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Guardian: "Why Genetic IQ Differences Between 'Races' Are Unlikely"
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From The Guardian a pretty good column making an a priori case against genetic differences in intelligence:

Why genetic IQ differences between ‘races’ are unlikely

I suspect the quotes around “races” might have been the editor’s choice, not the authors’s.

The idea that intelligence can differ between populations has made headlines again, but the rules of evolution make it implausible

Kevin Mitchell

Associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin.

Wed 2 May 2018

The idea that there may be genetic differences in intelligence between one population and another has resurfaced recently, notably in the form of a New York Times op-ed by the Harvard geneticist David Reich. …

In fact, the genetics and evolutionary history of intelligence suggest just the opposite. Most of our traits, such as height, for example, are set by natural selection at an optimal level – it’s good for humans to be about so tall, on average. Some genetic variants tend to make people a bit shorter than average and some tend to make people a bit taller. The balance between these variants has been maintained by natural selection to keep average height “just right”. Intelligence is not like that. Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction only in our ancient ancestors.

Perhaps.

But it doesn’t seem to have happened for most other species. I could well imagine that, say, octopuses, chimps, and parrots are smarter than any species around 100 million years ago, but I don’t know that for sure. In general, there’s not much evidence that other species are getting consistently smarter, the way humans have developed much bigger brains over the last several million years.

Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals. It gave us an initial leg-up in colonising diverse environments and its usefulness was massively amplified by the invention of culture and language. This increasing selective advantage of ever greater intelligence led to a snowball effect, which was probably only stopped by the limitations of the size of the birth canal and the metabolic demands of a large brain.

Which are not insignificant. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if smaller skulls are better at birth not just in getting born but in setting the width of the pelvic cradle, with a narrower pelvis being better for faster running.

Better running ability would seem like another one of those wholly good things like higher intelligence, but we see significant differences around the world in running ability, as seen in the Olympics.

By the way, I’ve never seen an estimate in difference in sprinting speed between the races in standard deviation terms. Anybody know?

One potential source of data would be the French national program to try to time every 15-year-old in the country in the 50m dash. This is how Christian LeMaitre, who won the bronze in the 200m dash in the 2016 Olympics, was found.

Another issue is that local positive mutations don’t always migrate.

… Because most random mutations that affect intelligence will reduce it, evolution will tend to select against them. Inevitably, new mutations will always arise in the population, but ones with a large effect on intelligence – that cause frank intellectual disability, for example – will be swiftly removed by natural selection. …

The result is that any population at any time will carry a varied bunch of mutations that affect intelligence. These will differ between populations, clans, families, and individuals. This constant churn of genetic variation works against any long-term rise or fall in intelligence.

Perhaps, but there could be differences in selection pressures between environments. One theory is that environments with a high degree of randomness in selection pressure — Did you get bit by a mosquito? Did it carry a severe disease? Is your immune system attuned to fight that variant of the disease? — might less rapidly cull victims of negative intelligence mutations than environments were the main selection pressure is more predictable — E.g., did you set aside enough of the right resources to get you through the winter?

Or perhaps something else is the real selection pressure.

Another point is that positive mutations don’t always travel to other places where they would useful.

The concept of a fitness landscape where fitness might get stuck on a local maximum instead of the global maximum is illustrated by genetic adaptations to high altitude. Tibetans, such as Sherpas, have the best overall genetic adaptations, but their mutations haven’t spread to other high altitude regions such as Ethiopia and Bolivia, presumably because they are net negatives in lowland areas in-between.

Similarly, lactose tolerance is a pretty cool mutation if you have livestock to milk. The Eurasian version of this mutation is also found among the herding Fulani, I believe, in West Africa, but different lactose tolerance mutations are found among some East African herding tribes. As David Reich notes, this says something about the difficulty of positive mutations spreading through uncongenial environments.

Another crucial point is that genetics tends to affect intelligence in a much more indirect way than it does skin colour, height, and other physical traits. Like that Formula One car’s performance, intelligence is an emergent property of the whole system. There is no dedicated genetic module “for intelligence” that can be acted on independently by natural selection – not without affecting many other traits at the same time, often negatively.

In other words, there are tradeoffs to higher intelligence, and there might be some environments where it is less useful to Darwinian fitness than some other environments.

But, overall, Mitchell’s arguments are fairly reasonable and worth thinking about.

 
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  1. Vart says:

    Seems kinda is/ought-ish to me

  2. Luke Lea says:

    Also, it is not clear that a race of super intelligent humans would be that functional as an independently standing society. Like with personality, variety is useful.

  3. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    The Guardian is owned by George Soros. Before that it was the propaganda voice of the communist party of Britain. It worked hard to bring Britain and W Europe into the soviet sphere like Poland and Hungary.

    It was the Guardian that led the charge against the police who found the thugs who killed Stephen Laurence another criminal thug. The Guardian claimed the police were racist because a White criminal killed a black criminal.

    The Guardian always propagandize against police doing their jobs. That’s why the UK police stand down and do nothing against crime.

    The Guardian was the very last UK newspaper to write a short article about the Rotherham, Oxford and other Paki gangs. Before that The Guardian vociferously denied that any black Arab paki whatever ever raped a White woman.
    The Guardian has worked against the White native British people since the first Jamaican criminals arrived on the Windermere.

    And all the petit bourgeois socialist idiot intellectuals in GB read and believe it.

    • Replies: @Lot
  4. Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction only in our ancient ancestors.

    I can’t believe this guy writes for a major publication. This is an unbelievably stupid statement.

    The brain uses massive amounts of energy. Each neuron has to maintain an electrical disequilibrium by actively pumping sodium and potassium ions across the cell membrane. This takes huge amounts of energy. Your brain is the most metabolically demanding organ in your body, (along with your heart) even when it is not being used. When you are not using your muscles they don’t use much energy. When you are asleep, not using your brain, it still uses a ton of energy.

    So the balance is that a bigger brain requires you to eat a lot more. In a famine, all other things being equal, the smarties starve and the dummies don’t. And prior to the modern era famine happened all the time.

    So is being smart worth it? Depends on the environment. In an environment where survival requires complex behaviors to gather and store food, yes. Like, for example an agricultural society in the temperate zone. In other environments, not really. That’s why gorillas are still a thing.

    As Steve pointed out there is also the skull size/gestation/locomotion issue: bigger brains mean bigger baby skulls, mean bigger pelvises are required, but this makes locomotion less efficient, so there is a disadvantage to getting too smart, at least as long as your women have to move a significant amount.

    Suffice it to say I think in a famine Steve would die before the author of this piece.

    • Agree: Lot
  5. Joe Walker says: • Website

    If genetic IQ differences between races are unlikely then why are the race deniers so opposed to doing any research into the area? If they really believed their public positions on race and genetics then they should believe that any research would back up their positions and undermine those of their opponents. The fact that they are so opposed to any research into the connection between race, genetics and IQ shows that they don’t really believe in their public positions on these topics.

    • Replies: @Randal
  6. @Vart

    I don’t see why there couldn’t be a lower optimum ceiling for intelligence in one local population as compared to another. More intelligence could be advantageous for one group but a drag on another. It’s not a universal good.

  7. bgates says:

    Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction

    Spend an evening in a nightclub with a friend who’s 6’4″ and one who’s 5’2″ and get back to me on whether there’s any evolutionary benefit to being taller.

    its usefulness was massively amplified by the invention of culture and language. This increasing selective advantage of ever greater intelligence led to a snowball effect, which was probably…stopped

    well short of the time the invention of written language or any differentiation in the complexity of culture would have led to intelligence causing a greater selective advantage in one group of humans vs another.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  8. eric says:

    Is height as difficult to tie to genes as IQ?

    • Replies: @res
  9. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if smaller skulls are better at birth not just in getting born but in setting the width of the pelvic cradle, with a narrower pelvis being better for faster running.

    There is a tradeoff, of course, between big-brained offspring and the mother’s running ability.

    Men have their preferences, probably based on the optimal point for this tradeoff.

    “I want smart kids, but I don’t want Mom to be slow and get eaten by a tiger, so I’ll be like Goldilocks and pick just right.” That’s ingrained in us men, so we get all horny when presented with a nice violin shape that’s not too extreme.

  10. res says:

    This 2015 paper might be of interest: Covariation between human pelvis shape, stature, and head size alleviates the obstetric dilemma

    http://www.pnas.org/content/112/18/5655

  11. Anonym says:

    Ah, the argument that evolution/natural selection stopped above the neck approximately just before man developed into races. Despite the selection pressure for brains to now use 20% of the body’s power on average (20W/100W) and childbirth to be an activity with a significant head size/ death tradeoff. Would love to see the brain power usage percentage by race too.

    Which are not insignificant. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if smaller skulls are better at birth not just in getting born but in setting the width of the pelvic cradle, with a narrower pelvis being better for faster running.

    Is it really that useful to run fast for a woman?

    Certainly the selection pressure has made the wider hipped woman an object of attraction. Not too many narrow hipped porn actresses, at least of popularity.

    It’s likely not an accident that the running speed continuum goes in the opposite direction to the IQ continuum, by race. Head mass and hip width both slow you down. I can’t say that I have ever wished to trade IQ points for extra running speed though.

    These guys needed bigger hips, unless they had moved to exclusive C-section births.

    * The 20% of energy usage is only an average. It is almost certainly going to vary by individual. Do other commenters on here have high metabolisms? I certainly do.

  12. @Anonym

    Is it really that useful to run fast for a woman?

    If a bear is chasing your gathering party of women, it’s useful in a Darwinian sense to outrun some of the other women.

  13. Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals

    That’s simply not true. Being naked apes gave us a tremendous advantage in hunting large game in Africa, where it’s hot. While we couldn’t catch antelopes, we could chase them during the heat of the day, causing the hairy ones to eventually collapse from heat exhaustion. Bushmen still do this today. The face that we can add furs and other material to stay warm makes us supremely adapted to most of the planet.

