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  1. The role of genetic testing is probably overblown

    This is correct. It is being overblown by Robert Plomin’s recent activity in media:

    Can a DNA test reveal how well your child will do at school? Scientists pinpoint genes that could predict human intelligence

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3697029/Can-DNA-reveal-exams-Scientists-pinpoint-genes-used-predict-academic-achievement.html#ixzz5D6LPUWIT

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610339/dna-tests-for-iq-are-coming-but-it-might-not-be-smart-to-take-one/

    But Plomin and his colleagues can explain only 7% of IQ variance. Stephen Hsu last year claimed he accounted for 9% of educational attainment variance using 1000′s of SNPs in the polygenic score. There is a possibility that this 7% is due to sample stratification.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    There is a possibility that this 7% is due to sample stratification.
     
    True. But that's not the way to bet.
    , @hyperbola
    This "topic" gets more boring by the day.

    By now it is clear that "IQ" (whatever that highly ambiguous "concept" actually is) is a complex trait in which small numbers of genes are neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the trait. Over 500 genes have been "statistically correlated" with "IQ" and, as you point out, these genes account for less than 10% of "IQ". The numbers are such that "polygenic" theories can never provide any "statistical correlation" that is applicable to any individual human being or to any division of human beings into a small number of races.

    The "topic" seems more and more to be included as clickbait for the ingenuous and/or desperate attempts by the "chosen people" to justify racist-supremacy.
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  2. The role of genetic testing is probably overblown

    This is correct. Recent activity of Robert Plomin in media created the hype.

    Forget private school, it’s all in the genes

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/forget-private-school-its-all-in-thegenes-hzxfj8nwd

    Can a DNA test reveal how well your child will do at school? Scientists pinpoint genes that could predict human intelligence

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3697029/Can-DNA-reveal-exams-Scientists-pinpoint-genes-used-predict-academic-achievement.html#ixzz5D6MuyreK

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610339/dna-tests-for-iq-are-coming-but-it-might-not-be-smart-to-take-one/

    But Plomin and his colleagues can explain only 7% of IQ variance. Last year Stephen Hsu claimed he could explain 9% of variance of educational attainment using 1000′s of SNPs. And there is still the unresolved issue of stratification.

    Read More
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  3. Yes…even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties (“genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment”) but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mishra

    "Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment”
     
    They are deliberately mincing words here, to the effect that skin colour itself is or is not responsible for "the genetics of educational attainment." That's a classic straw-man argument; it's sloppy journalism at best, and it's no accident.
    , @Anon
    The Guardian has to be snarky even in word selection: not "intelligence," but "cleverness."
    , @Anon
    The common height thing, South Koreans are taller than North Koreans, is brought up in the Guardian. But how is this relevant to racial gaps in the U.S.? Segregation of blacks and whites, with better conditions for blacks? Each black has an assigned life planner to walk around with him all day?
    , @DFH

    Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment
     
    Whoever knew that there were people who actually believe race = skin colour
    , @WowJustWow

    Similarly, many more people in the UK now stay in education beyond 16 compared to 200 years ago, but our genetics hasn’t changed in that period.
     
    So he's claiming first of all that he doesn't consider black and brown people true Britons, and second of all something that's untrue even if you restrict it to legacy Britons. Racist *and* wrong at the same time!
    , @Mark P Miller
    "baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left."

    That's nice, but they've poisoned the well. I want that liberal baby aborted retroactively and with haste.
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  4. @utu

    The role of genetic testing is probably overblown
     
    This is correct. It is being overblown by Robert Plomin's recent activity in media:

    Can a DNA test reveal how well your child will do at school? Scientists pinpoint genes that could predict human intelligence

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3697029/Can-DNA-reveal-exams-Scientists-pinpoint-genes-used-predict-academic-achievement.html#ixzz5D6LPUWIT

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610339/dna-tests-for-iq-are-coming-but-it-might-not-be-smart-to-take-one/
     
    But Plomin and his colleagues can explain only 7% of IQ variance. Stephen Hsu last year claimed he accounted for 9% of educational attainment variance using 1000's of SNPs in the polygenic score. There is a possibility that this 7% is due to sample stratification.

    There is a possibility that this 7% is due to sample stratification.

    True. But that’s not the way to bet.

    Read More
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  5. @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    “Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment”

    They are deliberately mincing words here, to the effect that skin colour itself is or is not responsible for “the genetics of educational attainment.” That’s a classic straw-man argument; it’s sloppy journalism at best, and it’s no accident.

    Read More
    • Agree: AndrewR
    • Replies: @res
    The author is a geneticist so "sloppy journalism" is almost certainly overly generous.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewan_Birney
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  6. @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    The Guardian has to be snarky even in word selection: not “intelligence,” but “cleverness.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @JamesG

    The Guardian has to be snarky even in word selection: not “intelligence,” but “cleverness.”
     
    In America "clever" means slick, in Britspeak it is synonymous with "intelligent."
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  7. Anon[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    The common height thing, South Koreans are taller than North Koreans, is brought up in the Guardian. But how is this relevant to racial gaps in the U.S.? Segregation of blacks and whites, with better conditions for blacks? Each black has an assigned life planner to walk around with him all day?

    Read More
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  8. Pinker shows neater footwork than Reich. If one wishes to discuss a whiter shade of pale and still survive in academic life, one had better learn to skip a light fandango.

    Read More
    • Agree: NickG
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He's obviously ... superb ... and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they'd come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    , @Mark P MIller
    True.

    But the political climate can change quickly in the technotronic age. I think Reich will come out looking better than Pinker and that both will be alive for the reckoning.
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  9. anonymous[115] • Disclaimer says:

    “DOESN’T apply to IQ: huge n’s, replicable results.”

    Presumably Steven likes these results because it flatters his Heebish ego, but virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.

    All the fantastic “12 points higher” have small n’s.

    Also, Jews’ brains are smaller. Would Steven’s grandfather be surprised to learn that the Goyishe kops were more cranially endowed?

    Read More
    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.
    , @DFH

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.
     
    Can you link to some?
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  10. @dearieme
    Pinker shows neater footwork than Reich. If one wishes to discuss a whiter shade of pale and still survive in academic life, one had better learn to skip a light fandango.

    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He’s obviously … superb … and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they’d come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheBoom
    Pinker is also Jewish which gives him more freedom to think bad thoughts
    , @candid_observer
    Pinker allows, of course, that there are biological differences between the sexes on social traits.

    But the thing that makes Pinker's life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ. He produces some "argument" to support this view, which, frankly, was so ridiculous I can't even remember it.

    And no one with any grasp of the issues and Pinker would ever believe that he doesn't know better.

    The little dance he does to escape the fire and fury directed at Murray is one that involves a ton of lying.

    Lying works. But I'm not about to admire him for it.

    , @res
    Agreed. The 9:53 and 9:55 tweets look like a great example of pushing an unpopular truth and then reestablishing his good thinker bona fides by walking it back rhetorically.

    The question I have is whether he planned that in advance, did he get pushback, did he just rethink on rereading after posting, or what?

    , @Polymath
    Taleb is the only guy who KOs Pinker.
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  11. Proponents at the extreme ends of the nature or nurture debate never seem to put skin in the game.

    The nature side doesn’t let their kid go to a inner-city black school – surely it wouldn’t matter if your kid’s destiny is in his genes? And the nurture side are Portlandia types – white people marrying each other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    There are a number of reasons not to send your kid to a ghetto school besides the quality of education he would receive there.

    Among them his surviving to graduate.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The nature side doesn’t let their kid go to a inner-city black school – surely it wouldn’t matter if your kid’s destiny is in his genes?
     
    LOL. Nobody argues that.
    , @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/SilverVVulpes/status/760936371028631552
    , @Carbon blob
    Eh, who gives a shit about the level of academic rigor of such a school. There's always Coursera/Khan Academy/etc.

    If I ever have a son and have to send him to such a school, I'm holding him back until he's able to handle himself in physical combat.
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  12. Nassim Nicholas Taleb often refers to Pinker as an IYI – Idiot Yet Intellectual. I assume that this is because of Pinker’s ‘Better Angels of Our Nature’ omission of a proper parsing of fat-tail risks.

    The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say? Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb pdf

    I’m not sure Taleb comes of looking very bad in comparison.

    I liked ‘The Blank Slate’ but the fat tail risk problem with ‘Better Angels’ did seem obvious, even to me, without Taleb’s command of stats.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I've long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.
    , @charles w abbott
    you say "fat tails risk" and I think of Bismarck musing about the likely trigger for the yet to be seen Great War..."some damned foolish thing in the Balkans"

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/430158-one-day-the-great-european-war-will-come-out-of
    , @another fred
    The fly in the ointment of Pinker's recent foray into enlightenment values is economics. In one Q&A on Youtube Pinker responds to a question about the debt problem by saying that debt is not necessary for growth, which is really just a tautology, it sounds important but really says nothing. Our current problem is inverted balance sheets (which are a result of speculation*). Dr. Pinker needs to read Hyman Minsky.

    Humans have a history of doing nasty things when the piper demands his payment and balance sheets are inverted.

    *Speculation can be, and has been, fed by excessive credit, but it is its own problem.

    , @Average Man
    While I can appreciate some of the things he says, Taleb is very full of himself. Also, his paper with Cirillo doesn't really address Pinker's Better Angels claims:

    http://quixoticfinance.com/empty-statistics/
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  13. @anonymous
    "DOESN'T apply to IQ: huge n's, replicable results."

    Presumably Steven likes these results because it flatters his Heebish ego, but virtually all the "huge n" studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.

    All the fantastic "12 points higher" have small n's.

    Also, Jews' brains are smaller. Would Steven's grandfather be surprised to learn that the Goyishe kops were more cranially endowed?

    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief

    that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.
     
    This thought is pretty close to Heidegger.

    Thanks for the hint at Weininger in this context.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world."

    A look at the Forbes 400 wealthiest people tells me otherwise. And Jewish business people seem to prosper in some challenging places and industries - like African mining.

    (Admittedly it must be useful to have Israel if something goes awry, whereas there's nothing the Brit establishment like better than handing over a native to a foreign court).

    Somewhat OT, this story of how Mossad set up a Red Sea diving resort in Sudan to collect Ethiopian Jews is entertaining.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43702764


    "In the meantime, the Israelis continued to run the diving resort and entertain the guests. By now, Arous Village had earned quite a reputation and word spread.

    "By comparison to the rest of Sudan, we offered Hilton-like standards," says Gad, "and it was such a beautiful place, it really looked like something out of the Arabian Nights. It was unbelievable."

    The resort counted among its varied clientele an Egyptian army unit, a group of British SAS soldiers, foreign diplomats from Khartoum and Sudanese officials - all unaware of their hosts' true identity.

    One German military attache told Gad he had had a good time in many places "in my life but never quite like this".

    Arous Village became so successful that it turned enough of a profit to become financially self-sustaining, much to the relief of the accountants back at Mossad HQ."
     

    , @stillCARealist
    Did you read the book? It sounds pretty weird, but maybe you could do a decent review.

    BTW, if you can put together a verbally dexterous person with a hands-on inventor, you can make a nice business success story. Every nerdy engineer genius needs his mouthpiece to sell the invention to everybody.
    , @WowJustWow
    Then why do they do so well in physics?
    , @another fred
    Some of the difference agrees with the domestication syndrome. We don't really understand what happens with selection for tameness (maybe neural crest delay), but a lot of things seem to happen together.

    Human self-domestication is the elephant in the room when it comes to discussing HBD, but maybe some of that is because knowledge of it has not grown to the point that it is accepted wisdom.
    , @Muse
    Have recently read a great book - The Evolution of Beauty, by Ornithologist Richard O. Prum. There are lots of interesting ideas in the book, but the general idea is that male behavior and traits, aside from being guided by fitness, is also heavily influenced by sexual selection, i.e. does it please the ladies?

    I have always been fascinated by style and aesthetics, and what drives these sensibilities. Prum discuses the appearance, songs and mating behavior of birds and concludes these traits are highly influenced by female choice. This gets interesting when you apply this type of thinking to human male behavior across ethnic groups. No doubt wit can help one survive and be a fit individual in the Darwinian sense, but humor no doubt is a tool to soften up a woman to your advances.. Other tools such as appearance, manner, music, and other sparkly lovely things can be helpful as well. Another interesting relationship Prum observed is that the more a species tilts toward bling, the less monogamous some species of birds tend to be.

    Complicating matters is that some species of birds appear to rely on forced mating, the duck being a prime example as species that seems to have perfected the gang rape as a method of promoting ones genome. Thus female choice becomes less important in reproduction. Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics. As a general rule, they don't seem to be as good as artists, designers, architects etc. Most of their artistic work seems to end up in abstract soulless dead ends. But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity - you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten. I just can't figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits - maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank? It was certainly not his style. Maybe that's why everybody wears black in New York City.
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  14. @NickG
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb often refers to Pinker as an IYI - Idiot Yet Intellectual. I assume that this is because of Pinker's 'Better Angels of Our Nature' omission of a proper parsing of fat-tail risks.

    The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say? Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb pdf

    I'm not sure Taleb comes of looking very bad in comparison.

    I liked 'The Blank Slate' but the fat tail risk problem with 'Better Angels' did seem obvious, even to me, without Taleb's command of stats.

    I’ve long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Physically, this would happen:

    Pinker’s arms would tear off in a deadlift attempt. Taleb would max out the treadmill in a kamikaze sprint, bust through the wall, and wreck several cars in the parking lot.
    , @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Uo7V75HD4
    Pinker is a vegetarian and doesn't have kids. He looks very good for his age though.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10547729/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/diet-could-pose-challenge-israels-sharon/

    The day before his minor stroke, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon enjoyed a typical meal with family and friends. The menu included hamburgers, steak in chimichurri sauce, lamb chops, shish kebab and salads. For dessert, Sharon had chocolate cake — and then some more cake, the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported. Sharon is renowned for his determination and steel will, but there is one thing that just might be stronger than "the Bulldozer" — his appetite.
     


    In September 1949, Sharon was promoted to company commander (of the Golani Brigade's reconnaissance unit) and in 1950 to intelligence officer for Central Command. He then took leave to begin studies in history and Middle Eastern culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sharon's subsequent military career would be characterized by insubordination, aggression and disobedience, but also brilliance as a commander.[...] Sharon was married twice, to two sisters, Margalit and Lily Zimmerman, who were from Romania. Sharon met Margalit in 1947 when she was 16,[...] After Margalit's death, Sharon married her younger sister, Lily. They had two sons, Omri and Gilad, and six grandchildren.[121]
     
    , @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.
     
