligence.

    Relatively new (21st century studies of mainly white populations):

    3. The identification of actual genes associated with intelligence.

    New for the first time in this paper:

    4. The genes associated with intelligence in whites are significantly less frequent in areas which always were working class and have now lost their only source of well-paid manual labour.

    Several commenters have mentioned the coal strikes of 1974 and 1984. Nobody who lived through them can forget the sheer stupidity and ignorance of the Stupid White Men who led them. Meritocracy has run its course. There are no village Hampdens and mute inglorious Miltons left. The strikes were also the reason why the Labour party embraced multiculturalims and identity politics. It was embarrassingly obvious that the party of the poor had become the party of the thick.

    Points 1, 2 and 3 are already known to be true not just of classes but racial groups. Coming soon and big, big, big: the identification of genes for intelligence in non-whites and accurate estimates of how much untapped educational potential in non-whites there really is.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  70. @Jack D

    I think the break came with the invention of the typewriter. I guess that it was noticed that women, with their strong fine motor coordination (traditionally used for sewing & such) , were good at typing.

    My grandmother was one of the first generation of typists during the period that my grandfather was away serving during the First World War. At this time there was a tremendous shortage of male labor and women were doing things traditionally done by men, such as agricultural work. Maybe that was also a factor. Certainly before that clerks had usually been men like Leonard Bast.

  71. @Mark P Miller

    I am going to try to get him to autograph one of his books this week.

    • Replies: @Seminumerical
  72. @Cato

    Rural communities have a cognitive elite at the level of public school teachers, and a very large number of ignorant, brutish louts.

    Hmm. Well maybe. But how do they vote?

  73. @Jack D

    Back in the day, it was more common for lawyers to marry their secretaries

    Please tell me you did not do so.

  74. @Philip Neal

    1. Intelligence correlates with occupational class.
    2. There is a strong hereditary component to intelligence

    Today that is more so than in yesteryear, when universal secondary and tertiary education was hard to get. With Methodism many mining communities in Britain, especially Wales, produced communities that valued education.

    Actor Richard Burton was the 12th of 13 children of a miner, so not a very auspicious start in life, and was the first member of his family to go to secondary school. Anthony Hopkins, who knew Burton as a teenager, also grew up in a mining community, though his father was a baker.

    Burton was born in 1925, so would have been in his 90′s today, but today it is unthinkable that a child from his home town would not have a secondary school education.

    How Green Was My Valley was an academy award winning movie in 1941 starring Roddy McDowell that beat Citizen Kane for the Best Film Oscar, with a very favorable portrayal of a Welsh mining community.

    As Neil Kinnock said in the speech I have cited above, his ancestors were not “thick”, but they didn’t have a platform to stand on until the era of universal education.

  75. @Jack D

    Trump seems to pick wives this way.

    Only the middle one.

    The other two can more than hold their own.

    • Replies: @black sea
  76. res says:
    @JLK

    The IQ of spouses correlates more highly than that of siblings. Source: The Bell Curve.

    That’s not what I see. From page 110:

    Of the many correlations involving husbands and wives, one of the highest is for IQ. In most of the major studies, the correlation of husband and wife 1Q has been in the region of .4, though estimates as low as .2 and as high as .6 have been observed. Jensen’s review of the literature in the late 1970s found that the average correlation of forty-three spouse correlations for various tests of cognitive ability was +.45, almost as high as the typical correlation of IQs among siblings.

    This paper looks at a large number of studies and concludes the sibling IQ correlation is 0.49: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/eda5/6485400cdddc1b974b9db6edf74acb28fb23.pdf

    One related point: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/af02/e93fd87201fdfc21560be4b272bf3f991dc2.pdf

    Jensen: That’s not what I’m saying, but it happens to be true. There is a higher degree of assortative mating above the mean in the bell curve that there is below. The bell curve is not a perfectly normal Gaussian curve: it has a bump at the low end for types of mental defect and also an excess at the upper end. One explanation for this deviation at the upper end is that there is a higher degree of assortative mating in the upper half of the curve, which increases the genetic variance and pushes more offspring into the upper end of the curve.

  77. black sea says:
    @Desiderius

    One might say that the middle one picked him, or forced his hand.

  78. Edward says:

    Gregory Clark’s data also suggest that the Murray-Herrnstein hypothesis of higher rates of assortative mating in today’s era is incorrect.

  79. @Jack D

    No need to repeat what your first post said (with which I fully agree), although the repeat was worth it for the male secretary crack.

    I seem to have been repetitive myself – I don’t remember how, but then again I was just back from a long and bibulous dinner when I sent that comment …

    So now I’ll repeat what I said in a different way: assortative mating for intelligence did not come in with intelligence testing, but was the norm in every society where intelligence was noticed and appreciated (one can’t quite imagine it happening in sub-Saharan Africa to take a counter- example).

    In other words the famous Jewish tendency to marry brains is not unique: the trading cities of the Netherlands and the Hansa would be one other example as would my first, New England. I have little doubt that the average IQ of these and similar societies would have equaled that of the Jewish (again famous) one standard deviation above the white norm.

    It makes sense, and I’m glad we are back at it.

  80. @Seminumerical

    I actually got Derb to autograph two of his books. He was in a good mood.

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