    • Replies: @res
  14. Tiny Duck says:

    You guys really need to read small great things by Jodi Pucoult

    The truth is that IQ is a poor measure as it was written by white males for white males

  15. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Much of human evolution happened artificially and culturally.

    If people create an environment that favors brain power, and if people who are adept at brain power have nice things and more kids, that will affect intelligence over the long haul.

    When most people think ‘evolution’, they think natural selection. But with humans, much of it in recent yrs was as cultural as natural. Suppose there are two groups. One develops a culture where ones who are best with the pen and paper are most honored and revered. They gain most success and have most kids.
    Another culture honors and reveres those who are best with the sword. They win most admiration, get the most women, and have most kids.

    The chances are Order A will smarter people and Order B will have stronger people.

    Btw, I’ve said similar things numerous times, so my view is ‘corroborated’ by earlier comments, so it must be true.

    Incidentally, rise of animal IQ also seems to be driven by human effect. Human effect wiped out many species. But some survived and they seem to be adapting to environmental changes wrought by mankind. This is certainly true of squirrels and crows who found ways to work human effect to their advantage.

  16. @Anon

    Right, I suspect the animals that tend to flourish with a lot of people around tend to have high relatively g factors, such as crows, coyotes, brown bears, rats, etc.

    • Replies: @yaab
  17. Of course there are situations where intelligence isn’t the best trait to promote.

    Imagine one day, fifty million years ago, two sharks are swimming beside each other, and the one shark says to the other, “hey, I know what to do today! Let’s evolve intelligence!” Only the other shark is like, “oh, I dunno. We’ve been in our present form for about fifty million years and doing pretty well, way better than all the other species we’ve seen come and go, so who is to say intelligence will buy us another fifty million years? Maybe let’s try to evolve a way to let us chomp down on a tuna harder.” And the other shark agrees.

    Who’s to say the second shark didn’t have it right? We’ve barely got a million years record for homo sapiens sapiens, and would you really want to bet on intelligence being key to us being around a mere million years from now?

  18. res says:
    @TomSchmidt

    Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals

    That’s simply not true.

    It is worse than simply not true. It is idiotic. From a professor no less.

    Opposable thumbs – Although some other primates have them most animals do not. Going beyond that: “What makes humans unique is how we can bring our thumbs all the way across the hand to our ring and little fingers. We can also flex the ring and little fingers toward the base of our thumb. This gives humans a powerful grip and exceptional dexterity to hold and manipulate tools with.”

    The ability to articulate words (i.e. speech).

    Any others?

    P.S. More on the human hand: Evolution of the human hand: the role of throwing and clubbing

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1571064/

  19. The ladies doth (plural?) protest too much, methinks.

    • Replies: @Mitchell
  20. @res

    Okay, but opposable thumbs and speech work better with more intelligence. As is walking upright so you more often use your opposable thumbs.Presumably, humans are unique in the animal world because a package of traits came together.

    • Replies: @res
  21. res says:

    This is a great juxtaposition. You have to love self-refuting articles.

    Intelligence is not like that. Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction only in our ancient ancestors.

    This increasing selective advantage of ever greater intelligence led to a snowball effect, which was probably only stopped by the limitations of the size of the birth canal and the metabolic demands of a large brain.

    In successive paragraphs no less. I suppose he would defend his words based on “ancient ancestors.” Except hip width and brain size apparently evolved in tandem so that evolutionary counterpressure on intelligence has always been present. See figures 25 and 29 of https://www.researchgate.net/publication/38095202_Evolution_of_the_hip_and_pelvis
    And the metabolic cost of a larger brain would always be an issue.

    The goodthinkers really are becoming desperate.

    And of course racial differences in hip width are irrelevant here. https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/05/08/racial-differences-in-the-pelvis/

    P.S. Steve, your link to the Guardian article is broken. https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2018/may/02/why-genetic-iq-differences-between-races-are-unlikely

    • Agree: Svigor
    • Replies: @Randal
  22. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    a pretty good column making an a priori case against genetic differences in intelligence

    Nothing’s good about it. It is largely moronic. The author knows some simple facts about genetics but clearly does not have a coherent picture of how they all fit together. Just about everything he says specifically about intelligence is wrong. The entire argument is based on an idiotic claim that because intelligence is so good for us, it must have genetic structure fundamentally different from any other complex trait. This is patently wrong. It must be wrong from the first principles and by now we know, from direct and numerous genetic data, that it really is most definitely wrong. End of discussion. The existence of pygmies ought to be informative enough if the author were not such a complete dolt.

  23. Harold says:

    If there was a scientific argument that intelligence differences are unlikely to differ between races, it would be worthy of publishing in a scientific journal, not in the Guardian.

  24. res says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Agreed with your expansion, but I still maintain that Mitchell’s statement “Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals.” is simply not true. Specifically the “only real advantage” part which is also IMO idiotic. Though perhaps an understandable overstatement in an article for the popular press. But think about how successful human intelligence might be without dexterous hands and speech. Do you think we as a species would be anywhere near as successful in that case?

    I would be a bit more tolerant if it weren’t for the unidirectional evolutionary forces statement I have criticized elsewhere. And his headline conclusion, of course. He is at least smart enough to only say “unlikely” though.

    His article is weak sauce from a goodthinker who is trying to fight a rear guard action against reality.

    What makes me cranky about this is that the man is a STEM professor. They should be better than that.

    I wonder what he has to say about the possibility that different environments (e.g. cold winters) cause different degrees of evolutionary pressure on intelligence? Selection does depend on the environment, right?

    P.S. That hand evolution link I gave does not talk about timeframes. Does anyone know of a good reference connecting the timing of hand and speech evolution in the hominid tree?

    This looks interesting: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wilson-hand.html
    A related question is how much the hand, speech, and bipedality might have driven the evolution of intelligence.

    This might be useful: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/Supplement_2/8902

  25. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @SimpleSong

    “Suffice it to say I think in a famine Steve would die before the author of this piece.”

    And Steve says, “Why, thank you! That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

  26. Anonymous[378] • Disclaimer says:

    Hi Steve: Asians have higher IQs than whites and get better grades in school. How much of the difference in school performance is due to IQ and how much is because Asians study harder? Have you written anything about this?

    • Replies: @Realist
  27. Yan Shen says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Similarly if you were a group of pre-historic women and a pre-historic Whiskey came wandering around your way, it probably also would’ve been evolutionarily advantageous to have been able to haul ass as quickly as possible…

    Women hate, hate, hate beta males!

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  28. Tiny Duck says:

    California has 5th largest economy in the world

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/05/05/california-now-worlds-5th-largest-economy-beating-out-uk/583508002/

    Austria just built a statue in honor of Karl Marx

    You guys are in the losing team

    Also you NEED to read small great things by Jodi Picoult

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
  29. RCB says:

    It’s not at all obvious that selection pressures favored intelligence to the same degree everywhere in the world. In fact it seems unlikely that that would be the case, but it’s all speculation anyway. Even if that were the case, I don’t think any real evolutionary biologist would bet on independently evolving populations having exactly the same phenotype everywhere. So no, I don’t think is a very interesting article.

  30. Harold says:

    Tactically I find, in these sorts of arguments, it often works to grant them as much as you can, and show how there still would be no reason to believe the world is as they want it to be.

    Let us grant him, for the sake of discussion, his argument regarding intelligence. Nevertheless, humans differ on myriad cognitive and behavioural tendencies, just as they do on physical characteristics. What reason is there to believe that races don’t differ by the cast of their character as they do by the cast of their features, and thus the tenor of a society depends on its racial makeup? And success doesn’t depend solely on intelligence, etc.

    In an actual argument I might avoid the term ‘race’, depending on the audience.

  31. eric says:
    @Tiny Duck

    There are two keys to an IQ test. One is being correlated with important things, like income, wealth, crime, education, patents, etc. Another is being correlated with other IQ tests. An IQ test needs many questions because otherwise, people would memorize it, and a test of memorization would have little correlation with ‘important things.’ So, IQ test results should be correlated with other IQ test results for the same person. Getting a question correct should increase the odds a person gets questions on other IQ tests correct.

    One thing all standardized tests do is a “differential impact frequency” analysis (DIF). Test-takers from different groups (eg, blacks and whites) with the same IQ should have the same probability of answering a question correctly. A question that doesn’t (eg, “regatta is to …”) is thrown out.

    If one could create a test with similar attributes that favored pygmies or Australian Aborigines, that person would be as famous as Nelson Mandela, and people have been trying for 50 years.

    • Replies: @Jon
  32. @Tiny Duck

    But it that were true then why do you post here ?

    • Replies: @Jon
  33. So this might be the wine talking, but I just skimmed through this, reading only the headline, about half of Steve’s hot-takes, and then the very last excerpt. And, well, doesn’t the very last excerpt kind of destroy the headline/thesis?

  34. @Anon

    Are you sure it isn’t just the fact that already intelligent species are able to deal with the rapid changes brought about by humanity? For example, New Caledonian crows are one of the really intelligent crow species and they originate from an island that I wouldn’t necessarily think of as a metropolis. The theory I’ve heard is that intelligence is driven by sociality and thus the need to have a theory of mind. Elephants, chimps, dolphins, dogs, us-all live in social groups and thus have a need to know what others are thinking. Of course, this force is not likely on its own and because it’s not applicable to all examples. For example, the New Caledonian crow. So its likely ecological forces too.

    • Replies: @Anon
  35. Lot says:
    @Anon

    The Guardian has long been a non profit and has no owners. Soros isn’t even a board member.

  36. Roger says: • Website

    It is amazing to see evolutionists deny evolution. How does he think that evolution ever worked, without group differences in heritable traits? If conditions drove the evolution in intelligence in the first place, then they can still drive differences in intelligence.

    As others have pointed out, humans have lots of advantageous traits over animals. Probably the biggest is being social. We can form very large societies. You do not see this in other animals, except mainly ants and bees.