    Throw in Andrew Sullivan's testosterone tablets to make it really interesting.
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  15. Even as the iq gaps become impossible to ignore, the left will turn to environmental explanations that harm the development of POC to explain them. Epigenetics caused by stress from racism, lead based paint, leaded gasoline, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark P Miller
    "Epigenetics caused by stress from racism"

    The smarter ones are already grasping this fig leaf.

    But at this point, even the dimmest bulbs will see them moving the goal posts. This rear guard action is too little and too late to stave off a healthy (and overdue) reaction.
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  16. @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment

    Whoever knew that there were people who actually believe race = skin colour

    Read More
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  17. @anonymous
    "DOESN'T apply to IQ: huge n's, replicable results."

    Presumably Steven likes these results because it flatters his Heebish ego, but virtually all the "huge n" studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.

    All the fantastic "12 points higher" have small n's.

    Also, Jews' brains are smaller. Would Steven's grandfather be surprised to learn that the Goyishe kops were more cranially endowed?

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.

    Can you link to some?

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    ADD Health (Table 2) MIDUS II (Table 3) PT (Table 4)

    n(jews)=34 n(Jews)=98 n(Jews)=6915
    Jews ---------111.24--------105.94--------- 106.71
    Catholic------100.39-------100.56---------102.92
    Methodist----100.99 (P)----99.44---------103.99 (P)
    Baptist------------------------94.38-----------------
    Agnostic------105.46-------107.33---------109.45

    There some problems with these three studies. One of them has SD=8.5 only. It is not clear whether Jews are also among agnostics/atheists.
    , @Lot
    No, he can't, because that was all nonsense.
    , @utu
    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    ADD Health (Table 2) MIDUS II (Table 3) PT (Table 4)

    n(jews)=34 n(Jews)=98 n(Jews)=6915
    Jews ———111.24——–105.94——— 106.71
    Catholic——100.39——-100.56———102.92
    Methodist—-100.99 (P)—-99.44———103.99 (P)
    Baptist————————94.38—————–
    Agnostic——105.46——-107.33———109.45

    There some problems with these three studies. One of them has SD=8.5 only. It is not clear whether Jews are also among agnostics/atheists.
    , @utu

    Can you link to some?
     
    Here it is:

    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations
    Curtis S. Dunkel, Charlie L. Reeve, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Dimitri van der Linden
    Personality and Individual Differences 78 (2015) 63–67
    Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf
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  18. @Steve Sailer
    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He's obviously ... superb ... and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they'd come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    Pinker is also Jewish which gives him more freedom to think bad thoughts

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    • Replies: @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Yep. Plus he looks kinda Tranny.
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  19. IQ alone can topple the whole SJW globalist house of cards so how will this discussion proceed? The existing narrative about IQ is there isn’t one: don’t talk about it. If for any reason the topic comes up stress that there is no correlation between IQ and real world performance and it is racist to look at IQ differences between groups unless it is just to say that Jews and Asians have high IQs.

    So, what now post Pinker’s noticing? The left has a core competency in holding conflicting thoughts but with someone like Pinker chiming in and acknowledging IQ is important, I have to think that the left will panic. What will they do? There will be no problem policing the discussion in the media, on social media and in corporations. Noticing IQ differences between groups and the implications will be forbidden and enough to get someone banned/fired/beaten. But just the idea that what passes for intellectuals are even discussing this taboo topic will likely cause some type of fierce reaction. Does Pinker get Clintoned or banished to the sidelines or is he too big of a deal?

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  20. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    This thought is pretty close to Heidegger.

    Thanks for the hint at Weininger in this context.

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  21. @DFH

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.
     
    Can you link to some?

    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    ADD Health (Table 2) MIDUS II (Table 3) PT (Table 4)

    n(jews)=34 n(Jews)=98 n(Jews)=6915
    Jews ———111.24——–105.94——— 106.71
    Catholic——100.39——-100.56———102.92
    Methodist—-100.99 (P)—-99.44———103.99 (P)
    Baptist————————94.38—————–
    Agnostic——105.46——-107.33———109.45

    There some problems with these three studies. One of them has SD=8.5 only. It is not clear whether Jews are also among agnostics/atheists.

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  22. I don’t even have to read the comments to see that Pinker will be savaged for his hair and his ethnicity.

    Can’t you guys learn to make alliances? Choose your battles? Or is it all just free-flowing hostility?

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    • Replies: @Mark P MIller
    No one here is burning Pinker at the stake, just pointing out that, compared to someone like Murray -- who took his lumps on the chin vs the the cowardly Kabuki of pretty much everyone else with something to lose -- there is nothing especially brave or insightful coming from Pinker. More than anything, he's trying to have his gay cake and eat it, too, i.e. salvage his intellectual integrity while still remaining "popular."

    Yeah, he'll get a tip o' da hat but no one with real scars is going to start blowing sunshine up his arse for his belated and largely self-serving maneuvers.

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  23. @NickG
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb often refers to Pinker as an IYI - Idiot Yet Intellectual. I assume that this is because of Pinker's 'Better Angels of Our Nature' omission of a proper parsing of fat-tail risks.

    The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say? Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb pdf

    I'm not sure Taleb comes of looking very bad in comparison.

    I liked 'The Blank Slate' but the fat tail risk problem with 'Better Angels' did seem obvious, even to me, without Taleb's command of stats.

    you say “fat tails risk” and I think of Bismarck musing about the likely trigger for the yet to be seen Great War…”some damned foolish thing in the Balkans”

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/430158-one-day-the-great-european-war-will-come-out-of

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  24. Read More
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  25. Presentation counts for a lot. We are, even those on the college campus, social animals. Pinker is a dandy, but not a coward. He is obviously smart and possess a quit wit. His wearing denim suits and 1970′s hair makes him very hard to pigeon hole. Predators are instinctively cautious around the unfamiliar and Pinker avoids the predators on campus by being eccentric and somewhat alien.

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    • Agree: NickG
    • Replies: @Toddy Cat
    Good observation. Pinker comes on like a hippie prof from the 'Seventies, that guy we all took classes from who gave everybody an "A", smoked weed with his students, and was banging the more comely female grad students. Because of that, he has flown under the radar for many of the lazier lefties, who expect anyone who doesn't embrace egalitarian blank-slate philosophy to look and sound like Richard Spencer. But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich. For today's left, it's Total Dedication to the Cause, or you are cast into the outer darkness, or Rightness, as the case may be. This will benefit our side, in the end.
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  26. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    “What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world.”

    A look at the Forbes 400 wealthiest people tells me otherwise. And Jewish business people seem to prosper in some challenging places and industries – like African mining.

    (Admittedly it must be useful to have Israel if something goes awry, whereas there’s nothing the Brit establishment like better than handing over a native to a foreign court).

    Somewhat OT, this story of how Mossad set up a Red Sea diving resort in Sudan to collect Ethiopian Jews is entertaining.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43702764

    “In the meantime, the Israelis continued to run the diving resort and entertain the guests. By now, Arous Village had earned quite a reputation and word spread.

    “By comparison to the rest of Sudan, we offered Hilton-like standards,” says Gad, “and it was such a beautiful place, it really looked like something out of the Arabian Nights. It was unbelievable.”

    The resort counted among its varied clientele an Egyptian army unit, a group of British SAS soldiers, foreign diplomats from Khartoum and Sudanese officials – all unaware of their hosts’ true identity.

    One German military attache told Gad he had had a good time in many places “in my life but never quite like this”.

    Arous Village became so successful that it turned enough of a profit to become financially self-sustaining, much to the relief of the accountants back at Mossad HQ.”

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    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    A look at the Forbes 400 wealthiest people tells me otherwise.

    Sure, but you don’t get to be wealthy without being persuasive. Of course, Ash Jews have mathematical ability as well as verbal. Hundreds of years of Talmudic study and money leanding will give you both types of intelligence.
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  27. Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the “no difference between races” group don’t seem to realize is that by insisting that we can’t recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is “superior,” they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

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    • Replies: @Dube
    "Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors."

    Seems to me that anyone with an IQ will recognize that you are correct.
    , @Rob Lee
    Of course intelligence conveys superiority!

    Would you rather undergo brain surgery from a medical professional who truly understood, absorbed and processed the material, or be cut by an affirmative action push-through who feigned comprehension, but is now standing above your cranium with a certain... uncertainty?

    The above analogy can be applied to many other very important facets of life, and despite all the noble rhetoric about equality anyone would be an absolute fool to state that inherent intelligence didn't play a huge - one might even go so far as to say life-altering - role in those scenarios.
    , @Mark P Miller
    So when the judeobolshevik jalopy (blank slate/white privilege) isn't selling, try to get the rube to buy the Yugo (slave ethics)? The fraction of people who passed on the first but will fall for the second is decreasing by the week.
    , @Crawfurdmuir

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.
     
    Like many people, you make the error of tearing the phrase "all men are created equal" from its context. Read the sentence containing that phrase in full -

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seen most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    The asserted equality is one of rights, not of personal characteristics. It is an assertion of natural law, not a scientific hypothesis.

    If anything is self-evident it is that people are not equal - not physically, not intellectually, and not even morally. Individuals manifestly vary in their physical, mental, and moral characteristics, and many of these are innate. While all may possess the natural rights asserted by the Declaration, their differing personal characteristics lead to their exercising those rights in different ways - some more and some less effectual in obtaining the "happiness" the document asserts their right to pursue. This inevitably leads to social and economic inequality, something with which the signers of the Declaration were quite familiar, and which they were largely at ease.

    The Declaration attempts to place in terms of general moral principles the particular issue over which the colonists were aggrieved - namely, that it was part of the settlement of the English Civil War that taxes should not be levied upon the people except by the action of the House of Commons, in which those people were represented. This element of "Consent of the Governed," while enjoyed by Englishmen in England, was not enjoyed by Englishmen in the colonies of North America. This inequality of rights - the colonists' subjection to taxation without representation - was seen as destructive to the ends that had been enshrined in English law since the restoration of Charles II. This, then, was the provocation that led them to alter or abolish the government they had, and to institute a new one that would be more likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    The Founding Fathers sought only to overthrow British government in the colonies, not to reject the ordinary inequalities that naturally existed between individuals. Jefferson, indeed, was an acute observer of the latter, and in his Notes on the State of Virginia acknowledges them repeatedly, in detail, sometimes regretfully, but without any sign of rejecting them on moral or political grounds.

    Blank-slatism and Procrustean egalitarianism have their roots in Rousseau, the Jacobins, and Marx - not in the American founding fathers.

    , @megabar
    A fair comment. It takes intellectual honesty to admit what you don't like. I was in the boat you are currently in perhaps a year ago. I am still uncomfortable with the ramifications.

    Indeed, I think it's even worse then your comment indicates. If IQ is genetic, then why not work ethic? Marital fidelity? Criminality? Honesty? Time preference? There are reasons to believe that these are all genetic, and correlate (imperfectly) with IQ.

    These are all important traits, and not just in deciding who we call superior. Rather, those traits have tangible real-world effects. They enable a prosperous and secure society. You can not have such a society if a certain percentage of the population is criminally-oriented or unproductive.

    Every indication that I see is that the US is moving further from that percentage, and our society will continue to devolve as it does.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Logan wrote:

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.
     
    The famous "all men are created equal" phrase was an abbreviated form of what the Founders actually thought. A more accurate presentation comes from the June 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights penned by George Mason:

    THAT all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
     
    The phrasing in the Declaration of Independence is more euphonious and less verbose, and Jefferson and the Continental Congress reasonably thought that everyone would understand that it was merely a more concise form of what Mason had written.

    Alas, we live in an age in which too few people are reasonable enough to acknowledge that of course all men are not "equal" in the most literal, naive sense of the word.

    So, relax: all sane people, most certainly including Jefferson and the other Founders, have always known that human beings are not literally equal and that many human traits are largely hereditary. I assure you that almost assuredly your great-great grandparents would have thought anyone was truly bonkers who denied those obvious facts.

    The political issue is whether all normal adult human beings are fully (and therefore "equally") entitled to certain natural, inalienable rights: it is certainly possible to apply, say, the Bill of Rights to stupid people as well as smart people while still recognizing that stupid people are not equal in intelligence to smart people.

    The Founders, after all, assuredly did not think that most people were as intelligent as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams!

    Incidentally, it is worth reading through the Virginia Declaration of Rights in its entirety: you will see phrases later embodied in both the First and Second Amendments, for example.

    George Mason was more important than most Americans now realize. Mason and other significant founding figures are discussed in an excellent (and readable) recent book, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government by, of all people, Senator Mike Lee.
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  28. @TelfoedJohn
    Proponents at the extreme ends of the nature or nurture debate never seem to put skin in the game.

    The nature side doesn't let their kid go to a inner-city black school - surely it wouldn't matter if your kid's destiny is in his genes? And the nurture side are Portlandia types - white people marrying each other.

    There are a number of reasons not to send your kid to a ghetto school besides the quality of education he would receive there.

    Among them his surviving to graduate.

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  29. @TelfoedJohn
    Proponents at the extreme ends of the nature or nurture debate never seem to put skin in the game.

    The nature side doesn't let their kid go to a inner-city black school - surely it wouldn't matter if your kid's destiny is in his genes? And the nurture side are Portlandia types - white people marrying each other.

    The nature side doesn’t let their kid go to a inner-city black school – surely it wouldn’t matter if your kid’s destiny is in his genes?

    LOL. Nobody argues that.

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  30. @Steve Sailer
    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He's obviously ... superb ... and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they'd come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    Pinker allows, of course, that there are biological differences between the sexes on social traits.

    But the thing that makes Pinker’s life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ. He produces some “argument” to support this view, which, frankly, was so ridiculous I can’t even remember it.

    And no one with any grasp of the issues and Pinker would ever believe that he doesn’t know better.

    The little dance he does to escape the fire and fury directed at Murray is one that involves a ton of lying.

    Lying works. But I’m not about to admire him for it.

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    • Agree: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "the thing that makes Pinker’s life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ"

    I think he would probably insert "proven" into that sentence - and who is going to get a grant for looking at that in order to prove it? No one in EUSA. China won't bother, either - they just want to know how to make Chinese smarter.

    But he knows. His take on the Cochran/Hardy/Harpending thesis is pretty positive, and quite amusing - he starts with a 'goyishe kopf' anecdote and ends with 'but is it good for the Jews?'.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/77727/groups-and-genes

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  31. @Steve Sailer
    I've long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.

    Physically, this would happen:

    Pinker’s arms would tear off in a deadlift attempt. Taleb would max out the treadmill in a kamikaze sprint, bust through the wall, and wreck several cars in the parking lot.

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    • LOL: The Anti-Gnostic
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar


    I’ve long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting...