    It is not clear that high intelligence is needed for sociability. Maybe societies have to kill of their most intelligent members because they exploit the social structure for their own good, or because they don’t believe in the gods.

    • Replies: @Logan
  37. This guy has a PhD in neurogenetics ? Throughout undergraduate and grad school I never met one geneticist that truly understood evolution so this is no surprise to me. What’s really surprising as some or you have pointed out is how poorly this is written and how he contradicts himself.

    He reminds me a bit of Gould another leftist liar who really didn’t understand evolution and wasn’t well thought of in the scientific community but was adored by the leftist press. Furthermore, he must have flunked population biology if he ever took it. His idea that all populations would be similar in intelligence must be caused by drinking lots of good Guinness Beer. Trout raised in hatchery have almost no survival rate in a stream. Wild trout born in such streams have much higher survival rates and are highly intelligent. There are many studies on intelligence of fish and how they are reared and population differences of the same species. I guess all this population biology of fish doesn’t count.

    This stuff will never end because any scientist at a university who disagrees with this Leftist Diatribe will be gang-banged to death by Khazar Media.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  38. But, overall, Mitchell’s arguments are fairly reasonable and worth thinking about.

    Steve, you are a really fair minded guy. I just read all this and thought “same old mush”. I just don’t have any patience for these attempts to torque around science for politics.

    The rabbits–cottontails–are really out this spring in the PNW. I must have seen 5-10–pretty big ones–run off the trail during my walk this afternoon. Before sitting down to type this, i was brewing a cup, stepped out on the front deck and one popped out from under the camellia and ran across the street.

    What makes\keeps rabbits “rabbitty”? Eagles, hawks, foxes, coyotes, cats … cars and trucks. Create a “rabbit world” without those, where they amble over to the welfare office for carrots on demand and in a few generations those “rabbits” won’t be very rabbitty at all. In the wild, they’d get their asses handed to them–ok, actually their asses would get eaten–by every self-respecting predator.

    What makes\keeps people “civilizationy”? Uh … civilization!

    What’s actually unique about people is that beyond just adapting to–cueing Jimmy Buffett–”changes in latitude”, we’ve been able to much much more substantially alter our own environment. First with fire, but then with the neolithic and agriculture. Then–in civilized places–with things like trade, written languages, money, armies, bureaucracy (i didn’t say it was all good), sailing ships, iron, books … the welfare state, birth control pills, tinder. We headed off long ago on a program of gene-culture co-evolution.

    Heck, selection for IQ in America right now is probably a good bit different than (proudly PIV) marriage and baby boom America i was born into, certainly the America my parents were born into.

    The idea that selection on any mental traits, general intelligence included, has been more or less the same across all civilizations, all ethnic groups is just laughable. European manorial feudalism, Austrailian aboriginal hunter-gathering, Chinese imperial exams, Viking raiding, Indian shudra tilling, Masai herding, Eskimo artic hunter-gathering, Ashkenazi money lending … yep, pretty much all the same selection.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  39. @Vart

    Seems kinda is/ought-ish to me

    Perhaps the author is oughtistic.

  40. @res

    Also worth noting that the most intelligent invertebrate is the octopus (probably) which tend to be quite dexterous. A mind isn’t much use without hands. I would also add:

    -Tongue/larynx capable of sophisticated movements allowing complex vocalizations
    -Visible corneas to help others in the group to infer what one is looking at
    -Bipedal (frees up hands, so not sure if this would be a separate trait)
    -co evolution of fire/cooking and relatively short guts/small jaws. Basically outsourcing digestion
    -Hairless. Temperature control outsourced to clothing, allowing easy adaptation to different climates as well as saving energy used to grow hair.
    -Better color vision compared to most mammals and worse sense of smell compared to most mammals. Sensory profile more similar to birds than most mammals (although I believe most birds see in tetrachrome, while the great apes are trichrome, most mammals are bichrome.)

    • Replies: @res
    , @Anonymous
  41. @Lot

    The Guardian is owned by George Soros

    The Guardian has long been a non profit and has no owners. Soros isn’t even a board member.

    The Sierra Club is a non-profit, and has long been owned by one David Gelbaum. Why would The Guardian be any different?

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  42. @AnotherDad

    To make my point about “torquing around science for politics”:

    Does anyone for a second believe that this guy would believe, or that we’d ever see any article written:

    “Why differences in sweat glands between races are unlikey.”

    No, of course not. It’s obvious why there would be differences and the evidence is clear that there are differences. Both are of course also true of IQ. It’s just that those IQ differences *matter* and have political import in a way that sweat glands do not.

    No all this equalist nonsense is just that–nonsense. Anti-scientific nonsense in the service of a nasty globalist, super-state-loving, anti-national, anti-white politics.

  43. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals.

    I remember vaguely reading a quote from an anthropologist once that went something like this,

    Man is the only animal that can walk ten miles, swim a mile, and then climb a tree

    .

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @james wilson
  44. res says:
    @SimpleSong

    Good points. Thanks.

  45. Moses says:

    Genetic IQ differences between Golden Retrievers and Bulldogs are unlikely too. Everyone knows that all the dog breeds have the exact same IQ distributions.

    There is only one race, the dog race. They are all the same.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  46. Another Dad Thereom:

    Any genetically mediated trait which has not reached fixation–i.e. varies between individuals–*must* vary between “populations groups”.

    Note, the extent of those differences … that’s an empirical question. Go collect data. But that differences exist, that just is.

    This is called “math”. Proof is left as an exercise for the reader.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  47. @Dave Pinsen

    Man is the only animal that can walk ten miles, swim a mile, and then climb a tree

    … pop open the treehouse fridge and have a cold beer.

    FIFY

  48. In fact, the genetics and evolutionary history of intelligence suggest just the opposite. Most of our traits, such as height, for example, are set by natural selection at an optimal level – it’s good for humans to be about so tall, on average.

    This guy’s retarded. Are men too tall? Are women too short? What about Pygmies? And the Dutch and the Danes? And Manute Bol?

    And he’s only getting started. It’s as if he’s impelled to make every statement stupider than the one before.

  49. @Steve Sailer

    If a bear is chasing your gathering party of women, it’s useful in a Darwinian sense to outrun some of the other women.

    Bears aren’t really interested in eating people.

    Black bears prefer much smaller prey, ideally vegetables and find humans too large and dangerous.

    Brown bears like fish, berries, and ungulates best and avoid humans, though they could eat a person if they were desperate and hungry enough. We’ve never been important in their diets.

    Polar bears generally don’t live near humans and prefer sea food.

    There used to be some larger predators around that would eat people, but they were wiped out or driven into tiny territories. Before we taught them all to fear us, wolves and mountain lions probably had an occasional child. Saber Tooth Cats appear to have enjoyed human food which is probably why we killed them all.

    But mostly the things that kill and eat humans are much, much smaller than humans. Mosquitoes and tse-tse flies and guinea worms and hookworms and ticks have each killed and eaten thousands of times more humans than all species of animal that weigh more than one ounce combined.

    And you can’t outrun any of those tiny creatures.

  50. @SimpleSong

    I can’t believe this guy writes for a major publication. This is an unbelievably stupid statement.

    The brain uses massive amounts of energy. Each neuron has to maintain an electrical disequilibrium by actively pumping sodium and potassium ions across the cell membrane. This takes huge amounts of energy. Your brain is the most metabolically demanding organ in your body, (along with your heart) even when it is not being used. When you are not using your muscles they don’t use much energy. When you are asleep, not using your brain, it still uses a ton of energy.

    So the balance is that a bigger brain requires you to eat a lot more. In a famine, all other things being equal, the smarties starve and the dummies don’t. And prior to the modern era famine happened all the time.

    Mitchell on cars:

    “Everyone drives a Mercedes. It’s the best car there is. Therefore everyone drives one. QED.”

    No, not everyone drives a Mercedes, because a Mercedes is expensive, just like a high-powered brain.

    Intelligence has benefits and costs. Selection for intelligence will depend on the environment.

  51. So here is my a priori case to expect continuous traits like IQ or height which are influenced by many genes to vary between populations (in terms of population means) at least as much as they vary within populations (in terms of standard deviations). In other words if the standard deviation of IQ is 15 points within a population then it is likely that we can find two populations that have mean IQ at least 15 points apart. And similarly for any other continuous trait.

    Why is that? Use IQ as example. The variation (more precisely that part of the variation that is due to genetic differences) is caused by the presence of many genes with two common alleles say A and B where people with the A allele are smarter than people with the B allele. So why is the B allele still around? Because people with the B allele have some compensating advantage. For example they could have better eyesight, or they could have smaller skulls making their mothers less likely to die in childbirth, or their brains could use less energy allowing them to get by with less food. And so on. This allows both the A and B variants to stick around. This is helped by the fact that in many cases an advantageous gene becomes less valuable when a lot of people have it. This because even small groups will have specialized roles to some extent. Exceptional eyesight will be more valuable to a scout if the other scouts only have average eyesight. So for a population in a given environment the A and B forms will tend to be in equilibrium with a fraction p of the genes in the population being the A allele and a fraction (1-p) being the B allele for some p between 0 and 1 (of course you can have more than two variants of the gene, more realistic models will be more complicated but the general idea will be the same) .

    Now change the environment. This is likely to change the equilibrium point p. In some cases one of the forms will now be so advantageous that the other form is driven to zero in other cases p will just move a bit say from .4 to .6. Suppose in the new environment intelligence is more valuable in general than in the old environment. Maybe for example the new environment has seasons making it more important to be able to plan ahead. The you will get a whole bunch of alleles where the A variant increases in frequency perhaps all the way to 1 or perhaps just a little. But the effect added over all the genes influencing intelligence will be to raise the population average intelligence.

    How much should we expect the average intelligence to rise (or fall in the opposite case where intelligence is generally less important in the new environment)? Well you could come up with complicated mathematical models to try to answer this question but intuitively individuals with IQ 115 or 85 (that is plus or minus one standard deviation) are still well within the normal range, they just have a few more (or a few less) of the A alleles than average. They aren’t at any great advantage (or disadvantage) or the population IQ in the original environment wouldn’t be stable (as we are assuming). So individuals with IQ 115 are about as fit as those with IQ 100 (or even 85). So it is easy to imagine that in a new environment that favors IQ more individuals with IQ 115 are more fit than those with IQ 100 (who are in term now more fit than those with IQ 85). In time this fitness advantage will drive the population average IQ up perhaps to 115 as we already know this is feasible (since plenty of individuals in the existing environment already have IQ 115), we just have to tweak the allele frequencies a little so the population contains more high IQ types and fewer low IQ types.

    Obviously this isn’t a rigorous argument and doesn’t give precise predictions. It just seems intuitive that if the current population already contains lot of people with IQ 115 who function about as well as people with IQ 100 then in an environment that favors IQ a bit more it wouldn’t be surprisingly to see a population average of 115. The same argument would hold for any other trait. It doesn’t seem hard for natural selection to move the population average one standard deviation and considering the wide range of environments that people live in through out the world it seems likely two will be sufficiently different to have populations at least one standard deviation apart in that trait.

    • Replies: @Yak-15
  52. Is there anything in his article that is based on actual data of any kind? Or is it all just what he wishes to be the case?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Mr. Anon
  53. @Sue-Lynn's Gem

    Prison guard turned author Rory Miller addressed the question of whether the ghetto thugs he knew in prison felt inferior to middle class people. No, he said, because they know you wouldn’t last a day in their world.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  54. @bgates

    The point is “being ever taller.” 6’4″ is good, 6’10″ starts to look freaky.

    • Replies: @Randal
  55. FKA Max says: • Website
    @res

    Any others?

    Dopamine may have given humans our social edge over other apes

    Male chimpanzees signal their aggression when they display their big canines, in contrast with humans, who show small canines when they smile
    .

    Compared with other primates, both humans and great apes had elevated levels of serotonin and neuropeptide Y, in the basal ganglia. However, in line with another recent study on gene expression, humans had dramatically more dopamine in their striatum than apes, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Humans also had less acetylcholine, a neurochemical linked to dominant and territorial behavior, than gorillas or chimpanzees. The combination “is a key difference that sets apart humans from all other species,” Raghanti says.

    Those differences in neurochemistry may have set in motion other evolutionary changes, such as the development of monogamy and language in humans, theorizes Kent State paleoanthropologist Owen Lovejoy, a co-author. He proposes a new “neurochemical hypothesis for the origin of hominids,” in which females mated more with males who were outgoing, but not too aggressive. And males who cooperated well with other males may have been more successful hunters and scavengers. As human ancestors got better at cooperating, they shared the know-how for making tools and eventually developed language—all in a feedback loop fueled by surging levels of dopamine. “Cooperation is addictive,” Raghanti says.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/01/dopamine-may-have-given-humans-our-social-edge-over-other-apes

    A pack of smart, hedonistic creative types with a lot of anxiety and high brain dopamine: A case history of a family homozygous for the COMT Val158Met mutation.

    https://www.drbenlynch.com/resource/a-pack-of-smart-hedonistic-creative-types-with-a-lot-of-anxiety-and-high-brain-dopamine-a-case-history-of-a-family-homozygous-for-the-comt-val158met-mutation/ Archived link: http://archive.is/fRrGX

    What’s fascinating about this isn’t any one single issue in the family, but that the collective familial pattern does point to some kind of dopamine imbalance, and not all of it negative!

    I know you know about the racial differences in COMT Met frequencies already, res, and we have discussed this subject in depth http://www.unz.com/jthompson/piffers-equation-further-updated/#comment-2301523 . This information is for other interested readers:

    Source: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/piffers-equation-further-updated/#comment-2297648

    It’s time to forge ahead with our basic understanding of neurochemistry and talk a bit about dopamine. As human beings, dopamine is kind of where it’s at, meaning overall levels and the left brain versus right brain amounts of dopamine are major distinguishing factors between our brains and those of our primate cousins. Dopamine may well be the secret to what makes us human – meaning awfully bright, able to plan ahead, and resist impulses when necessary.

    What is dopamine? It’s a neurotransmitter, which means it controls communication in the brain. Dopamine can tell a neuron to fire off a signal or not, and modulates the signals. Dopamine is ancient – found in lizard brains and every other animal along the evolutionary tree up to homo sapiens. But humans have a great deal of dopamine, and over many generations it seems we have evolved to have more and more.

    Control where dopamine ends up in the brain isn’t just determined by straight up mendelian genetics. As I discussed in this post, our prenatal neurochemical environment had a lot to do with how our dopamine machinery migrates and works in our brains. Which brings up an important point – one special thing about humans is our bipedalism. Being upright while mom is pregnant exposes our fetal brains to different environments than other primates, so the theory is this elevated the dopamine levels in the left hemisphere of most people’s brains compared to other primates. I know. Go with it for a minute. It’s just a theory.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201105/dopamine-primer

    • Replies: @res
  56. yaab says:
    @Steve Sailer

    but the real smart animals like chimps etc are not having a good life with more humans around if not for the conservation effort that came almost too late. And if we think about Neanderthals as (not correctly politically and otherwise) an animal then they certainly not flourishing while they almost surely having a higher g than say dogs. I mean, what can dogs do for men and they cannot? Basically, if you are second smart, then you do not necessarily having an evolutionary advantage. You are living in an environment dictated to large extent by the kind that is superior to you.

    Thinking about evo quickly descends into this kind of murky arguments. The soft and hard sciences divide.

  57. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Senator Brundlefly

    Are you sure it isn’t just the fact that already intelligent species are able to deal with the rapid changes brought about by humanity?

    No, humans have tended to judge animals in terms of ‘dangerous’ or non-dangerous.
    So, wolves, Grizzlies, and cougars were mostly wiped out in North America. Deemed too dangerous. Those are smart animals.

    In contrast, humans mostly left the less intelligent gophers, deer, rabbits, opossum, and skunks alone. Not very dangerous. When nature dominated the Americas, the selective pressure on most animals came from nature(though there were Indians too). And nature remained constant season after season. So, animals got used to a constant environment and adapted to it.

    But when the whiten man took over America, rapid changes altered the landscape ceaselessly. So, land could be cut through with railways. Then, paved with high ways. Then turned into suburbs. And etc. So, animals need to do something more than adapt to a fixed environment. They needed to develop adaptability as a trait so they could adapt to ever-changing new realities. When the environment is fixed, adaptation is enough. But when the environment is always changing, it calls for adaptability. What Brooks calls ‘change-makers’ among humans.

    Also, human effect doesn’t necessarily favor the intelligent. Rising acidity of the sea favors jelly fish, a dumb animal. In many cases, simpler organisms are more adaptive than complex ones. Roaches are a primary example. Rapid changes in the oceans will likely favor organisms that are more adaptive.

    Adaptability is not same as intelligent. Lions and gorillas are more intelligent than most animals, but I don’t think they are very adaptive to changing environments. Lions rely on big game and can only eat meat. Gorillas are temperamentally suited to live in enclosed jungle areas.
    Also, if they encroached human world, people will kill them.
    In contrast, some very adaptive organisms are low-IQ. They are just very zeligish. Granted, part of the reason is they have lots of offsprings. Take bacteria. A toxin may kill off 100 billion bacteria, but suppose ONE bacterium develops immunity to the toxin and then rapidly multiplies to produce 100 billion bacteria that are not affected by the toxin. Complex animals cannot lose so many members to in order to adapt and survive because they are not that reproductive.

    But there are cases where an organism is both intelligent and adaptive. Octopus may be a good example. Octopus is designed in such way that it can do all sorts of amazing stuff. And it is smart.

  58. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:

    “Why Genetic IQ Differences Between ‘Races’ Are Unlikely”

    The fundamental DISHONESTY of the piece lies in Kevin Mitchell’s tacit suggestion that we don’t already have a century’s worth of data on this issue.

    In other words, this piece by a (presumably not yet tenured) employee of a government institution (Trinity College, Dublin) is part of a recent barrage of Cult-Marxist pieces of obfuscation laid down as suppression fire in a last-ditch effort preemptively to confuse the inattentive public about increasingly inescapable FACTUAL findings.

    It’s like saying “Temperature Differences between Day, Night Unlikely.” Temperature (like IQ) can be measured directly through well-established, generally agreed upon techniques. From there, standard statistical techniques can be used to see whether and to what extent temperature is correlated with the day/night cycle.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  59. Jack D says:
    @415 reasons

    The latter. Steve is being way too kind to this guy. It’s obvious which way the author would LIKE the world to be (I would like it to be that way too, but I’m realistic enough to know that it isn’t) and then he makes some kind of specious (but slick), fact free argument about how the world really is that way.

    Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction only in our ancient ancestors.

    Yes, this is why after 50,000 years in Australia the aborigines evolved into super-geniuses, veritable Wakandans….

    He starts off with this false premise and then he is off to the races – everything he builds on this weak foundation is equally weak.

    Even if it was true (which it ain’t) that the evolutionary pressure is always in favor of intelligence because you can’t have t00 much of a good thing, in different places there were different amount of pressure applied so that the pace of selection in favor of intelligence might differ between say an African village where the livin’ is easy and an E. European ghetto where if you don’t figure out some way to make a living and not starve/freeze to death you are not going to be around long enough to pass your genes on.

  60. eah says:

    In other words, there are tradeoffs to higher intelligence,…

    Whatever that means.

    …and there might be some environments where it is less useful to Darwinian fitness than some other environments.

    I see — is going to the doctor one of those “environments”? — is the graphic below “reasonable and worth thinking about” in that context?