     

    Pinker’s arms would tear off in a deadlift attempt.
     
    Police officials in Phoenix sent Laurie Notaro's family a letter informing them a violent sex offender had just been released and was moving into their neighborhood. In a home invasion, he had incapacitated three men before raping the sole woman.



    “Oh my God,” my husband said with a gasp, reading further. “He beat three men into unconsciousness? Alone? What is this, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Rapist? Does he fly and run across treetops? How long are his nails? What do you think his record for man beating is? Do we need four guys in the house at all times? Do we need five? You know, I could start a band and we could practice here.”

    “Yeah, I’d feel really safe knowing that there were five guys in grandpa sweaters and horn-rimmed glasses arguing about whether it’s ‘nah-nah-nah’ or ‘nah-nah-neh’ in my living room, just waiting to beat a rapist with a programmable drum machine and a sound-effect pedal,” I replied. “You could use a guitar as a weapon, but which one of your friends with their pasty Grover arms would be strong enough to swing it?
     
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/6e/f0/b1/6ef0b17e8dd624eb700e409bc15dacd2--sesame-street-characters-jim-henson.jpg
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  32. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    Did you read the book? It sounds pretty weird, but maybe you could do a decent review.

    BTW, if you can put together a verbally dexterous person with a hands-on inventor, you can make a nice business success story. Every nerdy engineer genius needs his mouthpiece to sell the invention to everybody.

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    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    Yes, Levantine Steve Jobs and inventive Steve Wozniak. I’ve always thought an advantage Jobs had was having biological parents - mercantile and intellectual, as well as his adoptive parents - mechanically minded and pragmatic. In a sense he had an ideal set of four parents. Perhaps our own Steve here has the similar advantages.
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  33. @candid_observer
    Pinker allows, of course, that there are biological differences between the sexes on social traits.

    But the thing that makes Pinker's life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ. He produces some "argument" to support this view, which, frankly, was so ridiculous I can't even remember it.

    And no one with any grasp of the issues and Pinker would ever believe that he doesn't know better.

    The little dance he does to escape the fire and fury directed at Murray is one that involves a ton of lying.

    Lying works. But I'm not about to admire him for it.

    “the thing that makes Pinker’s life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ”

    I think he would probably insert “proven” into that sentence – and who is going to get a grant for looking at that in order to prove it? No one in EUSA. China won’t bother, either – they just want to know how to make Chinese smarter.

    But he knows. His take on the Cochran/Hardy/Harpending thesis is pretty positive, and quite amusing – he starts with a ‘goyishe kopf’ anecdote and ends with ‘but is it good for the Jews?’.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/77727/groups-and-genes

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Well, I think Pinker had at least on one occasion offered up an explanation as to why he believed that there shouldn't be genetic race differences on IQ, back in 2001:

    “If our society did not divide people by race then the question of racial differences would be too scientifically boring for anyone to bother with. Races are biologically superficial, and they tie in to no real theory of how we evolved, so there is no coherent explanation as to why races should differ biologically.”
     
    https://www.vdare.com/articles/pinkers-progress

    Now I guess he's been a bit more circumspect (by which I mean less obviously cretinous) since then.

    My recollection is that, nonetheless, he has sometimes since lapsed into similar idiocy, though I can't quickly come up with quotes.

    And of course his embrace of genetic differences when it comes to Ashkenazi Jews gives away the game as to what he really believes.

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  34. @TelfoedJohn
    Proponents at the extreme ends of the nature or nurture debate never seem to put skin in the game.

    The nature side doesn't let their kid go to a inner-city black school - surely it wouldn't matter if your kid's destiny is in his genes? And the nurture side are Portlandia types - white people marrying each other.

    Read More
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  35. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    Then why do they do so well in physics?

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Physics is not 3-d. It's sign-manipulation (=mathematics).
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  36. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    Some of the difference agrees with the domestication syndrome. We don’t really understand what happens with selection for tameness (maybe neural crest delay), but a lot of things seem to happen together.

    Human self-domestication is the elephant in the room when it comes to discussing HBD, but maybe some of that is because knowledge of it has not grown to the point that it is accepted wisdom.

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  37. @DFH

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.
     
    Can you link to some?

    No, he can’t, because that was all nonsense.

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  38. @WowJustWow
    Then why do they do so well in physics?

    Physics is not 3-d. It’s sign-manipulation (=mathematics).

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  39. @NickG
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb often refers to Pinker as an IYI - Idiot Yet Intellectual. I assume that this is because of Pinker's 'Better Angels of Our Nature' omission of a proper parsing of fat-tail risks.

    The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say? Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb pdf

    I'm not sure Taleb comes of looking very bad in comparison.

    I liked 'The Blank Slate' but the fat tail risk problem with 'Better Angels' did seem obvious, even to me, without Taleb's command of stats.

    The fly in the ointment of Pinker’s recent foray into enlightenment values is economics. In one Q&A on Youtube Pinker responds to a question about the debt problem by saying that debt is not necessary for growth, which is really just a tautology, it sounds important but really says nothing. Our current problem is inverted balance sheets (which are a result of speculation*). Dr. Pinker needs to read Hyman Minsky.

    Humans have a history of doing nasty things when the piper demands his payment and balance sheets are inverted.

    *Speculation can be, and has been, fed by excessive credit, but it is its own problem.

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  40. @Mishra

    "Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment”
     
    They are deliberately mincing words here, to the effect that skin colour itself is or is not responsible for "the genetics of educational attainment." That's a classic straw-man argument; it's sloppy journalism at best, and it's no accident.

    The author is a geneticist so “sloppy journalism” is almost certainly overly generous.

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

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  41. There are people attacking Pinker’s “Enlightenment Now” for example – and rightfully so:

    Judged as a contribution to thought, Enlightenment Now is embarrassingly feeble. With its primitive scientism and manga-style history of ideas, the book is a parody of Enlightenment thinking at its crudest. A more intellectually inquiring author would have conveyed something of the Enlightenment’s richness and diversity.

    John Gray in The New Statesman

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    • Replies: @DFH
    I've always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.
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  42. @Steve Sailer
    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He's obviously ... superb ... and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they'd come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    Agreed. The 9:53 and 9:55 tweets look like a great example of pushing an unpopular truth and then reestablishing his good thinker bona fides by walking it back rhetorically.

    The question I have is whether he planned that in advance, did he get pushback, did he just rethink on rereading after posting, or what?

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  43. @Anon
    The Guardian has to be snarky even in word selection: not "intelligence," but "cleverness."

    The Guardian has to be snarky even in word selection: not “intelligence,” but “cleverness.”

    In America “clever” means slick, in Britspeak it is synonymous with “intelligent.”

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  44. @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    Similarly, many more people in the UK now stay in education beyond 16 compared to 200 years ago, but our genetics hasn’t changed in that period.

    So he’s claiming first of all that he doesn’t consider black and brown people true Britons, and second of all something that’s untrue even if you restrict it to legacy Britons. Racist *and* wrong at the same time!

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  45. @Dieter Kief
    There are people attacking Pinker's "Enlightenment Now" for example - and rightfully so:

    Judged as a contribution to thought, Enlightenment Now is embarrassingly feeble. With its primitive scientism and manga-style history of ideas, the book is a parody of Enlightenment thinking at its crudest. A more intellectually inquiring author would have conveyed something of the Enlightenment’s richness and diversity.
     
    John Gray in The New Statesman

    I’ve always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    When it comes to decent philosophy, the left/right scheme is getting harder and harder to apply.
    The classical example being left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right.

    Or take Schopenhauer, or Wittgenstein - or Heidegger: Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger... And SchopenhUER - well: There's Freud on the left and - one John Gray on the rather conservative side.

    (Btw. - Pinker made no attempt at all to reject Gray's critique, as Steve Sailer might have expected, from what he writes above, at least... - and Pinker couldn't have reacted wiser.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.
     
    I have to assume this isn't the Mars/Venus guy.

    So, is he mercurial, jovial, or saturnine instead?
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  46. @TheBoom
    Pinker is also Jewish which gives him more freedom to think bad thoughts

    Yep. Plus he looks kinda Tranny.

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Pinker was featured on the now-defunct "Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians" site.
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  47. The second of Pinker’s tweets above points out that IQ tests generally take into account a number of “environmental” factors (broadly understood) that genetic tests can’t, so such tests will always be more reliable.

    But that’s not a priori obvious. As I recollect, broad heritability of IQ is about .7-.8. If, in the fullness of time, almost all of this is captured by some sort of polygenic scoring, then the genetic test may nonetheless be more reliable at younger ages. It is well established that IQ tests at younger ages are relatively unreliable.

    It’s also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of “real” intelligence than does an IQ score. There’s no reason to believe that IQ tests are perfect in measuring what they were originally designed to measure. It may be that some sort of “real”, organic trait is what should be considered “intelligence”, and might, for example, correlate even more strongly with the sort of outcomes that we regard as validating IQ. This organic trait, while not perfectly predicted by any purely genetic test, might correlate better with such tests than with IQ tests.

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    • Replies: @phil
    Are you referring to 'g'? It fits all the points you are trying to make.
    , @hyperbola

    It’s also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of “real” intelligence than does an IQ score.
     
    So far we have over 500 genes that show "statistical correlation" in contributions to IQ, and together they account for less than 10% of heritability. This despite recent supposedly "large" sample sizes. If those 500 genes have only 2 variants each, then the number of "polygenic" variations are 2 raised to a power > 500. Maybe some day governments will require that all of us submit our DNA to them, but even then there are not enough human beings alive to ever validate the "polygenic thesis".
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  48. @YetAnotherAnon
    "the thing that makes Pinker’s life relatively so easy for him is his claim that there are no genetic differences between the races on IQ"

    I think he would probably insert "proven" into that sentence - and who is going to get a grant for looking at that in order to prove it? No one in EUSA. China won't bother, either - they just want to know how to make Chinese smarter.

    But he knows. His take on the Cochran/Hardy/Harpending thesis is pretty positive, and quite amusing - he starts with a 'goyishe kopf' anecdote and ends with 'but is it good for the Jews?'.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/77727/groups-and-genes

    Well, I think Pinker had at least on one occasion offered up an explanation as to why he believed that there shouldn’t be genetic race differences on IQ, back in 2001:

    “If our society did not divide people by race then the question of racial differences would be too scientifically boring for anyone to bother with. Races are biologically superficial, and they tie in to no real theory of how we evolved, so there is no coherent explanation as to why races should differ biologically.”

    https://www.vdare.com/articles/pinkers-progress

    Now I guess he’s been a bit more circumspect (by which I mean less obviously cretinous) since then.

    My recollection is that, nonetheless, he has sometimes since lapsed into similar idiocy, though I can’t quickly come up with quotes.

    And of course his embrace of genetic differences when it comes to Ashkenazi Jews gives away the game as to what he really believes.

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    The disparity between how Pinker handles genetic differences in IQ between Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews, on the one hand, and between the races, on the other, is pretty laughable.

    It makes sense that Ashkenazi Jews, over a period of 1000 years, should increase their IQ, but races, separated for 50,000 years or more, won't have differences in IQ?
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  49. @candid_observer
    The second of Pinker's tweets above points out that IQ tests generally take into account a number of "environmental" factors (broadly understood) that genetic tests can't, so such tests will always be more reliable.

    But that's not a priori obvious. As I recollect, broad heritability of IQ is about .7-.8. If, in the fullness of time, almost all of this is captured by some sort of polygenic scoring, then the genetic test may nonetheless be more reliable at younger ages. It is well established that IQ tests at younger ages are relatively unreliable.

    It's also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of "real" intelligence than does an IQ score. There's no reason to believe that IQ tests are perfect in measuring what they were originally designed to measure. It may be that some sort of "real", organic trait is what should be considered "intelligence", and might, for example, correlate even more strongly with the sort of outcomes that we regard as validating IQ. This organic trait, while not perfectly predicted by any purely genetic test, might correlate better with such tests than with IQ tests.

    Are you referring to ‘g’? It fits all the points you are trying to make.

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    g would certainly be closer to what I have in mind.

    But g is at base a statistical construct, derived from IQ tests used as measures. Based as it is on such tests, it may always bear some of the limitations of those tests.

    No doubt g gets closer to a measure of organic intelligence than IQ. But it's quite possible that there's something even more basic going on organically that is a truer expression of intelligence. And it may be that genes get at this trait relatively accurately.

    The point is, genes are closer to the actual biology of the brain, and may get at things we can only quite imperfectly measure with our standard techniques.

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  50. @candid_observer
    Well, I think Pinker had at least on one occasion offered up an explanation as to why he believed that there shouldn't be genetic race differences on IQ, back in 2001:

    “If our society did not divide people by race then the question of racial differences would be too scientifically boring for anyone to bother with. Races are biologically superficial, and they tie in to no real theory of how we evolved, so there is no coherent explanation as to why races should differ biologically.”
     
    https://www.vdare.com/articles/pinkers-progress

    Now I guess he's been a bit more circumspect (by which I mean less obviously cretinous) since then.

    My recollection is that, nonetheless, he has sometimes since lapsed into similar idiocy, though I can't quickly come up with quotes.

    And of course his embrace of genetic differences when it comes to Ashkenazi Jews gives away the game as to what he really believes.

    The disparity between how Pinker handles genetic differences in IQ between Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews, on the one hand, and between the races, on the other, is pretty laughable.

    It makes sense that Ashkenazi Jews, over a period of 1000 years, should increase their IQ, but races, separated for 50,000 years or more, won’t have differences in IQ?

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  51. @candid_observer
    The second of Pinker's tweets above points out that IQ tests generally take into account a number of "environmental" factors (broadly understood) that genetic tests can't, so such tests will always be more reliable.

    But that's not a priori obvious. As I recollect, broad heritability of IQ is about .7-.8. If, in the fullness of time, almost all of this is captured by some sort of polygenic scoring, then the genetic test may nonetheless be more reliable at younger ages. It is well established that IQ tests at younger ages are relatively unreliable.

    It's also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of "real" intelligence than does an IQ score. There's no reason to believe that IQ tests are perfect in measuring what they were originally designed to measure. It may be that some sort of "real", organic trait is what should be considered "intelligence", and might, for example, correlate even more strongly with the sort of outcomes that we regard as validating IQ. This organic trait, while not perfectly predicted by any purely genetic test, might correlate better with such tests than with IQ tests.

    It’s also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of “real” intelligence than does an IQ score.

    So far we have over 500 genes that show “statistical correlation” in contributions to IQ, and together they account for less than 10% of heritability. This despite recent supposedly “large” sample sizes. If those 500 genes have only 2 variants each, then the number of “polygenic” variations are 2 raised to a power > 500. Maybe some day governments will require that all of us submit our DNA to them, but even then there are not enough human beings alive to ever validate the “polygenic thesis”.