    • Replies: @res
  61. If the writer of this article (a geneticist at Trinity College Dublin) says otherwise, his funding will dry up very quickly, and his career will be in a downward spiral. He knows (at least subconsciously) that he had better not notice any scientific evidence that race and IQ are linked. The European funding agencies strictly forbid any research with that conclusion — it is written into the EU grant agency requirements; “no work advocating eugenics is supported” and that clause is interpreted very, very broadly.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  62. eah says:

    In other words, there are tradeoffs to higher intelligence, and there might be some environments where it is less useful to Darwinian fitness than some other environments.

    Sigmar Gabriel in July, 2015 — Warum Flüchtlinge ein Gewinn für Deutschland sind — ‘Why Refugees are a plus for Germany’

    “Merkel’s Boner” or “ein Gewinn für Deutschland”? — you should get in touch with Herr Gabriel and work this out — after all, DE could be one of those “environments” where ‘higher intelligence is less useful’.

    “LOL”

  63. @Dave Pinsen

    Pretty sure a bear can walk ten miles, swim ten miles, and climb a tree. A polar bear can swim 100 miles, and sometimes has to. Come to think of it, a tiger is pretty good at these skills also.

  64. If he were right then intelligence would not vary among individuals either (which many Guardianistas may purport to believe!). But of course he knows it’s not true, he has the disproof within the article – intelligence has high costs and thus a cost/benefit ratio, which will vary somewhat with circumstances, causing selection pressures and thus outcomes to vary.

  65. Mitchell says:
    @Matthew Kelly

    “doth” is singular. Its plural is “do”.

  66. @Moses

    Thought the very same thought yesterday and came to the following conclusion:
    True, but dogs are not human.

    (See?)

    (( :) ))

  67. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Rather than guessing you could just look it up. The Guardian is not owned or financed by George Soros in anyway. It is instead owned by the Scott Trust. You can find all of the details below.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Trust_Limited

    The interesting thing about the Guardian is that it really is run by the writers and for the writers even to the extent of now making eye-watering and unsustainable financial losses.

    It is a clean experiment in how a newspaper would look absent financial and owner pressure.

    It also shows how the outer party maintains itself. Indeed, George Orwell based his critique on Guardian writers and similar.

    Recently, a Ms Viner took over as editor. She was the shock winner in a vote and she has taken the publication in a Teen Vogue direction. I can only assume because this is how British journalists now want to write.

  68. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s like saying “Temperature Differences between Day, Night Unlikely.” Temperature (like IQ) can be measured directly through well-established, generally agreed upon techniques. From there, standard statistical techniques can be used to see whether and to what extent temperature is correlated with the day/night cycle.

    It isn’t. We have no well-established techniques for measuring genetic IQ.

    I suspect we will do soom though.

    • Replies: @Highlander
  69. Jon says:
    @eric

    Don’t feed the troll.

  70. Jon says:
    @(((They))) Live

    He posts here because you respond.

  71. Chase says:

    Interesting or not, they simply aren’t true as any observer of human activity from oh let’s say 5,000 BC through 1950 could have told you wholly uncontroversially.

  72. Logan says:
    @Roger

    We can form very large societies. You do not see this in other animals, except mainly ants and bees.

    The biggest difference, beside the societies being larger, is that human societies, unlike animal societies, are not necessarily or entirely kin-based.

  73. Logan says:
    @SimpleSong

    Does not follow, as your theory is based on the assumption that in a famine each person gets the same amount of food, thus the person with lower energy requirements has a metabolic advantage.

    But that’s not the way any human famine has ever worked. Invariably, some get plenty of food throughout the famine, others none at all, based mostly on social factors.

    It is entirely probable that in a famine the smart person will be more likely to figure out how to manipulate the social (or possibly physical) environment in a way that gets him more food than the dumb guy.

    In a complete societal breakdown, assuming advanced weapons aren’t present, the large man is more likely to get enough to eat, despite his much greater metabolic requirements. He’ll simply take food away from smaller, weaker people.

    • Replies: @Svigor
    , @Bies Podkrakowski
  74. @Lot

    The Guardian “Trust” is in fact a limited company. Changed in 2008.

  75. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:
    @niteranger

    Throughout undergraduate and grad school I never met one geneticist that truly understood evolution so this is no surprise to me.

    Who does understand it?

  76. @Harry Baldwin

    “whether the ghetto thugs he knew in prison felt inferior to middle class people. No, he said, because they know you wouldn’t last a day in their world”

    That’s like comments I’ve seen in the Guardian to the effect of “you think you’re smart, but would you know how to survive a militia raid on your village, which this Somali refugee has? He’s probably smarter than you!”

    To which the answer is “in which society are militia raids more likely to be a problem, one composed of English or one composed of Somalis?

    Aboriginal Australians had deep knowledge of survival in a harsh land, which roots stored water, what insects were nutritious – but Native Britons arriving in Australia had deep knowledge of building houses and roads, wheeled vehicles, digging wells, storing food and water, agriculture. They survived pretty well.

    Middle class white Americans, still more rural ones, could survive perfectly well in the ghetto were they given free rein (or didn’t mind prison).

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
  77. segundo says:

    Greg Cochran would tear this apart. I just checked his blog and he apparently hasn’t heard about it. Or maybe it isn’t worth his time.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Unladen Swallow
  78. Realist says:
    @Anonymous

    Most likely Asians study harder because they have a higher IQ.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  79. TheJester says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Tiny Duck,

    If you do not believe in genetic differences in IQ, then you probably failed to take Evolution and Genetics 101 in school. If you had, the evolutionary predictions regarding local human genetic adaptations due to the environment (including IQ) would have been verified in your travels to East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. If you want something closer to home, take a walk through an African-American ghetto in the United States.

    Oh! … you never took any courses on biological science in school; you’ve never traveled; and you are afraid to walk through a black ghetto due to the violence. Regardless, you know that there is no such thing as race and all IQs are equal because of a priori feelings that it would be a better world if that were the case.

    It’s easier to blame all of the world’s environmental and genetic-based variances (and their consequences) on the omnipotent and evil White Male … and his racism, sexism, and intersectional oppressions. One cannot see the racism, sexism, and intersectional oppressions, but you know they are there because something has to account for the local variations. Lacking any other politically acceptable explanation, postulating the existence of invisible Evil White Male Spirits does just fine.

    However, consistent with the shamanistic tradition for explaining natural events, shouldn’t you be sacrificing to the Evil White Male Spirits rather than taunting them?

    Beware, Tiny Duck! I demand my due!

  80. Randal says:
    @res

    This is a great juxtaposition. You have to love self-refuting articles.

    Exactly my thought on reading the two paragraphs you quoted.

    Seems to be a classic case of an otherwise intelligent man blinded by the desperate need to force reality into conformance with respectability.

    Rather surprised Steve has given it the respect he has here.

  81. Randal says:
    @Joe Walker

    The fact that they are so opposed to any research into the connection between race, genetics and IQ shows that they don’t really believe in their public positions on these topics.

    This is exactly right, and in general advocates of censorship should be assumed to be conceding the weakness of the position they are defending.

    It’s often true (as it is in this case, imo) and regardless it really annoys the censorship advocates, who fully deserve to be annoyed, and much more.

  82. Randal says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    The point is “being ever taller.” 6’4″ is good, 6’10″ starts to look freaky.

    Only in a society with an average height of 6′. In reality, somewhat greater height than the average (assuming general proportionality otherwise) is in general an unalloyed breeding advantage limited only by practical trade-offs in much the same way intelligence is, rendering the Guardian writer’s argument self-contradictory.

    The idea that a huge difference in height looks freaky whereas a huge advantage in intelligence hypothetically confers no countervailing disadvantages is, first, speculative and second, irrelevant.

  83. dr kill says:
    @Sue-Lynn's Gem

    I vote to have all published commentators post their own IQ scores with every article, so I can decide to take them seriously or not. It would save a lot of time.

  84. George says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “it’s useful in a Darwinian sense to outrun some of the other women.”

    As an individual running fast is an advantage, but as a group, she would be better off surrounded by moderately fit, moderately capable*, teenage boys with sharp sticks. That is sort of Jared Diamond’s lament about individual heroic superstar hunter gatherers being over run by less fit agrarians. If one of the teenage boys is an unfit nerd and spends all day working on improved sharp sticks, all the better.

    * If teenage boys are too capable they might leave the camp and set up shop away from mommy.

    Of course, out in the forest, there may have been some highly fit women that survived based on mental acuity and athletic skill. The short squat agrarian women resented those women.

  85. Rosie says:
    @Anonym

    Is it really that useful to run fast for a woman?

    How would you even get slower women without also getting slower men? Don’t tribes with fast men, also have fast women, and vice versa?

    • Replies: @Anonym
  86. George says:
    @Anonym

    There may be some sort of undiscovered trade-off. Like the way, sickle cell is good if you live near mosquitoes. Being less intelligence might protect the brain from some pathology( is that the right term) that is now under control or extinct. A made up example, let’s say your brain can be optimized for defense against brain eating amoebas or intelligence, but not both? Which would you pick? The trade offs in areas with very harsh climate were probably different than in areas with moderate climate. Maybe Ibn Khaldun’s inland tribes in ancient Tunisa had trade offs that favored intelligence over the coastal elites? Which is what caused the cycle of inland tribes taking over the coasts (known for malaria and good food and restaurants) and becoming decadent in a recurring cycle.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  87. BB753 says:

    Mitchell’s arguments are only fairly reasonable in the EU context where thinking otherwise might cost you your job or land you in jail.
    So, natural selection only works against random mutations that reduce intelligence but never selects for mutations that favor higher intelligence, no matter the selective pressures, the environment and other factors? It has never happened anywhere on the planet in any population for the last 300 k years? How bloody likely is that?

  88. Generally speaking, people don’t like those who are smarter than they are. Therefore, being TOO intelligent is a bug, not a feature. There is an IQ cliff that many (on here?) fall off of. Mensa was invented to give high-IQ but low achieving types something to hang their hats on. People usually snicker at those who mention their Mensa memberships.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  89. How strongly is intelligence correlated with myopia? I can see a real trade-off there.

  90. Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals.