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    I don't know what you're arguing here.

    I gather that nowadays all polygenic scoring assessment goes through a two step process:

    1. An identification of loci, their alleles, and the size of their effects, culminating in a formula for the polygenic score, all based on a large dataset.

    2. An application of this formula to a new, independent dataset to determine whether that formula actually predicts outcomes as it should.

     

    In the case of the 500 loci you mention, one would expect that the test in 2) above would have been passed, and the variance so explained calculated and reported.

    Why would one ever require all permutations of these loci to be in either data set?
    , @DFH
    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well
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  52. Anon[673] • Disclaimer says:

    I think we all remember how lead paint was used as the excuse for why American blacks were as dumb as blacks in Africa. You cannot sweep that under the carpet as readily as paint chips.
    The facts can pile up, and still be buried. The System is Based on LIES. You can fool some of the people most of the time, and most of the people some of the time, but the media is always lying, that’s for sure. The Free Press is an important part of freedom, and corporations will use everything they can do by hook or by crook to keep information channels under their CONTROL.

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  53. @The Z Blog
    Presentation counts for a lot. We are, even those on the college campus, social animals. Pinker is a dandy, but not a coward. He is obviously smart and possess a quit wit. His wearing denim suits and 1970's hair makes him very hard to pigeon hole. Predators are instinctively cautious around the unfamiliar and Pinker avoids the predators on campus by being eccentric and somewhat alien.

    Good observation. Pinker comes on like a hippie prof from the ‘Seventies, that guy we all took classes from who gave everybody an “A”, smoked weed with his students, and was banging the more comely female grad students. Because of that, he has flown under the radar for many of the lazier lefties, who expect anyone who doesn’t embrace egalitarian blank-slate philosophy to look and sound like Richard Spencer. But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich. For today’s left, it’s Total Dedication to the Cause, or you are cast into the outer darkness, or Rightness, as the case may be. This will benefit our side, in the end.

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    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Toddy Cat wrote:

    But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich.
     
    No: "in the end," everyone, Left and Right alike, will acknowledge what almost everyone throughout human history has acknowledged -- almost all human traits are heavily influenced by heredity.

    Let's be real: everyone knows this and always has. We're just waiting on the conclusive scientific proof.

    At which point, the Left will latch on to some other ideological MacGuffin: the Left is really about power, not ideology. Back when power was based on religion, the power-hungry worked their way into the religious hierarchy. Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.
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  54. @utu

    The role of genetic testing is probably overblown
     
    This is correct. It is being overblown by Robert Plomin's recent activity in media:

    Can a DNA test reveal how well your child will do at school? Scientists pinpoint genes that could predict human intelligence

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3697029/Can-DNA-reveal-exams-Scientists-pinpoint-genes-used-predict-academic-achievement.html#ixzz5D6LPUWIT

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610339/dna-tests-for-iq-are-coming-but-it-might-not-be-smart-to-take-one/
     
    But Plomin and his colleagues can explain only 7% of IQ variance. Stephen Hsu last year claimed he accounted for 9% of educational attainment variance using 1000's of SNPs in the polygenic score. There is a possibility that this 7% is due to sample stratification.

    This “topic” gets more boring by the day.

    By now it is clear that “IQ” (whatever that highly ambiguous “concept” actually is) is a complex trait in which small numbers of genes are neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the trait. Over 500 genes have been “statistically correlated” with “IQ” and, as you point out, these genes account for less than 10% of “IQ”. The numbers are such that “polygenic” theories can never provide any “statistical correlation” that is applicable to any individual human being or to any division of human beings into a small number of races.

    The “topic” seems more and more to be included as clickbait for the ingenuous and/or desperate attempts by the “chosen people” to justify racist-supremacy.

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    • Replies: @utu
    I agree on the clickbait side.
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  55. @Steve Sailer
    Awhile ago, Scott Alexander at SlateStarCodex was going on about how All Charles Murray Has To Do is be more like Steven Pinker and then nobody would try to beat him up.

    I pointed out to him that Pinker is close to unique. He's obviously ... superb ... and everybody immediately notices that if they try to mess with Pinker, they'd come out of it looking very bad in comparison.

    Taleb is the only guy who KOs Pinker.

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  56. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    “Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.”

    Seems to me that anyone with an IQ will recognize that you are correct.

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  57. @DFH

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.
     
    Can you link to some?

    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations, Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    ADD Health (Table 2) MIDUS II (Table 3) PT (Table 4)

    n(jews)=34 n(Jews)=98 n(Jews)=6915
    Jews ———111.24——–105.94——— 106.71
    Catholic——100.39——-100.56———102.92
    Methodist—-100.99 (P)—-99.44———103.99 (P)
    Baptist————————94.38—————–
    Agnostic——105.46——-107.33———109.45

    There some problems with these three studies. One of them has SD=8.5 only. It is not clear whether Jews are also among agnostics/atheists.

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  58. @Steve Sailer
    I've long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.

    Pinker is a vegetarian and doesn’t have kids. He looks very good for his age though.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10547729/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/diet-could-pose-challenge-israels-sharon/

    The day before his minor stroke, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon enjoyed a typical meal with family and friends. The menu included hamburgers, steak in chimichurri sauce, lamb chops, shish kebab and salads. For dessert, Sharon had chocolate cake — and then some more cake, the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported. Sharon is renowned for his determination and steel will, but there is one thing that just might be stronger than “the Bulldozer” — his appetite.

    In September 1949, Sharon was promoted to company commander (of the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit) and in 1950 to intelligence officer for Central Command. He then took leave to begin studies in history and Middle Eastern culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sharon’s subsequent military career would be characterized by insubordination, aggression and disobedience, but also brilliance as a commander.[...] Sharon was married twice, to two sisters, Margalit and Lily Zimmerman, who were from Romania. Sharon met Margalit in 1947 when she was 16,[...] After Margalit’s death, Sharon married her younger sister, Lily. They had two sons, Omri and Gilad, and six grandchildren.[121]

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  59. @DFH
    I've always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.

    When it comes to decent philosophy, the left/right scheme is getting harder and harder to apply.
    The classical example being left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right.

    Or take Schopenhauer, or Wittgenstein – or Heidegger: Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger… And SchopenhUER – well: There’s Freud on the left and – one John Gray on the rather conservative side.

    (Btw. – Pinker made no attempt at all to reject Gray’s critique, as Steve Sailer might have expected, from what he writes above, at least… – and Pinker couldn’t have reacted wiser.

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    • Replies: @Lot

    left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right. ... Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger
     
    Anglo-American philosophy departments, rightly in my view, have a very low opinion of all of them, and do so across the entire political spectrum. Hegel and his followers are not even really treated as philosophers at most departments, but rather seen as fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments. Same thing for Sartre and the other Frenchies.

    I think the single worst book I read in college was The Concept of the Political. Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor, but I mercifully only had to read excerpts. Page after page of dense and ugly prose to describe ideas are mostly trivially true or false. In both cases, as I discussed above, the assignments came outside of philosophy classes.
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  60. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    Of course intelligence conveys superiority!

    Would you rather undergo brain surgery from a medical professional who truly understood, absorbed and processed the material, or be cut by an affirmative action push-through who feigned comprehension, but is now standing above your cranium with a certain… uncertainty?

    The above analogy can be applied to many other very important facets of life, and despite all the noble rhetoric about equality anyone would be an absolute fool to state that inherent intelligence didn’t play a huge – one might even go so far as to say life-altering – role in those scenarios.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    I think you are not understanding my point, quite possibly because I'm doing a poor job of explaining it.

    There are many ways in which people differ from each other. In most of those areas, there is a societal consensus that one end of the scale is superior to the other end. Among those areas: beauty, height, weight, humor, athleticism, charm, wit, musical talent, health, mental stability, honesty, etc.

    Intelligence, which for purposes of this discussion I will assume is measured more or less accurately by IQ tests, is another. In our society it is probably the most important, both in reality and in popular opinion.

    But it is, IMO, one thing to say a person is of superior intelligence, and to say he is a superior person, and therefore the other person is inferior, because of this difference in IQ.

    Generally we wouldn't say someone who is athletic is a superior person, we'd say he's superior athletically. We wouldn't say a taller person is superior to a shorter one, we'd say he's superior in height. Same goes for any other human characteristic.

    It seems to me both sides of this discussion agree that higher IQ people are superior, even when they reject the consequences of that belief. I am objecting to the idea that higher IQ confers superiority in any ultimate sense, however much it provides a person with greater potential and abilities in many areas.
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  61. candid_observer – I’m not suggesting that he hasn’t done a fan-dance around the whole subject. He doesn’t want to be Watsoned or Larry Summers’d.

    But he knows the score perfectly well. In 2006, he wrote, “the dangerous idea of the next decade” will be the notion that “groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/17/race.science

    He knows the score, he knows some people won’t like it, he knows that the science points inexorably in the direction of group differences and can’t be suppressed forever, and he likes being the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard.

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  62. @YetAnotherAnon
    "What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don’t necessarily understand the real world."

    A look at the Forbes 400 wealthiest people tells me otherwise. And Jewish business people seem to prosper in some challenging places and industries - like African mining.

    (Admittedly it must be useful to have Israel if something goes awry, whereas there's nothing the Brit establishment like better than handing over a native to a foreign court).

    Somewhat OT, this story of how Mossad set up a Red Sea diving resort in Sudan to collect Ethiopian Jews is entertaining.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43702764


    "In the meantime, the Israelis continued to run the diving resort and entertain the guests. By now, Arous Village had earned quite a reputation and word spread.

    "By comparison to the rest of Sudan, we offered Hilton-like standards," says Gad, "and it was such a beautiful place, it really looked like something out of the Arabian Nights. It was unbelievable."

    The resort counted among its varied clientele an Egyptian army unit, a group of British SAS soldiers, foreign diplomats from Khartoum and Sudanese officials - all unaware of their hosts' true identity.

    One German military attache told Gad he had had a good time in many places "in my life but never quite like this".

    Arous Village became so successful that it turned enough of a profit to become financially self-sustaining, much to the relief of the accountants back at Mossad HQ."
     

    A look at the Forbes 400 wealthiest people tells me otherwise.

    Sure, but you don’t get to be wealthy without being persuasive. Of course, Ash Jews have mathematical ability as well as verbal. Hundreds of years of Talmudic study and money leanding will give you both types of intelligence.

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  63. @stillCARealist
    Did you read the book? It sounds pretty weird, but maybe you could do a decent review.

    BTW, if you can put together a verbally dexterous person with a hands-on inventor, you can make a nice business success story. Every nerdy engineer genius needs his mouthpiece to sell the invention to everybody.

    Yes, Levantine Steve Jobs and inventive Steve Wozniak. I’ve always thought an advantage Jobs had was having biological parents – mercantile and intellectual, as well as his adoptive parents – mechanically minded and pragmatic. In a sense he had an ideal set of four parents. Perhaps our own Steve here has the similar advantages.

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  64. @hyperbola

    It’s also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of “real” intelligence than does an IQ score.
     
    So far we have over 500 genes that show "statistical correlation" in contributions to IQ, and together they account for less than 10% of heritability. This despite recent supposedly "large" sample sizes. If those 500 genes have only 2 variants each, then the number of "polygenic" variations are 2 raised to a power > 500. Maybe some day governments will require that all of us submit our DNA to them, but even then there are not enough human beings alive to ever validate the "polygenic thesis".

    I don’t know what you’re arguing here.

    I gather that nowadays all polygenic scoring assessment goes through a two step process:

    1. An identification of loci, their alleles, and the size of their effects, culminating in a formula for the polygenic score, all based on a large dataset.

    2. An application of this formula to a new, independent dataset to determine whether that formula actually predicts outcomes as it should.

    In the case of the 500 loci you mention, one would expect that the test in 2) above would have been passed, and the variance so explained calculated and reported.

    Why would one ever require all permutations of these loci to be in either data set?

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    • Replies: @utu
    I think hyperbola is onto something. The protocol is as you have outlined in (1) and (2) but it still does not prove that polygenic score would be truly causative. This is because there might be a stratification effect.

    Imagine you have society with 1000 castes who all are slightly different genetically. Each of this caste has different position in life which requires different skills and thus lead to different score in some cognitive test. This cognitive ability is chiefly culturally acquired. The cognitive score correlates with caste.

    In this population you will be able to find some genetic markers that produce a polygenic score that will correlate with the cognitive tests score. But the correlation will not be causal but entirely spurious and it will survived the part (2) of your protocol, i.e., validation on independent sample.

    Imagine you have a population of blacks, brown and white Labrador retrievers. You train black ones in retrieving, brown ones in guarding and white ones in herding. Then you subject them to some tests on which each caste of dogs perform differently on average. The test can be retrieving. You will be able to find very easily a polygenic score (related to fur color) that will explain large part of variance of their performance in the test. Clearly this will be not causative explanation but spurious due to stratification.

    Genome to trait mapping is a very difficult mathematical problem. There are circa 10 millions of SNPs and you are retrying to find a subset that produces a polygenic score (linear or not) that correlates with some list of numbers (like IQs). This is immensely undetermined system. There are 2 to power 10 millions of possible subsets. The list of numbers is relatively short even if you have 1 or 10 million sample. It might be possible that any list of random generated numbers, even 1 million long, can find an SNP subset that wille explain the variance of the list and even with some luck can explain variance of independent validation set.
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  65. @Isolee
    Yes...even the Guardian, after some absurd denialism a few weeks back
    (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/01/the-guardian-view-on-intelligence-genes-going-beyond-the-evidence), was shamed into running a corrective article a few days later, acknowledging the importance of cognitive ability and its highly heritable nature (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/05/dna-sequencing-educational-attainment-height).

    The latter article still contains some galling, bad faith PC pieties ("genetics does not explain why we have fewer young black British adults going into tertiary education. Skin colour genetics covers a tiny proportion of the genome, and it stands apart from the genetics of educational attainment") but, admist a deluge of evidence that grows by the month, baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.

    “baby steps are finally being made by the liberal left.”

    That’s nice, but they’ve poisoned the well. I want that liberal baby aborted retroactively and with haste.

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  66. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    So when the judeobolshevik jalopy (blank slate/white privilege) isn’t selling, try to get the rube to buy the Yugo (slave ethics)? The fraction of people who passed on the first but will fall for the second is decreasing by the week.

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  67. @Obsessive Contrarian
    I don't even have to read the comments to see that Pinker will be savaged for his hair and his ethnicity.

    Can't you guys learn to make alliances? Choose your battles? Or is it all just free-flowing hostility?

    No one here is burning Pinker at the stake, just pointing out that, compared to someone like Murray — who took his lumps on the chin vs the the cowardly Kabuki of pretty much everyone else with something to lose — there is nothing especially brave or insightful coming from Pinker. More than anything, he’s trying to have his gay cake and eat it, too, i.e. salvage his intellectual integrity while still remaining “popular.”

    Yeah, he’ll get a tip o’ da hat but no one with real scars is going to start blowing sunshine up his arse for his belated and largely self-serving maneuvers.

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    • Replies: @Average Man
    The author of the Blank Slate doesn't deserve any praise (2002)? A man who acknowledges and pushes Judith Harris' Nurture Assumption? A man who publicly debated that sex differences were real and many were biologically influenced (2005)? A man who openly discussed Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending's 10k Yr Explosion in TNR? A man who defends the Enlightenment and its values against post-modernists (2018)? That man deserves doesn't deserve anything?

    This crowd needs to learn some respect and appreciation! Pinker was smartly and scientifically talking about heredity/genetics/group differences long before the lot of you had even heard of the phrase HBD. He brings more data and reason to the HBD/genetics table than 99.9% of iSteve commenters. What a bunch of ingrates!

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  68. @Arclight
    Even as the iq gaps become impossible to ignore, the left will turn to environmental explanations that harm the development of POC to explain them. Epigenetics caused by stress from racism, lead based paint, leaded gasoline, etc.

    “Epigenetics caused by stress from racism”

    The smarter ones are already grasping this fig leaf.

    But at this point, even the dimmest bulbs will see them moving the goal posts. This rear guard action is too little and too late to stave off a healthy (and overdue) reaction.

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  69. @dearieme
    Pinker shows neater footwork than Reich. If one wishes to discuss a whiter shade of pale and still survive in academic life, one had better learn to skip a light fandango.

    True.

    But the political climate can change quickly in the technotronic age. I think Reich will come out looking better than Pinker and that both will be alive for the reckoning.

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    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
    I wonder, I have been hearing that the humanities and the social "sciences" have been overdue for a sociobiological reckoning for a while, at least since 2000-01. Not only has it not happened, the far left "nothing but environment" worldview seems more entrenched than ever. It is becoming even harder to acknowledge sex differences in the last decade ( Google and James Damore and the Ellen Pao brouhaha ) much less racial differences and it has spread to even ordinary state universities, where most students parents aren't important politicians or rich.
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  70. @hyperbola

    It’s also possible that the polygenic scoring techniques will be able to reveal a more precise measurement of “real” intelligence than does an IQ score.
     
    So far we have over 500 genes that show "statistical correlation" in contributions to IQ, and together they account for less than 10% of heritability. This despite recent supposedly "large" sample sizes. If those 500 genes have only 2 variants each, then the number of "polygenic" variations are 2 raised to a power > 500. Maybe some day governments will require that all of us submit our DNA to them, but even then there are not enough human beings alive to ever validate the "polygenic thesis".

    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well
     
    "Height" is a social construct. Everyone knows that.
    , @res
    Actually, the variance of height explained by SNPs is up to about 40%: http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2017/09/accurate-genomic-prediction-of-human.html
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  71. @Steve Sailer
    I've long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.

    I’ve long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting like Taleb and Taleb stars doing ferocious aerobic exercises like Pinker and see how their political views change.

    Throw in Andrew Sullivan’s testosterone tablets to make it really interesting.

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  72. @TelfoedJohn
    Proponents at the extreme ends of the nature or nurture debate never seem to put skin in the game.

    The nature side doesn't let their kid go to a inner-city black school - surely it wouldn't matter if your kid's destiny is in his genes? And the nurture side are Portlandia types - white people marrying each other.

    Eh, who gives a shit about the level of academic rigor of such a school. There’s always Coursera/Khan Academy/etc.

    If I ever have a son and have to send him to such a school, I’m holding him back until he’s able to handle himself in physical combat.

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  73. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Physically, this would happen:

    Pinker’s arms would tear off in a deadlift attempt. Taleb would max out the treadmill in a kamikaze sprint, bust through the wall, and wreck several cars in the parking lot.

    I’ve long wanted to do an experiment in which Pinker starts weightlifting…

    Pinker’s arms would tear off in a deadlift attempt.

    Police officials in Phoenix sent Laurie Notaro’s family a letter informing them a violent sex offender had just been released and was moving into their neighborhood. In a home invasion, he had incapacitated three men before raping the sole woman.

    “Oh my God,” my husband said with a gasp, reading further. “He beat three men into unconsciousness? Alone? What is this, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Rapist? Does he fly and run across treetops? How long are his nails? What do you think his record for man beating is? Do we need four guys in the house at all times? Do we need five? You know, I could start a band and we could practice here.”

    “Yeah, I’d feel really safe knowing that there were five guys in grandpa sweaters and horn-rimmed glasses arguing about whether it’s ‘nah-nah-nah’ or ‘nah-nah-neh’ in my living room, just waiting to beat a rapist with a programmable drum machine and a sound-effect pedal,” I replied. “You could use a guitar as a weapon, but which one of your friends with their pasty Grover arms would be strong enough to swing it?

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  74. @Dieter Kief
    When it comes to decent philosophy, the left/right scheme is getting harder and harder to apply.
    The classical example being left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right.

    Or take Schopenhauer, or Wittgenstein - or Heidegger: Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger... And SchopenhUER - well: There's Freud on the left and - one John Gray on the rather conservative side.

    (Btw. - Pinker made no attempt at all to reject Gray's critique, as Steve Sailer might have expected, from what he writes above, at least... - and Pinker couldn't have reacted wiser.

    left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right. … Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger

    Anglo-American philosophy departments, rightly in my view, have a very low opinion of all of them, and do so across the entire political spectrum. Hegel and his followers are not even really treated as philosophers at most departments, but rather seen as fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments. Same thing for Sartre and the other Frenchies.

    I think the single worst book I read in college was The Concept of the Political. Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor, but I mercifully only had to read excerpts. Page after page of dense and ugly prose to describe ideas are mostly trivially true or false. In both cases, as I discussed above, the assignments came outside of philosophy classes.

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Allan Bloom was for the girls then (he wrote at length about Hegel) and Francis Fukuyama for careerists not too interested in political thinking at all, his Hegel-references secondhand anyways, whereas Robert Brandom's Hegelian American thinking is one to be recognized sometimes in the future ("Making it Explicit" - no simple and no short book, true, but interesting...).
    (Kinda jokin').
    (Plus: I never liked Sartre myself).

    PPS

    There are those who don't need much philosophy - and a few others.

    PPPS

    When asked, what's the differnce between philosophy and the other departments, Jürgen Mittelstrass, a Konstanz philosopher (of the more rational kind) once answered: The others use powerpoint.
    , @Eagle Eye

    ... Sartre and the other Frenchies [are] ... fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments..

    I think the single worst book I read in college ... Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor
     
    Remember that Being and Nothingness ("L'Etre et le néant") was published with full approval of the German National Socialists who then controlled France.
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  75. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    Like many people, you make the error of tearing the phrase “all men are created equal” from its context. Read the sentence containing that phrase in full -

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seen most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    The asserted equality is one of rights, not of personal characteristics. It is an assertion of natural law, not a scientific hypothesis.

    If anything is self-evident it is that people are not equal – not physically, not intellectually, and not even morally. Individuals manifestly vary in their physical, mental, and moral characteristics, and many of these are innate. While all may possess the natural rights asserted by the Declaration, their differing personal characteristics lead to their exercising those rights in different ways – some more and some less effectual in obtaining the “happiness” the document asserts their right to pursue. This inevitably leads to social and economic inequality, something with which the signers of the Declaration were quite familiar, and which they were largely at ease.

    The Declaration attempts to place in terms of general moral principles the particular issue over which the colonists were aggrieved – namely, that it was part of the settlement of the English Civil War that taxes should not be levied upon the people except by the action of the House of Commons, in which those people were represented. This element of “Consent of the Governed,” while enjoyed by Englishmen in England, was not enjoyed by Englishmen in the colonies of North America. This inequality of rights – the colonists’ subjection to taxation without representation – was seen as destructive to the ends that had been enshrined in English law since the restoration of Charles II. This, then, was the provocation that led them to alter or abolish the government they had, and to institute a new one that would be more likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    The Founding Fathers sought only to overthrow British government in the colonies, not to reject the ordinary inequalities that naturally existed between individuals. Jefferson, indeed, was an acute observer of the latter, and in his Notes on the State of Virginia acknowledges them repeatedly, in detail, sometimes regretfully, but without any sign of rejecting them on moral or political grounds.

    Blank-slatism and Procrustean egalitarianism have their roots in Rousseau, the Jacobins, and Marx – not in the American founding fathers.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    All correct, but if you have to generate three paragraphs of context then you've already lost the propaganda war, and it's now the most over-worked phrase in American history.

    Same with "E pluribus unum." I still remember Al Gore saying, "Out of one, many." I think he really believed he was right.
    , @Logan
    I'm not sure where you think we disagree. Your explanation is quite in line with my opinion.

    We are, or should be, equal in rights, as commonly being children of God. But since we aren't the same, we are equal in no other real way.

    I think you're reading things into my comment that aren't there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don't do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.
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  76. @DFH

    virtually all the “huge n” studies on Jewish IQ show them to have IQs that are either between 1 point lower and 7 or fewer points higher than white gentiles.
     
    Can you link to some?

    Can you link to some?

    Here it is:

    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations
    Curtis S. Dunkel, Charlie L. Reeve, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Dimitri van der Linden
    Personality and Individual Differences 78 (2015) 63–67
    Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

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    • Replies: @Lot
    FAIL. The third sentence of your link says:

    Ashkenazi Jewish IQ estimates range from one half to a full standard deviation above the non-Jewish mean.

     

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  77. @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Yep. Plus he looks kinda Tranny.

    Pinker was featured on the now-defunct “Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians” site.

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    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
    Actually, he looks like he just time-warped in from a Peter Frampton concert:

    http://www.kxlp941.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2016/01/peter_frampton-300x211.jpg
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  78. @Lot

    left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right. ... Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger
     
    Anglo-American philosophy departments, rightly in my view, have a very low opinion of all of them, and do so across the entire political spectrum. Hegel and his followers are not even really treated as philosophers at most departments, but rather seen as fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments. Same thing for Sartre and the other Frenchies.

    I think the single worst book I read in college was The Concept of the Political. Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor, but I mercifully only had to read excerpts. Page after page of dense and ugly prose to describe ideas are mostly trivially true or false. In both cases, as I discussed above, the assignments came outside of philosophy classes.

    Allan Bloom was for the girls then (he wrote at length about Hegel) and Francis Fukuyama for careerists not too interested in political thinking at all, his Hegel-references secondhand anyways, whereas Robert Brandom’s Hegelian American thinking is one to be recognized sometimes in the future (“Making it Explicit” – no simple and no short book, true, but interesting…).
    (Kinda jokin’).
    (Plus: I never liked Sartre myself).

    PPS

    There are those who don’t need much philosophy – and a few others.

    PPPS

    When asked, what’s the differnce between philosophy and the other departments, Jürgen Mittelstrass, a Konstanz philosopher (of the more rational kind) once answered: The others use powerpoint.

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    • Replies: @Lot
    Congratulations for not taking my bait and defending them!

    Allan Bloom was for the girls then
     
    He preferred the boys. I tried to give The Closing of the American Mind a read given the glowing reviews of it from all the right-wing intellectuals. I couldn't get very far, he's a boring writer and too indirect with his points.

    Here's an example of good philosophy writing, and by a lady-philosopher no less,

    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Nussbaum-Butler-Critique-NR-2-99.pdf
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  79. Tabula rasa indeed! Pinker is a member of the academic tribe, and they couldn’t bear the shame of admitting that a “mere playwright” by the name of Robert Ardrey had been right about human nature when almost all of them were propping up the Blank Slate. Ardrey played by far the most significant role in toppling the Blank Slate house of cards, but was airbrushed out of history by Pinker, who used the lame excuse that Ardrey had been wrong about group selection! By so doing he reduced his so-called “history” of the Blank Slate to the level of a fairy tale.

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  80. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    A fair comment. It takes intellectual honesty to admit what you don’t like. I was in the boat you are currently in perhaps a year ago. I am still uncomfortable with the ramifications.

    Indeed, I think it’s even worse then your comment indicates. If IQ is genetic, then why not work ethic? Marital fidelity? Criminality? Honesty? Time preference? There are reasons to believe that these are all genetic, and correlate (imperfectly) with IQ.

    These are all important traits, and not just in deciding who we call superior. Rather, those traits have tangible real-world effects. They enable a prosperous and secure society. You can not have such a society if a certain percentage of the population is criminally-oriented or unproductive.

    Every indication that I see is that the US is moving further from that percentage, and our society will continue to devolve as it does.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    Most people's perspective on this issue is really odd. Everyone will cheerfully agree that geniuses and the mentally challenged (or whatever the present euphemism is) exist. But they resist the idea that there is indeed a spectrum in -between and that a given person's place on that spectrum is highly relevant.

    It's very sad that many people are born, through absolutely no fault of their own, unable to fully participate in society due to an absence of intellectual chops. It is even more sad that as a society we are determined to make life more and more difficult for them.

    This issue was, BTW, the whole idea behind The Bell Curve, which I bought recently at a garage sale and read for the first time.

    I had assumed it was a racist rant, but it's nothing of the sort. It's about how lower-IQ people are progresively falling out of the bottom of society as us smart people make it more and more complex. Low- IQ people, by definition, do not do well with complexity.
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  81. @hyperbola
    This "topic" gets more boring by the day.

    By now it is clear that "IQ" (whatever that highly ambiguous "concept" actually is) is a complex trait in which small numbers of genes are neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the trait. Over 500 genes have been "statistically correlated" with "IQ" and, as you point out, these genes account for less than 10% of "IQ". The numbers are such that "polygenic" theories can never provide any "statistical correlation" that is applicable to any individual human being or to any division of human beings into a small number of races.

    The "topic" seems more and more to be included as clickbait for the ingenuous and/or desperate attempts by the "chosen people" to justify racist-supremacy.

    I agree on the clickbait side.

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  82. As others have pointed out Pinker is a clown at best who has a limited understanding of both genetics and evolutionary biology. I can solve all this research in one rule that I was told as a young scientist: You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit!

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  83. @candid_observer
    I don't know what you're arguing here.

    I gather that nowadays all polygenic scoring assessment goes through a two step process:

    1. An identification of loci, their alleles, and the size of their effects, culminating in a formula for the polygenic score, all based on a large dataset.

    2. An application of this formula to a new, independent dataset to determine whether that formula actually predicts outcomes as it should.