    Not true. Humans have amazing manual dexterity, very good eyesight, and remarkable endurance.

  91. @Peter Johnson

    His job requires dishonest op-eds for the Guardian? It may be necessary for him to lie when requesting grant money for research, this is not that what this is though.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
  92. Anon[379] • Disclaimer says:

    Didn’t Gregory Cochran rebut this line of thinking here a month ago?:

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/rapid-change-in-polygenic-traits/

  93. @Tyrion 2

    Studies of identical twins raised apart do.

  94. Mike1 says:

    It’s really not that interesting. Articles like this are like flares thrown out to avoid incoming missiles. There is no other purpose than to obscure.

    The stuff on height is blatant idiocy. Have a Bushman walk into the room while everyone is nodding wisely that height clusters around the same level.

    • Replies: @John Achterhof
  95. Pat Boyle says:
    @Vart

    As it happens I just woke up (my little dog was licking my hand). It is about sunrise but I didn’t feel like getting up, so I reached over and read a couple pages from Reich’s book that was on my bedside table. In it Reich reveals himself to be doctrinaire racist of the deepest stripe. He holds strong racial prejudices. It’s just that he believes in an improbable equality of the races.

    It is quite startling to realize how a man with such powerful scientifi9c credentials can be so intellectually blind and biased. He criticizes all who see even the possibility of racial differences. He states flat out that there is no evidence for a genetic basis of intelligence. He speculates wildly that the greater sprint ability of West Africans is just greater variability. He seems to think that because of their variability West Africans have more fast runners and more slow runners. Yet he provides no evidence or even an anecdote to support this contention.

    Steve wonders if anyone has some data on the SD of black runners. Me too. I would like to know that factoid. I and Steve have an empirical set of mind, while Reich just accepts a bizarre state of nature to be true with no reason to suspect that such a finding actually exists. Are there any football or basketball coaches who have complained – ” it’s fine to get the rare fast blacks but there are all those extra slow blacks too”.

    Foot speed isn’t all that mysterious. Almost everyone who knows anything about sports or sports medicine has heard of slow and fast twitch muscle fibers, knows that narrower hips make you faster, as does smaller leg calves. Reich seems to be shockingly ignorant.

    It should be quite easy to test Reich’s speculation about greater black running speed variability. I ran the 100 yards dash in junior high. Everyone did, and the gym teachers noted our times. I was pretty slow. As I remember my time was 13 seconds. Somewhere someone has stored schoolboy running data. Get a pocket calculator. Punch in the data and push the Standard Deviation button. That’s all there is to it. I think Reich should be able to handle that.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @res
    , @Anon
  96. @Tiny Duck

    And the tests biased in favor of white males show East Asians are smarter on average

  97. @Steve Sailer

    It’s more useful to have a pair of guys with large powerful bows run a couple of holes into bear, butcher and grill it. No need to run.

    https://tinyurl.com/y7bvj49z

  98. Svigor says:
    @Logan

    He said “all else being equal,” so you’re responding to a statement he didn’t make.

    • Replies: @Logan
  99. J1234 says:

    Most of our traits, such as height, for example, are set by natural selection at an optimal level – it’s good for humans to be about so tall, on average. Some genetic variants tend to make people a bit shorter than average and some tend to make people a bit taller. The balance between these variants has been maintained by natural selection to keep average height “just right”. Intelligence is not like that. Unlike height, where being ever taller had no benefit, strong evolutionary forces drove intelligence in one direction only in our ancient ancestors.

    As others have said, this is a very misguided idea on some levels. The subtext of the statement is that natural selection is some sort of benevolent force with a proclivity for making things “right” in nature. Natural selection isn’t just about evolving, it’s also about becoming extinct.

    The comments about running are right on the mark. What human population would not benefit from running faster, just like they would benefit from being smarter? That also seems be a trait with unidirectional benefits – it’s hard to imagine a case where running slower was an advantage over others. And yet some human racial populations can run faster than other populations.

    What if a heightened fight or flight response in a population had an adverse affect on some abstract cognitive abilities? Intelligence seems to have some religious significance among scientists who keep insisting it can’t be subjected to the same logic (in an evolutionary sense) as other human traits. If IQ scores across the globe were roughly equivalent, or if IQ tests had been abandoned a couple of generations ago because they were deemed useless, I could see their point. That doesn’t seem to be the case, though.

  100. Sailer blew this one.

    “To end up with systematic genetic differences in intelligence between large, ancient populations, the selective forces driving those differences would need to have been enormous. What’s more, those forces would have to have acted across entire continents, with wildly different environments, and have been persistent over tens of thousands of years of tremendous cultural change. Such a scenario is not just speculative – I would argue it is inherently and deeply implausible. ”

    Guess he thinks that smarts evolved in a small African population, but stopped evolving when the population expanded across the globe. “Large, ancient populations” ignores inbreeding in small local populations, bottlenecks, isolation, local environmental differences, behavioral genetic arguments and data, sexual selection, etc. Is he claiming that genetically influenced differences in aptitude profiles between pygmies and bushmen are unlikely, for example?

    Where’s the argument? His reference to ‘large ancient populations’ reveals the straw man.

  101. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @SimpleSong

    Walking upright also grants improved visibility over equivalent sized quadrupeds. Our eyes are better but also better positioned.

  102. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Boyle

    “The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.”

  103. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sue-Lynn's Gem

    Breeding for intelligence instead of physical health has serious genetic consequences. It produces populations with high incidences of congenital physical problems. It’s similar to the problems that afflict show dogs that have been bred for appearance instead of health.

  104. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    That’s nice, but is there any popular newspaper or magazine, regardless of owners, which doesn’t engage in this kind of dishonesty regarding intelligence and heredity? I can’t think of one. (I’ve even seen these kinds science-denying articles in the New Scientist.)

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  105. res says:
    @FKA Max

    Interesting. Thanks.

    That one article makes me wonder if people are going to start taking L-DOPA as a performance (creativity) enhancing drug.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @FKA Max
  106. Yak-15 says:
    @James B. Shearer

    What if your environment favors the cannibalization of high IQ types by decreasing their fertility in order to increase the fertility of the low IQ types?

    • Replies: @James B. Shearer
  107. res says:
    @eah

    That graphic captures things reasonably well, but if anyone wants more detail see https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/157998/factstablea24.html

    What I want to know is what is going on with the people who score 5-14 on the MCAT while maintaining a 3.8 – 4.0 GPA? The weird thing is whites were actually admitted at a higher percentage than Blacks for that and the 15-17 categories. Nepotism?

  108. Anon[347] • Disclaimer says:

    “California has 5th largest economy in the world”

    …but the worst education system in the nation, the 9th highest inequality rating (sure to increase), and a middle-class that is fleeing the state. Can’t wait to have the whole country look like Blade Runner or Robocop. Everything will be paved over in asphalt. Meanwhile, a few rich SJWs at the top, everyone else at the bottom and mired in constant racial strife, witch hunts, and two-minute orgies of hate. California is the future.

    California, as in independent country, probably wouldn’t fare as well. The rest of the country sort of subsidizes that state with talent and low-cost natural resources. Having a large population – including one of the single largest populations of whites and Asians for any state – also doesn’t hurt. But, nothing lasts forever. I expect a dramatic downturn in Cali’s fortunes once China takes away its entertainment and tech industries by mid-century.

  109. res says:
    @Pat Boyle

    narrower hips make you faster

    That’s what I have always understood, but I just looked and ran across this: https://www.bu.edu/research/articles/in-defense-of-wide-hips/
    Paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118903

    Given that the primary author is an anthropologist (albeit biological) and the sample size is both tiny and selectively based on runners:

    Two experiments were conducted, one at Harvard University and one at Washington University in St. Louis. In the first experiment, metabolic data was collected on fifteen subjects (male n = 8, female n = 7) in order to compare net locomotor cost between men and women. In the second experiment, we collected kinematic, kinetic, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in addition to metabolic data on twenty-six individuals (male n = 13, female n = 13) in order to examine how pelvic width and hip abductor EMA affects locomotor cost. Subjects were all physically fit recreational runners and non-smokers between 20–35 years of age.

    I am skeptical.

    Does anyone have better references?

  110. @Logan

    Not if someone smaller, but smarter knifes him during sleep. Or uses his smarts to make alliances with other people to kill and eat the bully.

  111. @Anonym

    Is it really that useful to run fast for a woman?

    I think its rather about ability to walk long distances in search of food.

  112. Anonym says:
    @Rosie

    How would you even get slower women without also getting slower men? Don’t tribes with fast men, also have fast women, and vice versa?

    I see what Steve us getting at now, i.e. setting the pelvis width for both sexes rather than for females (even though it is at least partly sex-linked). But I see that in most cases IQ >> running speed in terms of tribal competitiveness. (Even in the modern arguably dysgenic times, that environment has been set by the higher IQ Jewish tribe’s footgun creation of Political Correctness. I say arguably, because high IQ white goys can still theoretically ignore it, earn more money due to high IQ and pump out more children. Which is what several of us are actually doing. And the funny thing is that liberal Jews have drunk their own koolaid on that one and have also forgotten to breed. PC is an evolutionary dead end from both the Jewish and white goy perspective, IMO.)

    Anyway… instead of Steve’s formulation

    I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if smaller skulls are better at birth not just in getting born but in setting the width of the pelvic cradle, with a narrower pelvis being better for faster running.

    I’m used to thinking of it like this:
    I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if wider pelvic cradles are not just better at birthing but in allowing more massive heads to be born, with a more massive head being better for higher IQ.

    Or something closer to what Steve has written:
    I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if larger skulls are poorer at birth but better at setting the width of the pelvic cradle, with a wider pelvis being better for birthing larger skulled, higher IQ individuals at the expense of running ability.

    Even African IQ >> African animal IQ.

    In the short term, higher IQ, larger skulled individuals will “force the issue” by killing some females in childbirth, but being born in the wider pelvised women. So you get a success of higher IQ/larger skulled at closer to equilibrium. Over time though, the narrow hipped women will die off and the tribe will have wider pelvic cradles and larger skulls born with less complications.