     

    In the case of the 500 loci you mention, one would expect that the test in 2) above would have been passed, and the variance so explained calculated and reported.

    Why would one ever require all permutations of these loci to be in either data set?

    I think hyperbola is onto something. The protocol is as you have outlined in (1) and (2) but it still does not prove that polygenic score would be truly causative. This is because there might be a stratification effect.

    Imagine you have society with 1000 castes who all are slightly different genetically. Each of this caste has different position in life which requires different skills and thus lead to different score in some cognitive test. This cognitive ability is chiefly culturally acquired. The cognitive score correlates with caste.

    In this population you will be able to find some genetic markers that produce a polygenic score that will correlate with the cognitive tests score. But the correlation will not be causal but entirely spurious and it will survived the part (2) of your protocol, i.e., validation on independent sample.

    Imagine you have a population of blacks, brown and white Labrador retrievers. You train black ones in retrieving, brown ones in guarding and white ones in herding. Then you subject them to some tests on which each caste of dogs perform differently on average. The test can be retrieving. You will be able to find very easily a polygenic score (related to fur color) that will explain large part of variance of their performance in the test. Clearly this will be not causative explanation but spurious due to stratification.

    Genome to trait mapping is a very difficult mathematical problem. There are circa 10 millions of SNPs and you are retrying to find a subset that produces a polygenic score (linear or not) that correlates with some list of numbers (like IQs). This is immensely undetermined system. There are 2 to power 10 millions of possible subsets. The list of numbers is relatively short even if you have 1 or 10 million sample. It might be possible that any list of random generated numbers, even 1 million long, can find an SNP subset that wille explain the variance of the list and even with some luck can explain variance of independent validation set.

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  84. @Logan
    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the "all men are created equal" idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    But it is what it is. Facts do not change based on what I wish they were.

    Possibly we would be best served by abandoning the notion that equality is somehow related to intelligence and fall back on a prepared position that intelligence does not of itself confer superiority. I have known a number of high-IQ types who were severely challenged with regard to morality and character, and quite a few middle and even low IQ types who I considered superior in these, to my mind, far more important factors.

    What the "no difference between races" group don't seem to realize is that by insisting that we can't recognize differences in average intelligence between group A and group B because it would mean group A is "superior," they are by implication agreeing that superiority and inferiority are indeed conferred by IQ. Which notion I reject.

    Logan wrote:

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.

    The famous “all men are created equal” phrase was an abbreviated form of what the Founders actually thought. A more accurate presentation comes from the June 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights penned by George Mason:

    THAT all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

    The phrasing in the Declaration of Independence is more euphonious and less verbose, and Jefferson and the Continental Congress reasonably thought that everyone would understand that it was merely a more concise form of what Mason had written.

    Alas, we live in an age in which too few people are reasonable enough to acknowledge that of course all men are not “equal” in the most literal, naive sense of the word.

    So, relax: all sane people, most certainly including Jefferson and the other Founders, have always known that human beings are not literally equal and that many human traits are largely hereditary. I assure you that almost assuredly your great-great grandparents would have thought anyone was truly bonkers who denied those obvious facts.

    The political issue is whether all normal adult human beings are fully (and therefore “equally”) entitled to certain natural, inalienable rights: it is certainly possible to apply, say, the Bill of Rights to stupid people as well as smart people while still recognizing that stupid people are not equal in intelligence to smart people.

    The Founders, after all, assuredly did not think that most people were as intelligent as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams!

    Incidentally, it is worth reading through the Virginia Declaration of Rights in its entirety: you will see phrases later embodied in both the First and Second Amendments, for example.

    George Mason was more important than most Americans now realize. Mason and other significant founding figures are discussed in an excellent (and readable) recent book, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government by, of all people, Senator Mike Lee.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    I agree completely.
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  85. @TelfoedJohn
    Ashkenazi Jews have slightly lower spatial IQ than whites, and higher verbal. Spatial skills are a more masculine trait, and verbal a more feminine trait. Which might explain some cultural developments over the last few decades. Otto Weininger covered this in Sex And Character: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Character

    What happens with this IQ profile is that you are verbally dextrous, but you don't necessarily understand the real world. A battle of words without a foundation in the real world.

    Have recently read a great book – The Evolution of Beauty, by Ornithologist Richard O. Prum. There are lots of interesting ideas in the book, but the general idea is that male behavior and traits, aside from being guided by fitness, is also heavily influenced by sexual selection, i.e. does it please the ladies?

    I have always been fascinated by style and aesthetics, and what drives these sensibilities. Prum discuses the appearance, songs and mating behavior of birds and concludes these traits are highly influenced by female choice. This gets interesting when you apply this type of thinking to human male behavior across ethnic groups. No doubt wit can help one survive and be a fit individual in the Darwinian sense, but humor no doubt is a tool to soften up a woman to your advances.. Other tools such as appearance, manner, music, and other sparkly lovely things can be helpful as well. Another interesting relationship Prum observed is that the more a species tilts toward bling, the less monogamous some species of birds tend to be.

    Complicating matters is that some species of birds appear to rely on forced mating, the duck being a prime example as species that seems to have perfected the gang rape as a method of promoting ones genome. Thus female choice becomes less important in reproduction. Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics. As a general rule, they don’t seem to be as good as artists, designers, architects etc. Most of their artistic work seems to end up in abstract soulless dead ends. But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity – you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten. I just can’t figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits – maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank? It was certainly not his style. Maybe that’s why everybody wears black in New York City.

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    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    Muse wrote:

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics.
     
    No, not really.

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists -- Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman -- is not "symbolic manipulation ability" but a strong visualization ability. Indeed, John Wheeler, who was mentor to both Feynman and Kip Thorne, said that a physicist should never do a calculation unless he already knew the answer -- i.e., unless he could "see" how it would actually turn out.

    Feynman discussed the importance of visualization at one point in some detail in terms of visualizing electromagnetic fields in his famous Lectures.

    Muse also wrote:

    But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity – you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten.
     
    Except that Witten has not figured out how 10-dimensional space works with super gravity (nor has anyone else, of course).

    There is a reason that Witten has never won a Nobel: Witten impresses all of us his physicists because he is indeed much better at mathematical manipulations than most of the rest of us (and, indeed, he does have a Fields Medal in math). And, of course, Witten impresses the mathematicians because he is better at physics than most mathematicians.

    But Witten is no Einstein, Maxwell, Newton, etc. Or to take slightly lesser lights, Witten is not even a Feynman, Gibbs, or Hawking. He just does not "see" the physical world in the way the true greats did.

    Note: I am not denying that Jews can be great theoretical physicists -- obviously, Einstein and Feynman were Jewish.

    I'm just pointing out that the key trait in the great physicists was not symbolic skills but what is often called "physical intuition," the ability to "see" what is going on.
    , @J.Ross
    Cheap answer: for almost all of Jewish history their culture emphasized verbal storytelling, abstract intellectual work, or managerial thinking, and forbade "graven images" (and tried to discourage manual labor, when possible).
    , @TelfoedJohn

    Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.
     
    Charmlessness is endemic among people with no history of chivalry or romance. Pakistanis are from an arranged marriage culture. There is no need to charm the ladies - why bother when you have a cousin of the opposite sex? The result is a lot of rape, and also viewing that rape as a minor indiscretion.

    I just can’t figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits – maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank?
     
    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.
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  86. @Toddy Cat
    Good observation. Pinker comes on like a hippie prof from the 'Seventies, that guy we all took classes from who gave everybody an "A", smoked weed with his students, and was banging the more comely female grad students. Because of that, he has flown under the radar for many of the lazier lefties, who expect anyone who doesn't embrace egalitarian blank-slate philosophy to look and sound like Richard Spencer. But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich. For today's left, it's Total Dedication to the Cause, or you are cast into the outer darkness, or Rightness, as the case may be. This will benefit our side, in the end.

    Toddy Cat wrote:

    But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich.

    No: “in the end,” everyone, Left and Right alike, will acknowledge what almost everyone throughout human history has acknowledged — almost all human traits are heavily influenced by heredity.

    Let’s be real: everyone knows this and always has. We’re just waiting on the conclusive scientific proof.

    At which point, the Left will latch on to some other ideological MacGuffin: the Left is really about power, not ideology. Back when power was based on religion, the power-hungry worked their way into the religious hierarchy. Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I concur. The Soviet Union was full of highly verbose pseudo-intellectuals who were always coming as close as possible to admitting to something, while always being careful to not just say it, and of course with the necessary apologies for countenancing such vulgarity. You get a cartoon of this in 1984 but Soviet fiction writing in the seventies and eighties bears it out just as starkly. The same spirit lives on in that Belorussian solar panel array that won awards for its productivity until it was discovered that they were blasting it with gasoline-generated-electric floodlights all night.
    , @Eagle Eye

    the Left is really about power, not ideology. ... Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.
     
    Hear, hear.
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  87. @PhysicistDave
    Toddy Cat wrote:

    But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich.
     
    No: "in the end," everyone, Left and Right alike, will acknowledge what almost everyone throughout human history has acknowledged -- almost all human traits are heavily influenced by heredity.

    Let's be real: everyone knows this and always has. We're just waiting on the conclusive scientific proof.

    At which point, the Left will latch on to some other ideological MacGuffin: the Left is really about power, not ideology. Back when power was based on religion, the power-hungry worked their way into the religious hierarchy. Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.

    I concur. The Soviet Union was full of highly verbose pseudo-intellectuals who were always coming as close as possible to admitting to something, while always being careful to not just say it, and of course with the necessary apologies for countenancing such vulgarity. You get a cartoon of this in 1984 but Soviet fiction writing in the seventies and eighties bears it out just as starkly. The same spirit lives on in that Belorussian solar panel array that won awards for its productivity until it was discovered that they were blasting it with gasoline-generated-electric floodlights all night.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The same spirit lives on in that Belorussian solar panel array that won awards for its productivity until it was discovered that they were blasting it with gasoline-generated-electric floodlights all night.
     
    They don't call the place "White Russia" for nothing. They don't minsk words.
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  88. @Muse
    Have recently read a great book - The Evolution of Beauty, by Ornithologist Richard O. Prum. There are lots of interesting ideas in the book, but the general idea is that male behavior and traits, aside from being guided by fitness, is also heavily influenced by sexual selection, i.e. does it please the ladies?

    I have always been fascinated by style and aesthetics, and what drives these sensibilities. Prum discuses the appearance, songs and mating behavior of birds and concludes these traits are highly influenced by female choice. This gets interesting when you apply this type of thinking to human male behavior across ethnic groups. No doubt wit can help one survive and be a fit individual in the Darwinian sense, but humor no doubt is a tool to soften up a woman to your advances.. Other tools such as appearance, manner, music, and other sparkly lovely things can be helpful as well. Another interesting relationship Prum observed is that the more a species tilts toward bling, the less monogamous some species of birds tend to be.

    Complicating matters is that some species of birds appear to rely on forced mating, the duck being a prime example as species that seems to have perfected the gang rape as a method of promoting ones genome. Thus female choice becomes less important in reproduction. Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics. As a general rule, they don't seem to be as good as artists, designers, architects etc. Most of their artistic work seems to end up in abstract soulless dead ends. But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity - you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten. I just can't figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits - maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank? It was certainly not his style. Maybe that's why everybody wears black in New York City.

    Muse wrote:

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics.

    No, not really.

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists — Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman — is not “symbolic manipulation ability” but a strong visualization ability. Indeed, John Wheeler, who was mentor to both Feynman and Kip Thorne, said that a physicist should never do a calculation unless he already knew the answer — i.e., unless he could “see” how it would actually turn out.

    Feynman discussed the importance of visualization at one point in some detail in terms of visualizing electromagnetic fields in his famous Lectures.

    Muse also wrote:

    But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity – you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten.

    Except that Witten has not figured out how 10-dimensional space works with super gravity (nor has anyone else, of course).

    There is a reason that Witten has never won a Nobel: Witten impresses all of us his physicists because he is indeed much better at mathematical manipulations than most of the rest of us (and, indeed, he does have a Fields Medal in math). And, of course, Witten impresses the mathematicians because he is better at physics than most mathematicians.

    But Witten is no Einstein, Maxwell, Newton, etc. Or to take slightly lesser lights, Witten is not even a Feynman, Gibbs, or Hawking. He just does not “see” the physical world in the way the true greats did.

    Note: I am not denying that Jews can be great theoretical physicists — obviously, Einstein and Feynman were Jewish.

    I’m just pointing out that the key trait in the great physicists was not symbolic skills but what is often called “physical intuition,” the ability to “see” what is going on.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The top American movie directors tend to be the cinematic equivalent of Einstein and Feynman: Jews with strong visual imaginations, like Kubrick and Spielberg.
    , @utu

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists — Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman — is not “symbolic manipulation ability” but a strong visualization ability.
     
    It is interesting that Newton thought of himself as mathematician specifically to differentiate himself from Hooke whose physics ideas he borrowed and was inspired by and then was very reluctant to acknowledge. But his mathematics, his calculus was chiefly geometric in nature and he did not develop nor appreciate formalization of mathematical procedures. His geometry was Cartesian not Euclidean. The necessity of formal proofs in Euclidean geometry he found boring as he did not appreciate the need for the logical structure: why to prove something what seems to be obvious? He geometrically proved that ellipsis is a solution of the equation of motion for inverse square law force but he was not aware or did not consider it necessary to prove that it was the only solution. This was proven rigorously by Bernoulli. Critics of Newton considered him to be typical British empiricist who unlike Leibniz or continental mathematicians and physicists had sense nor desire to seek the universal. If something worked he was happy with it.

    Certainly his Principia was a great accomplishment but it should not be viewed in vacuum. There were many mathematicians and physicists at that time who worked on similar problems and some of them achieved similar results before him and from some of them Newton borrowed ideas w/o acknowledgment. In particular he treated Hooke badly. Hook was poor.

    Was Newton the greatest? Where did his fame come form? The malicious Voltaire wrote that Newton owed his career "not to infinitesimal calculus and gravitation but to the beauty of his niece." He was rather unpleasant person who did not tolerate disagreements. Often was wrong and had no scruples to fabricate documents to support his claims. And he was a crank. He considered himself a Christian but did not believe in Trinity and thought that God possibly had more sons than just one Jesus. The fact that he was born on Christmas Day may had something to do with it.

    Maxwell in your list, at least from what I know, does not seem to be a person who got his ideas outside of mathematics. After all his greatest accomplishments was to fomulate the set of differential equations which actually can be derived form integral equations that were known before by mathematical formalism.