  113. @Unladen Swallow

    I only remarked his funding would dry up “if he said otherwise.” Writing for the Guardian will not get your funding cut, unless you say otherwise than the accepted blank slate view. I did not mean to imply that he needs to write blank slate-ish newspaper articles to keep his grant money.

    This newspaper article will help to protect him from funding agency concern that he might turn up the wrong kind of evidence, and not hush it up. So it might help (or at least not hurt) his case for continued funding from the European science bureaucracy.

  114. @res

    As I recall, E.O. Wilson in his brilliant Social Conquest of Earth described the opposing thumb and ability to articulate words as prerequisite developments along the way toward the evolution of the high intelligence unique to humans. Also prerequisite, as the title suggests, was the social characteristic of pre-humans, in which the tribe may be thought of as a higher unit of survival/reproduction. As Wilson describes it – I paraphrase – there were a number of “correct” turns that had to be taken at junctures along the course of evolutionary history toward high intelligence. With the ability to use tools, share information and coordinate strategy with others in the group, intelligence is highly actionable, of high (cumulative) utility.

    https://www.amazon.com/Social-Conquest-Earth-Edward-Wilson/dp/0871403633

  115. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anonymous

    The Guardian is worse than every other newspaper. It is also entirely unresponsive to financial and oligarchical pressure. The priestly class have gone off the deep end and this is their house rag. Pretending there is a man behind the curtain, like Soros, doesn’t begin to explain the nature of the problem.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  116. MBmb says:

    Agreed. I think there is a tradeoff between intelligence and resilience. Intelligence is also important in harsh environments, but e.g. being able to survive long marches with little food or water, as a child, and not overthinking it, may be more important.
    Of course, it’s mostly a difference of degree, not of kind. Also, probably many of the traits are phenotypical and can be turned on or off as a function of circumstances.
    But probably some of these traits are also hard-wired.

  117. @Yak-15

    What if your environment favors the cannibalization of high IQ types by decreasing their fertility in order to increase the fertility of the low IQ types?

    Not sure exactly what you are trying to say here. If you are in an environment where high IQ reduces fertility (because for example birth control methods are available and more utilized by high IQ individuals) then over time (everything else being equal) this will reduce the average IQ of the population.

    If you are in an social environment where smart people are shunned (or worse) this could also over time reduce reduce average IQ although the effect will be mitigated by smart people pretending to be stupid.

    Human evolution was certainly affected by interaction with other humans as well as the natural environment. A society that favored smart people would over time have more smart people than a society that favored dumb people.

  118. MarkinLA says:
    @SimpleSong

    There are also other issues in human activities that are cultural that drive genetics. I doubt the Vikings were as worried about intelligence as the Greeks were. In addition, the Vikings were more likely interested in organizing for battle and not advanced mathematics required of architects. This would tend to make the Vikings select for the strongest man who could handle himself in hand-to-hand combat. While intelligence may be a desirable trait, it would come in nowhere near what physicality it takes to swing a battle ax and maintain your fighting stance.

  119. kiismerh says:
    @res

    Intelligence is our defining characteristic and our only real advantage over other animals

    That’s simply not true.

    It is worse than simply not true. It is idiotic. From a professor no less.

    English is not my first language, but I understand the meaning of real in that sentence…

    • Replies: @res
  120. eric says:

    Biologist Ken Miller has a new book out on the evolution of consciousness (The Human Instinct). He downplays natural selection’s role in human intelligence. In fact, it’s a really disingenuous book because he attacks the straw man argument that it was 100% natural selection–0% drift–but as a practical matter he merely critiques any evolutionary argument for human traits (ie, 0% natural selection).

  121. Anonym says:
    @George

    Maybe so but I suspect not in regards to disease induced pathology.

    With SSAs, having children without thought to how you might care for them probably works well in an environment of tetse fly, malaria etc. Let the good times roll, and Malthus can worry about the minimal consequences.

    It’s not like there is much wasted effort in the SSA parenting style. “Oh no, think of all the effort we spent tiger mothering poor departed Jaquon” said no SSA parent ever.

  122. @Mike1

    Another vain effort at the holy grail of the ideologically committed left (reminiscent of prior clashes of ideological vs. scientific mind over the Earth’s place in the galaxy and the origin of man): some robust defense, against encroaching untidy reality, of the world as it ought to be understood.

    Here it seems the ways of men part as to what is sacrosanct: whether vested ideology or truth as best as it can be ascertained through openness and conscientious thought.

  123. res says:
    @kiismerh

    That was too oblique for me. Care to elaborate?

  124. Anon[183] • Disclaimer says:
    @segundo

    Gregory Cochran has discussed Kevin Mitchell’s (the author of the Guardian article and a blogger) views on a number of occasions, most recently about a month ago:

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/rapid-change-in-polygenic-traits/

    Mitchell and Cochran have also gone at it in their respective comments sections. Cochran gives him a credit for not being an idiot, but disagrees with him.

    A few people have occasionally claimed that natural selection takes a long time to change any trait that might bother them – sometimes, they say this of polygenic traits, ones influenced by many genes, like height and intelligence. Kevin Mitchell has said this (“at least 100 millennia to evolve appreciably”) …

    You may ask yourself why fairly prominent people manage to say instantly falsifiable things about human genetics. Good question….

    [Cochran's explanation redacted ... go to the link above.]

    Previously on Greg Meets Kevin:

    Kevin Mitchell wrote an essay this summer (“The genetics of stupidity”) that got some attention. The idea is that most or all of the genetic influence affecting intelligence is genetic load. Although each deleterious mutation is very rare, the average individual carries many of them – and some people carry more than others. People with more messed-up genes than average would be less smart than average.

    This has to be part of the truth, and it might be most of the truth, particularly within a population. People have had no success looking for single alleles that explain much of the variation in IQ – but as far as I am aware, all of those studies have been of Europeans. In the next population you look at, the genetic architecture might be different. For example, height is highly polygenic in Europeans. No single allele explains much of the variance, although a few have large-enough influence to be detectable (unlike IQ, thus far). But the situation is different in Pygmies. There, we see loci that influence height, as well as a general tendency of height increasing with the fraction of the Bantu ancestry.

    So you don’t know until you look. It could well be that there are IQ QTLs among the Pygmies: if nothing else, being bigger, with a bigger brain, might well increase IQ. If I had to guess, I would suggest that IQ in Pygmies might also increase with the fraction of Bantu ancestry, which, if true, would certainly mystify many people.

    I doubt if genetic load is the entire story. Selection happens. But load surely matters, and may be part of the explanation both within and between populations.

    Years ago, I don’t think it was obvious that you wouldn’t find a few fair-sized IQ QTLs in Europeans. It was obvious that genetic load would be part of the story – I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. There I go again, using that mysterious and undefinable word again – ‘obvious’. Have to be careful about that.

    It depends on how IQ varies with the amount of load. The semi-educated guess is that the effects of load are multiplicative, which means that the observed differences in IQ could be explained by differences in load.

    gcochran says:
    December 15, 2012 at 9:49 am

    To an extent, yes. Visscher knows this. A recent, strongly deleterious mutation wouldn’t be old enough to show up in those calculations. In the limit, imagine a significantly bad mutation you got from your grandfather. Genetic similarity to distantly related people won’t predict its effects on you, because they simply don’t have it. It will, though, show up in a family heritability analysis. A denovo mutation, from your father, won’t even show up there – which means that even family studies miss some of the genetic influence.

    As stuff gets older (which means it can only be slightly deleterious) SNPs should eventually start to pick it up.

    The simplest way for a variant to get that old is if it is fitness-neutral, some kind of tradeoff.. Or only slightly deleterious, say 10-4.
    Reply

    Kevin Mitchell (@WiringTheBrain) says:
    December 17, 2012 at 5:08 am

    What I mean is that Visscher’s analysis may index mutational load generally, not so much the inheritance of any specific mutations. For traits that may be general fitness indicators, like intelligence or height (or possibly susceptibility to neurodevelopmental disorders), the general load may be an independent risk factor, quite separate from any effects of specific mutations. See here for a discussion of this in relation to intelligence (or stupidity): http://www.wiringthebrain.com/2012/07/genetics-of-stupidity.html

  125. FKA Max says: • Website
    @res

    That one article makes me wonder if people are going to start taking L-DOPA as a performance (creativity) enhancing drug.

    I just read up a little bit about L-DOPA and it does not seem to have the same effect and does not give one the same high as amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine or morphine (and ethanol, but ethanol is not included in the figures below), for example:

    Nothing comparable to a “drug high”.
    [...]
    This process takes time, and it is limiting. This is fine if your goal is to steadily feed the brain “freshly created” dopamine, as would be the goal in a therapeutically aimed administration. This is bad news if you imagine that it is going to cause an immediate cocaine-like high. The body’s natural inclination is to STORE newly created dopamine. There is nothing about L-DOPA that causes specific effects to block re-uptake of dopamine like cocaine, nor does it cause active efflux (pushing out, releasing) or reversal of re-uptake transporters like amphetamines do. These other drugs carry very specific, selective actions that are not typically seen in a brain free of these exogenous chemicals. For example, dopamine re-uptake transporters (DAT) by nature (and by name) re-absorb and recycle dopamine from the synapse which has not been oxidized by MAO, etc. It is intended to put dopamine back INTO storage spaces to be re-used, not intended to “spit out” dopamine from storage vesicles as amphetamines make them do. In fact, there are 3 known ways by which amphetamines increase dopamine levels in the synapse.

    By contrast, L-DOPA is not “made” to have an effect on the biomechanics of these cells, its purpose is to be synthesized into dopamine, then stored for use at the appropriate time.

    I think the dopamine rush/high is why many creative types smoke, drink and/or drug, are sex addicts (need a muse), and not take L-DOPA, for example:

    Levels of dopamine that you get from food, sex and drugs compared

    Source: http://www.supajam.com/news/story/Levels-of-dopamine-that-you-get-from-food-sex-and-drugs-compared Archived link: http://archive.is/z2MTt

    Alcohol, for example, produced a release of dopamine from about 100 units to about 200, You get a similar magnitude of an effect with nicotine. Cocaine produces a huge release of dopamine, from 100 units to about 350 units, however the mother of them all is methamphetamine. Methamphetamine you get a release from the base level to about 1250 units. A tremendous increase of dopamine. This produces an extreme peak of euphoria that people describe as something like they’ve never experienced and they probably never have experienced before because the brain really isn’t made to do this. And that’s why people will be attracted to it and want to take it over and over and over again. They want to produce that response.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/body/methbrainnoflash.html

    Genetic variants make for a low-functioning dopamine system, specifically D2 receptors. If you carry those variants, you are more likely to be more risk-taking, novelty-seeking and compulsive. None of which are explicitly creative, but they are things that get to creativity. So novelty-seeking might be a spur to creativity. Risk-taking might lead you to go more out on a limb. If you’re compulsive, you might be more motivated to get your art, science idea or novel out into the world. These traits that come from having low dopamine function have an upside. These traits can contribute to people having great success in the world, like business leaders.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-a-link-between-creativity-and-addiction/

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  126. FKA Max says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Forgot the link to the first quoted paragraph:

    Dopamine: If a group of people ingested L-dopa at a party, what effect might it have?

    https://www.quora.com/Dopamine-If-a-group-of-people-ingested-L-dopa-at-a-party-what-effect-might-it-have

  127. @Realist

    Most likely Asians study harder because they have a higher IQ.

    People with high IQ’s don’t need to study as much, so I don’t buy it.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    , @anon
  128. Svigor says:
    @ScarletNumber

    Maybe they just want to talk to other smart people.

  129. @SimpleSong

    If ‘strong evolutionary forces’ (whatever they are) push so greatly and universally in the direction of greater intelligence (whatever that is), how to explain the ubiquity of bacteria?

    Writing intelligently on the subject of evolution is a very difficult task.

  130. @Tyrion 2

    The bottom line – are the staff paid? If so, it’s for-profit.

  131. Logan says:
    @Svigor

    OK. But my point is that all things are never equal. Anyway, is there any evidence that energy consumption of the brain is related to mental activity or IQ, or simply to brain size, which is not necessarily related to intelligence? Does a brain working hard burn more energy than when it’s just idling along?

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  132. @Tyrion 2

    The Guardian is not owned or financed by George Soros in anyway.

    So they carry his water for free. In a way, that’s worse than selling out.

  133. @ben tillman

    Genotype-phenotype interaction — people with higher IQs tend to study more, not less. Similarly, people with a talent for sports practice more, not less, and people with a talent for music practice their instruments more, not less. Being good at something makes a person want to do more of it, rather than just get by on raw talent. Also their parents tend on average to share some of the same genetic traits (whether academic success, athletic success, or musical success) and provide a home environment beneficial to the talent being realized. It is called genotype-phenotype interaction and it boosts the influence of genes on behavioral outcomes.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  134. haremesc says:

    Asians are suing Harvard…they have to score higher on test scores to get into school.

    Blacks and Mexicans are given points to get them into schools.

    And Ashkenazi’s will tell you they have the HIGHEST IQ…

    IQ is real, and it isn’t racist…

  135. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @SimpleSong

    To add to this, if being taller had no benefit, why are humans bipedal at all? Maintaining balance is costly. Your CNS is constantly running ‘software’ in the background that is checking a zillion inputs (visual, proprioceptive, haptic, the balance circuit in the inner ear) and adjusting muscle forces to remain upright. Being bipedal is inherently unstable, as any drunk will tell you. Remaining upright is energy-expensive.

    While having a freed up pair of hands with opposable thumbs is surely a great benefit, lots of quadruped animals get up on their hind paws occasionally, so that they can SEE (and smell) farther, and reach higher. And impress the chicks and competitors alike with their great stature.

    Sure, at some point, being extremely tall outweighs the benefits of height (just try flying the economy class!), as the energy and structural costs get too high. But obviously it was of great benefit in the African savanna, where being able to see over tall grass, and being able to shed heat more effectively, were crucial. To this day there are very tall tribes in Africa, such as the Dinka, who, despite their relative lack of quickness and basketball courts, have supplied several notable players to the NBA (Manute Bol, Luol Deng, Thon Maker).

    Height is costly, and so is brain power, and yet the two are positively correlated. There must be benefits to both, which is why our tall, smart host Steve is rich and famous.

  136. anon[339] • Disclaimer says:
    @ben tillman

    The causation arrow is more likely to point the other way, if slightly. East Asians study a lot, and because of that do somewhat better on tests that correlate with IQ than they otherwise would. I’ve had the opportunity to observe this up close. This is not to say that they go from IQ 80 to 105 purely due to studying, but they might go from 100 to 105 because of the massive effort (and, let’s not forget, massive cheating).

    Hence, we have the myth (cf. Yan Shen) of EA superiority, at least in mathy subjects. But the advantage is really in grinding. This is not to be dismissive of hard work, which is a key factor in achievement, perhaps even more than IQ, once you have a sufficient base level of IQ.

    But if East Asians were really half of SD smarter in math than Europeans, , virtually all high achievement in math and physics would be East Asian (assuming similar standard deviation), especially because there are many more EA than Europeans. But it’s virtually all European. Figure it out, EA, since you are so good at math.

  137. Anon[998] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Boyle

    Pat, it’s not that mysterious, when you think that one’s career on which these impressive credentials are based depends on NOT being able to see the obvious. So we have the willful blindness of elite ‘scientists’, because they don’t want to be Watsoned.

    I’ve witnessed this firsthand – giving books to colleagues in which genetic differences in sprinting speed are plainly stated. They simply refuse to read them, because they know the information therein is heretical and may make their professed faith in absolute equality less sincere.

    Speaking of sprinting speed, the greater variability argument doesn’t hold water – virtually all West Africans have the fast-twitch gene and thus have the potential to be great sprinters. This is why we have the results that we have – virtually all sub-10s 100-meter sprinters are of West African origin, irrespective of their country of birth, creed, or socio-economic circumstances. The same goes for the speed position in American football, and basketball.

    The tiny Caribbean island of St. Kitts has more elite sprinters than the entire continent of Asia.
    It also has a high violent crime rate and lots of barbed wire everywhere.
    I’m sure it’s because of ‘poverty’.

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
  138. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:

    Studying doesn’t make you smarter, but being smart makes learning easier. Smart kids are less likely to get bored and lose interest in class.

  139. @segundo

    Near the end of the his column “Who We Are” #9, someone posted a link to it, he posted in response “complete nonsense”.

  140. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Yes, non-conformists. They’re still obsessed with tearing down idols and overthrowing superstition. Any tradition or institution that has popular reverence arouses their ire — “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.”

    Except that they have a peculiar definition of ‘god’ nowadays.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  141. Pat Boyle says:
    @Anon

    Actually Reich explicitly uses the term “heretical” to refer to the ideas of Cochran, Harpending or Wade. So he must at some level be aware of his quasi-religious cast of mind.

    He sees himself not as Galileo but as Urban VII – the Pope.

  142. Mr. Anon says:

    Most of our traits, such as height, for example, are set by natural selection at an optimal level – it’s good for humans to be about so tall, on average. Some genetic variants tend to make people a bit shorter than average and some tend to make people a bit taller. The balance between these variants has been maintained by natural selection to keep average height “just right”.

    But there are height differences between different populations. If there is an optimum height, it has not always been the same optimum height at all times or in all places.

  143. Mr. Anon says:
    @415 reasons

    Is there anything in his article that is based on actual data of any kind? Or is it all just what he wishes to be the case?

    It is a series of just-not-so stories.

  144. @Peter Johnson

    Genotype-phenotype interaction — people with higher IQs tend to study more, not less. Similarly, people with a talent for sports practice more, not less, and people with a talent for music practice their instruments more, not less. Being good at something makes a person want to do more of it, rather than just get by on raw talent.

    But intelligent people aren’t good at studying; they’re good at learning. Studying and learning aren’t the same thing, and studying something that has already been learned is unnecessary.

  145. @Logan

    In answer to your last question: Yes.

  146. Svigor says:
    @Anonymous

    This is obviously wrong. Leftists have a whole new ecosystem of piety, to replace the old. The most sacrosanct core of which seems to be the extermination of the descendants of European Christendom.

  147. FKA Max says: • Website
    @res

    FYI, res:

    It’s All Connected
    What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
    [...]
    Another possible culprit in apophenia is dopamine. A 2002 experiment revealed that people with high levels of dopamine more often extract meaning from coincidences ( https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2589-paranormal-beliefs-linked-to-brain-chemistry ) than those with lower dopamine levels. And when self-described skeptics (team “UFOs are fake”) were given the drug L-dopa, which ups the brain’s dopamine supply, they began to perform more like self-described believers (team “I can speak to spirits”) on the same pattern-finding tasks. Likewise, when Brugger and his colleagues administered dopamine to a group of healthy adult men, that group proved more likely than a control group to notice visual similarities between random pairs of shapes ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23494456 ).

    http://www.unz.com/article/revisiting-911-betty-ong-and-the-mystery-of-black-betty/#comment-2322027

  148. Anon[394] • Disclaimer says:

    He elaborates on his blog in response to criticism:

    http://www.wiringthebrain.com/2018/05/genetics-iq-and-race-are-genetic.html

    Also Gregory Cochran has commented on Mitchell’s theory previously, for instance, here:

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/rapid-change-in-polygenic-traits/

    And on Twitter after the Guardian article:

    A short one. Everything Kevin Mitchell says in that article is false. It is easy to select on highly polygenic traits and doesn't take any longer than it does on monogenic or oligogenic traits.— Gregory Cochran (@gcochran99) May 2, 2018

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