    Feynman is an interesting case. He was a showman who was creating happenings that supposed to be spontaneous while actually often he rehearsed and worked on them at home. He like to impress people. So it is possible that what he says how he arrived to his discoveries is not entirely true, that more mathematical calculations were involved than what he was willing to admit. Gell-Mann was fed up with him and his antics.

    Finally, Einstein who got even more idolized and turned into an icon than Newton. His image is being more jealously guarded than Newton's ever was. Yahweh is a jealous god. But there are some cracks and one may expect that eventually his apotheosis will be deconstructed. His borrowings and heavy dependence on smart mathematically talented collaborators will be brought to light. The list is long.

    Anyway, I do not agree with your take. First I do not like the concept of those towering geniuses. Any reading of history of physics and mathematics will show that it is always a very collaborative-competitive process with many actors. This belief in geniuses is so 19 century. (Somebody in this thread mentioned Otto Weininger? ) Some of them more lucky than other to achieve fame. Some having pretty nieces and some having no money. And second I do not thing there is any physics outside of mathematics.

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  89. PhysicistDave:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who’s in the field.

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    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    anon[135] wrote to me:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.
     
    Yeah, four of the five Nobel laureates I have studied under or worked for or with were Jewish, all extremely bright of course.

    Two were experimentalists (Marty Perl and Burt Richter), and being an experimentalist does not require nearly as strong a power of abstract visualization as being a top theoretical physicist. (Please note everyone: I am not at all disparaging Marty or Burt, both of whom were brilliant by any normal standards. I'm just saying their visualization skills were not up there with Einstein, a very high standard indeed!) Kip Thorne (the one non-Jew) was a theorist, but won the Nobel for his contributions to the LIGO experiment: I believe he deserved the Nobel, but it was not at all typical theoretical work.

    That leaves Steve Weinberg and Dick Feynman. As smart as Weinberg certainly is, I always felt he was a bit more of a symbol manipulator than a visualizer, and, indeed, I think that the fact that Weinberg's achievements are not viewed quite as highly as Feynman's or Hawking's is partly because Steve does not have quite the physical intuition they did. (Again, this is relative: I would of course be ecstatic if my own contributions to physics were even close to Weinberg's.)

    Feynman of course did most assuredly have superlative physical intuition and could "see"' what was going on mentally: indeed, he wrote about this, and, as one of his students, I can attest to his skill of visualization.

    So, thinking through the Nobel laureates I have known, I guess my conclusion is that you can be an excellent experimental physicist without superb visualization skills and even a good enough theorist to have a shot at a Nobel. But, if you want to be Feynman or Gibbs, much less Newton or Einstein, I think you need the incredible power of abstract visualization, the superb "physical intuition," that they all possessed.

    I'm sort of thinking out loud here: hope this makes sense.

    anon[135] also wrote to me:

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who’s in the field.
     
    Yeah, I think that is probably true. For obvious reasons, I am not going to list here the names of Jewish physicists I have known who ranged from mediocre to outright incompetents, but I can think of a number of names for that list (and, of course, a large number of names of non-Jewish physicists as well).

    Is there a greater fraction of Jewish physicists who are of the first rank as compared to non-Jewish physicists, or are there so many first-rank Jewish physicists simply because there are so many Jewish physicists altogether? I honestly do not know. Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish engineers, proportionately speaking, than Jewish physicists. I don't know why that is.

    Again, I hope it is clear to everyone that I am making relative comparisons here: all the people I have mentioned above truly did, in my opinion, deserve their Nobel and were not only very bright but also very, very hard workers.

    Dave
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  90. @Mark P MIller
    True.

    But the political climate can change quickly in the technotronic age. I think Reich will come out looking better than Pinker and that both will be alive for the reckoning.

    I wonder, I have been hearing that the humanities and the social “sciences” have been overdue for a sociobiological reckoning for a while, at least since 2000-01. Not only has it not happened, the far left “nothing but environment” worldview seems more entrenched than ever. It is becoming even harder to acknowledge sex differences in the last decade ( Google and James Damore and the Ellen Pao brouhaha ) much less racial differences and it has spread to even ordinary state universities, where most students parents aren’t important politicians or rich.

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  91. @DFH
    I've always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.

    I’ve always found it bizzarre that someone as reactionary as John Gray writes in the NS.

    I have to assume this isn’t the Mars/Venus guy.

    So, is he mercurial, jovial, or saturnine instead?

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  92. @J.Ross
    I concur. The Soviet Union was full of highly verbose pseudo-intellectuals who were always coming as close as possible to admitting to something, while always being careful to not just say it, and of course with the necessary apologies for countenancing such vulgarity. You get a cartoon of this in 1984 but Soviet fiction writing in the seventies and eighties bears it out just as starkly. The same spirit lives on in that Belorussian solar panel array that won awards for its productivity until it was discovered that they were blasting it with gasoline-generated-electric floodlights all night.

    The same spirit lives on in that Belorussian solar panel array that won awards for its productivity until it was discovered that they were blasting it with gasoline-generated-electric floodlights all night.

    They don’t call the place “White Russia” for nothing. They don’t minsk words.

    Read More
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  93. @PhysicistDave
    Muse wrote:

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics.
     
    No, not really.

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists -- Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman -- is not "symbolic manipulation ability" but a strong visualization ability. Indeed, John Wheeler, who was mentor to both Feynman and Kip Thorne, said that a physicist should never do a calculation unless he already knew the answer -- i.e., unless he could "see" how it would actually turn out.

    Feynman discussed the importance of visualization at one point in some detail in terms of visualizing electromagnetic fields in his famous Lectures.

    Muse also wrote:

    But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity – you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten.
     
    Except that Witten has not figured out how 10-dimensional space works with super gravity (nor has anyone else, of course).

    There is a reason that Witten has never won a Nobel: Witten impresses all of us his physicists because he is indeed much better at mathematical manipulations than most of the rest of us (and, indeed, he does have a Fields Medal in math). And, of course, Witten impresses the mathematicians because he is better at physics than most mathematicians.

    But Witten is no Einstein, Maxwell, Newton, etc. Or to take slightly lesser lights, Witten is not even a Feynman, Gibbs, or Hawking. He just does not "see" the physical world in the way the true greats did.

    Note: I am not denying that Jews can be great theoretical physicists -- obviously, Einstein and Feynman were Jewish.

    I'm just pointing out that the key trait in the great physicists was not symbolic skills but what is often called "physical intuition," the ability to "see" what is going on.

    The top American movie directors tend to be the cinematic equivalent of Einstein and Feynman: Jews with strong visual imaginations, like Kubrick and Spielberg.

    Read More
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  94. @Muse
    Have recently read a great book - The Evolution of Beauty, by Ornithologist Richard O. Prum. There are lots of interesting ideas in the book, but the general idea is that male behavior and traits, aside from being guided by fitness, is also heavily influenced by sexual selection, i.e. does it please the ladies?

    I have always been fascinated by style and aesthetics, and what drives these sensibilities. Prum discuses the appearance, songs and mating behavior of birds and concludes these traits are highly influenced by female choice. This gets interesting when you apply this type of thinking to human male behavior across ethnic groups. No doubt wit can help one survive and be a fit individual in the Darwinian sense, but humor no doubt is a tool to soften up a woman to your advances.. Other tools such as appearance, manner, music, and other sparkly lovely things can be helpful as well. Another interesting relationship Prum observed is that the more a species tilts toward bling, the less monogamous some species of birds tend to be.

    Complicating matters is that some species of birds appear to rely on forced mating, the duck being a prime example as species that seems to have perfected the gang rape as a method of promoting ones genome. Thus female choice becomes less important in reproduction. Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics. As a general rule, they don't seem to be as good as artists, designers, architects etc. Most of their artistic work seems to end up in abstract soulless dead ends. But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity - you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten. I just can't figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits - maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank? It was certainly not his style. Maybe that's why everybody wears black in New York City.

    Cheap answer: for almost all of Jewish history their culture emphasized verbal storytelling, abstract intellectual work, or managerial thinking, and forbade “graven images” (and tried to discourage manual labor, when possible).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Muse
    Are you suggesting a lack of opportunity to flourish in this field for Jews? Where have I had this discussion before?

    I just don’t see an outstanding body of work. Granted the story telling shows up in lyrics for musicals and motion pictures.

    If the culture does not value a trait, particularly the women when choosing a mate, then there will be no selection for this trait.
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  95. @NickG
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb often refers to Pinker as an IYI - Idiot Yet Intellectual. I assume that this is because of Pinker's 'Better Angels of Our Nature' omission of a proper parsing of fat-tail risks.

    The Decline of Violent Conflicts: What Do The Data Really Say? Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb pdf

    I'm not sure Taleb comes of looking very bad in comparison.

    I liked 'The Blank Slate' but the fat tail risk problem with 'Better Angels' did seem obvious, even to me, without Taleb's command of stats.

    While I can appreciate some of the things he says, Taleb is very full of himself. Also, his paper with Cirillo doesn’t really address Pinker’s Better Angels claims:

    http://quixoticfinance.com/empty-statistics/

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  96. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @DFH
    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well

    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well

    “Height” is a social construct. Everyone knows that.

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  97. @Mark P MIller
    No one here is burning Pinker at the stake, just pointing out that, compared to someone like Murray -- who took his lumps on the chin vs the the cowardly Kabuki of pretty much everyone else with something to lose -- there is nothing especially brave or insightful coming from Pinker. More than anything, he's trying to have his gay cake and eat it, too, i.e. salvage his intellectual integrity while still remaining "popular."

    Yeah, he'll get a tip o' da hat but no one with real scars is going to start blowing sunshine up his arse for his belated and largely self-serving maneuvers.

    The author of the Blank Slate doesn’t deserve any praise (2002)? A man who acknowledges and pushes Judith Harris’ Nurture Assumption? A man who publicly debated that sex differences were real and many were biologically influenced (2005)? A man who openly discussed Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending’s 10k Yr Explosion in TNR? A man who defends the Enlightenment and its values against post-modernists (2018)? That man deserves doesn’t deserve anything?

    This crowd needs to learn some respect and appreciation! Pinker was smartly and scientifically talking about heredity/genetics/group differences long before the lot of you had even heard of the phrase HBD. He brings more data and reason to the HBD/genetics table than 99.9% of iSteve commenters. What a bunch of ingrates!

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    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Well, rah, rah, Steven Pinker (a former client of mine, by the way). Don’t count on Steven Pinker to cover your back when things get ugly.
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  98. @Lot

    left-wing Hegelianism (Ruge, Feuerbach, Marx) and right wing Hegelianism (Göschel, Gabler): Both decent traditions in their own right. ... Lots of French and American leftwing radicals adore Heidegger
     
    Anglo-American philosophy departments, rightly in my view, have a very low opinion of all of them, and do so across the entire political spectrum. Hegel and his followers are not even really treated as philosophers at most departments, but rather seen as fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments. Same thing for Sartre and the other Frenchies.

    I think the single worst book I read in college was The Concept of the Political. Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor, but I mercifully only had to read excerpts. Page after page of dense and ugly prose to describe ideas are mostly trivially true or false. In both cases, as I discussed above, the assignments came outside of philosophy classes.

    … Sartre and the other Frenchies [are] … fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments..

    I think the single worst book I read in college … Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor

    Remember that Being and Nothingness (“L’Etre et le néant”) was published with full approval of the German National Socialists who then controlled France.

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    That's right, bu proves not much - other than that there were quite some sophisticated German military at work in Paris, which is true: Think of entomologist and conservative writer Ernst Jünger, for example, who resented Hitler deeply btw. - from the thirties on.

    Being and Nothingness was a big success, because it weigehd in at exactly 1 kilogram, and was therefor very useful in war-times France, because lead was scarce... (if not true - this story's very well thought out) - - but there are people who do hold, that there is some truth in this anecdote.

    , @MBlanc46
    And Heidegger, who was the inspiration for B&N, flirted with Nazism in the early thirties and threw Husserl under the bus. That’s hardly a case that phenomenology has much in common with Nazism. It may be almost completely incomprehensible, but phenomenology is hardly fascist.
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  99. @PhysicistDave
    Muse wrote:

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics.
     
    No, not really.

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists -- Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman -- is not "symbolic manipulation ability" but a strong visualization ability. Indeed, John Wheeler, who was mentor to both Feynman and Kip Thorne, said that a physicist should never do a calculation unless he already knew the answer -- i.e., unless he could "see" how it would actually turn out.

    Feynman discussed the importance of visualization at one point in some detail in terms of visualizing electromagnetic fields in his famous Lectures.

    Muse also wrote:

    But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity – you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten.
     
    Except that Witten has not figured out how 10-dimensional space works with super gravity (nor has anyone else, of course).

    There is a reason that Witten has never won a Nobel: Witten impresses all of us his physicists because he is indeed much better at mathematical manipulations than most of the rest of us (and, indeed, he does have a Fields Medal in math). And, of course, Witten impresses the mathematicians because he is better at physics than most mathematicians.

    But Witten is no Einstein, Maxwell, Newton, etc. Or to take slightly lesser lights, Witten is not even a Feynman, Gibbs, or Hawking. He just does not "see" the physical world in the way the true greats did.

    Note: I am not denying that Jews can be great theoretical physicists -- obviously, Einstein and Feynman were Jewish.

    I'm just pointing out that the key trait in the great physicists was not symbolic skills but what is often called "physical intuition," the ability to "see" what is going on.

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists — Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman — is not “symbolic manipulation ability” but a strong visualization ability.

    It is interesting that Newton thought of himself as mathematician specifically to differentiate himself from Hooke whose physics ideas he borrowed and was inspired by and then was very reluctant to acknowledge. But his mathematics, his calculus was chiefly geometric in nature and he did not develop nor appreciate formalization of mathematical procedures. His geometry was Cartesian not Euclidean. The necessity of formal proofs in Euclidean geometry he found boring as he did not appreciate the need for the logical structure: why to prove something what seems to be obvious? He geometrically proved that ellipsis is a solution of the equation of motion for inverse square law force but he was not aware or did not consider it necessary to prove that it was the only solution. This was proven rigorously by Bernoulli. Critics of Newton considered him to be typical British empiricist who unlike Leibniz or continental mathematicians and physicists had sense nor desire to seek the universal. If something worked he was happy with it.

    Certainly his Principia was a great accomplishment but it should not be viewed in vacuum. There were many mathematicians and physicists at that time who worked on similar problems and some of them achieved similar results before him and from some of them Newton borrowed ideas w/o acknowledgment. In particular he treated Hooke badly. Hook was poor.

    Was Newton the greatest? Where did his fame come form? The malicious Voltaire wrote that Newton owed his career “not to infinitesimal calculus and gravitation but to the beauty of his niece.” He was rather unpleasant person who did not tolerate disagreements. Often was wrong and had no scruples to fabricate documents to support his claims. And he was a crank. He considered himself a Christian but did not believe in Trinity and thought that God possibly had more sons than just one Jesus. The fact that he was born on Christmas Day may had something to do with it.

    Maxwell in your list, at least from what I know, does not seem to be a person who got his ideas outside of mathematics. After all his greatest accomplishments was to fomulate the set of differential equations which actually can be derived form integral equations that were known before by mathematical formalism.

    Feynman is an interesting case. He was a showman who was creating happenings that supposed to be spontaneous while actually often he rehearsed and worked on them at home. He like to impress people. So it is possible that what he says how he arrived to his discoveries is not entirely true, that more mathematical calculations were involved than what he was willing to admit. Gell-Mann was fed up with him and his antics.

    Finally, Einstein who got even more idolized and turned into an icon than Newton. His image is being more jealously guarded than Newton’s ever was. Yahweh is a jealous god. But there are some cracks and one may expect that eventually his apotheosis will be deconstructed. His borrowings and heavy dependence on smart mathematically talented collaborators will be brought to light. The list is long.

    Anyway, I do not agree with your take. First I do not like the concept of those towering geniuses. Any reading of history of physics and mathematics will show that it is always a very collaborative-competitive process with many actors. This belief in geniuses is so 19 century. (Somebody in this thread mentioned Otto Weininger? ) Some of them more lucky than other to achieve fame. Some having pretty nieces and some having no money. And second I do not thing there is any physics outside of mathematics.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Duhem is good on this topic and Dave has a bit of an Anglophone bias, which influences his analysis.
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  100. @PhysicistDave
    Toddy Cat wrote:

    But in the end, Pinker will either have to recant or defect to the Right, as will David Reich.
     
    No: "in the end," everyone, Left and Right alike, will acknowledge what almost everyone throughout human history has acknowledged -- almost all human traits are heavily influenced by heredity.

    Let's be real: everyone knows this and always has. We're just waiting on the conclusive scientific proof.

    At which point, the Left will latch on to some other ideological MacGuffin: the Left is really about power, not ideology. Back when power was based on religion, the power-hungry worked their way into the religious hierarchy. Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.

    the Left is really about power, not ideology. … Today, when power is based on pseudo-intellectual ideologies, the power-hungry take advantage of that.

    The common feature is a hunger for power, not any particular detail of ideology.

    Hear, hear.

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  101. @phil
    Are you referring to 'g'? It fits all the points you are trying to make.

    g would certainly be closer to what I have in mind.

    But g is at base a statistical construct, derived from IQ tests used as measures. Based as it is on such tests, it may always bear some of the limitations of those tests.

    No doubt g gets closer to a measure of organic intelligence than IQ. But it’s quite possible that there’s something even more basic going on organically that is a truer expression of intelligence. And it may be that genes get at this trait relatively accurately.

    The point is, genes are closer to the actual biology of the brain, and may get at things we can only quite imperfectly measure with our standard techniques.

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  102. @anon
    PhysicistDave:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who's in the field.

    anon[135] wrote to me:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.

    Yeah, four of the five Nobel laureates I have studied under or worked for or with were Jewish, all extremely bright of course.

    Two were experimentalists (Marty Perl and Burt Richter), and being an experimentalist does not require nearly as strong a power of abstract visualization as being a top theoretical physicist. (Please note everyone: I am not at all disparaging Marty or Burt, both of whom were brilliant by any normal standards. I’m just saying their visualization skills were not up there with Einstein, a very high standard indeed!) Kip Thorne (the one non-Jew) was a theorist, but won the Nobel for his contributions to the LIGO experiment: I believe he deserved the Nobel, but it was not at all typical theoretical work.

    That leaves Steve Weinberg and Dick Feynman. As smart as Weinberg certainly is, I always felt he was a bit more of a symbol manipulator than a visualizer, and, indeed, I think that the fact that Weinberg’s achievements are not viewed quite as highly as Feynman’s or Hawking’s is partly because Steve does not have quite the physical intuition they did. (Again, this is relative: I would of course be ecstatic if my own contributions to physics were even close to Weinberg’s.)

    Feynman of course did most assuredly have superlative physical intuition and could “see”‘ what was going on mentally: indeed, he wrote about this, and, as one of his students, I can attest to his skill of visualization.

    So, thinking through the Nobel laureates I have known, I guess my conclusion is that you can be an excellent experimental physicist without superb visualization skills and even a good enough theorist to have a shot at a Nobel. But, if you want to be Feynman or Gibbs, much less Newton or Einstein, I think you need the incredible power of abstract visualization, the superb “physical intuition,” that they all possessed.

    I’m sort of thinking out loud here: hope this makes sense.

    anon[135] also wrote to me:

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who’s in the field.

    Yeah, I think that is probably true. For obvious reasons, I am not going to list here the names of Jewish physicists I have known who ranged from mediocre to outright incompetents, but I can think of a number of names for that list (and, of course, a large number of names of non-Jewish physicists as well).

    Is there a greater fraction of Jewish physicists who are of the first rank as compared to non-Jewish physicists, or are there so many first-rank Jewish physicists simply because there are so many Jewish physicists altogether? I honestly do not know. Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish engineers, proportionately speaking, than Jewish physicists. I don’t know why that is.

    Again, I hope it is clear to everyone that I am making relative comparisons here: all the people I have mentioned above truly did, in my opinion, deserve their Nobel and were not only very bright but also very, very hard workers.

    Dave

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    • Replies: @Muse


    Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish



    Dave thanks for your comments.

    Having tribe members in my family,
    I make the following observations.

    They tend to have poorer interface with the physical world, and a poorer ability to understand their physical position in space, and to interact with the physical world. There also seems to be a lack of interest. Verbal and logical processes seem to be stronger. Again averages here - Some Jews are outstanding in these traits.

    Putting together a cheap Grill from Home Depot or crap furniture from Ikea can create a crisis despite the 140+ IQ. I have had to rescue many wielding an Allen key and a screwdriver.

    As for physics, the theoretical stuff I am talking about is not Newtonian with carts rolling down inclined planes, or heavenly bodies whirling in circles above. It is Einstein being able to infer true physical relationships based on integrating disparate equations and creating a highly abstract model of new, previously unimagined understandings in his head. There is very limited use of representations of the existing and known physical world in this process.

    Most Engineers model the physical tangible world in their head and then apply their understanding to resolve concrete physical problems. It is theoretical but less abstract.

    Engineers often intensively use theory, measurement and mathematics in this pursuit to fine tune and test their solutions. Now they do FEA for some of that work as well, but in the old world they would just build shit and break it until they got it to work.

    Moving from mechanical, to metallurgical/material, chemical, and electrical engineering, it seems the work becomes more abstract, and requires a different set of aptitudes and interests. Thus the ME’s always seem to mock the EE’s while everyone thought the Metallugists were wierdos. Theoretical physics, particularly the high energy particle stuff seems to be efforts of total abstraction to me.

    I am not a physicist, but a former HR guy. Have hired many scientists and engineers and these are my observations.
     

     

     
    , @Unladen Swallow
    I'm a bit surprised you ranked Hawking as highly as Feynman, my impression is that other physicists didn't think as highly of him as the general public did. I remember reading a physicist saying that Peter Higgs deserved much more acclaim as the greatest living British physicist ( Before Hawking's recent death, but also before Higgs Nobel Prize). than did Hawking.
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  103. @Harry Baldwin
    Pinker was featured on the now-defunct "Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians" site.

    Actually, he looks like he just time-warped in from a Peter Frampton concert:

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  104. @J.Ross
    Cheap answer: for almost all of Jewish history their culture emphasized verbal storytelling, abstract intellectual work, or managerial thinking, and forbade "graven images" (and tried to discourage manual labor, when possible).

    Are you suggesting a lack of opportunity to flourish in this field for Jews? Where have I had this discussion before?

    I just don’t see an outstanding body of work. Granted the story telling shows up in lyrics for musicals and motion pictures.

    If the culture does not value a trait, particularly the women when choosing a mate, then there will be no selection for this trait.

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    • Replies: @Logan
    If the culture does not value a trait, particularly the women when choosing a mate, then there will be no selection for this trait.

    And which cultures would this be?

    The idea of women choosing a mate and thus implementing sexual selection is wildly unhistorical. With very few exceptions down thru history before the last few centuries (and even then initially in quite limited geographical areas) women married who they were told to marry by their families, generally their father. There were ferocious penalties for women who nevertheless selected sexually outside marriage. This is obvoiusly still the case in much of the world.

    For most of human history it was also not at all uncommon for women to be slaves, or to be captured in war and made a secondary wife, etc. Not much selecting being done by the women here, either.

    Rather than female sexual selection, it would probably be more accurate to refer to father-in-law sexual selection. Now there was no doubt a lot of overlap here. Father-in-law wanted wealth and status just as much in a son-in-law as his daughter did in a husband. But he often put his own political and financial interests well ahead of her concerns, especially idiotic ones like whether she found the guy sexually attractive. What possible importance could that have?

    It is really, really weird that we project our own highly unusual mating customs into the past as the norm driving human evolution, when there is all this massive evidence that nothing of the kind occurred.

    "Who giveth this woman to this man?" For most of human history that was stark, brutal reality, not a charming anachronism.
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  105. @Muse
    Have recently read a great book - The Evolution of Beauty, by Ornithologist Richard O. Prum. There are lots of interesting ideas in the book, but the general idea is that male behavior and traits, aside from being guided by fitness, is also heavily influenced by sexual selection, i.e. does it please the ladies?

    I have always been fascinated by style and aesthetics, and what drives these sensibilities. Prum discuses the appearance, songs and mating behavior of birds and concludes these traits are highly influenced by female choice. This gets interesting when you apply this type of thinking to human male behavior across ethnic groups. No doubt wit can help one survive and be a fit individual in the Darwinian sense, but humor no doubt is a tool to soften up a woman to your advances.. Other tools such as appearance, manner, music, and other sparkly lovely things can be helpful as well. Another interesting relationship Prum observed is that the more a species tilts toward bling, the less monogamous some species of birds tend to be.

    Complicating matters is that some species of birds appear to rely on forced mating, the duck being a prime example as species that seems to have perfected the gang rape as a method of promoting ones genome. Thus female choice becomes less important in reproduction. Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Regardless, Jews seem to have great theoretical imagination, abstraction and symbolic manipulation ability. Seems like a great fit for theoretical physics. As a general rule, they don't seem to be as good as artists, designers, architects etc. Most of their artistic work seems to end up in abstract soulless dead ends. But if you want somebody to figure it how 10 dimensional space works with super gravity - you need a Jewish mind like Ed Witten. I just can't figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits - maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank? It was certainly not his style. Maybe that's why everybody wears black in New York City.

    Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.

    Charmlessness is endemic among people with no history of chivalry or romance. Pakistanis are from an arranged marriage culture. There is no need to charm the ladies – why bother when you have a cousin of the opposite sex? The result is a lot of rape, and also viewing that rape as a minor indiscretion.

    I just can’t figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits – maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank?

    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.

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    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir

    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.
     
    The claim that priestly celibacy was dysgenic does not hold water. For most of the time between the conversion of Europe to Christianity and the present, it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy - it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.

    The oldest son inherited lands and titles; younger sons had typically to choose careers in the military, the law, or the church. It did not take great intelligence to learn enough Latin to celebrate mass or observe the canonical hours of the breviary. It did take intelligence (and political connections) to advance in the church, but the same could be said of advancement in a legal or military career.

    Eastern Orthodoxy, unlike the Church of Rome, has never required priestly celibacy. If there be any evidence that this made Orthodox populations more eugenic than Roman Catholic ones, I am not aware of it.

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  106. @PhysicistDave
    anon[135] wrote to me:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.
     
    Yeah, four of the five Nobel laureates I have studied under or worked for or with were Jewish, all extremely bright of course.

    Two were experimentalists (Marty Perl and Burt Richter), and being an experimentalist does not require nearly as strong a power of abstract visualization as being a top theoretical physicist. (Please note everyone: I am not at all disparaging Marty or Burt, both of whom were brilliant by any normal standards. I'm just saying their visualization skills were not up there with Einstein, a very high standard indeed!) Kip Thorne (the one non-Jew) was a theorist, but won the Nobel for his contributions to the LIGO experiment: I believe he deserved the Nobel, but it was not at all typical theoretical work.

    That leaves Steve Weinberg and Dick Feynman. As smart as Weinberg certainly is, I always felt he was a bit more of a symbol manipulator than a visualizer, and, indeed, I think that the fact that Weinberg's achievements are not viewed quite as highly as Feynman's or Hawking's is partly because Steve does not have quite the physical intuition they did. (Again, this is relative: I would of course be ecstatic if my own contributions to physics were even close to Weinberg's.)

    Feynman of course did most assuredly have superlative physical intuition and could "see"' what was going on mentally: indeed, he wrote about this, and, as one of his students, I can attest to his skill of visualization.

    So, thinking through the Nobel laureates I have known, I guess my conclusion is that you can be an excellent experimental physicist without superb visualization skills and even a good enough theorist to have a shot at a Nobel. But, if you want to be Feynman or Gibbs, much less Newton or Einstein, I think you need the incredible power of abstract visualization, the superb "physical intuition," that they all possessed.

    I'm sort of thinking out loud here: hope this makes sense.

    anon[135] also wrote to me:

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who’s in the field.
     
    Yeah, I think that is probably true. For obvious reasons, I am not going to list here the names of Jewish physicists I have known who ranged from mediocre to outright incompetents, but I can think of a number of names for that list (and, of course, a large number of names of non-Jewish physicists as well).

    Is there a greater fraction of Jewish physicists who are of the first rank as compared to non-Jewish physicists, or are there so many first-rank Jewish physicists simply because there are so many Jewish physicists altogether? I honestly do not know. Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish engineers, proportionately speaking, than Jewish physicists. I don't know why that is.

    Again, I hope it is clear to everyone that I am making relative comparisons here: all the people I have mentioned above truly did, in my opinion, deserve their Nobel and were not only very bright but also very, very hard workers.

    Dave

    Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish

    Dave thanks for your comments.

    Having tribe members in my family,
    I make the following observations.

    They tend to have poorer interface with the physical world, and a poorer ability to understand their physical position in space, and to interact with the physical world. There also seems to be a lack of interest. Verbal and logical processes seem to be stronger. Again averages here – Some Jews are outstanding in these traits.

    Putting together a cheap Grill from Home Depot or crap furniture from Ikea can create a crisis despite the 140+ IQ. I have had to rescue many wielding an Allen key and a screwdriver.

    As for physics, the theoretical stuff I am talking about is not Newtonian with carts rolling down inclined planes, or heavenly bodies whirling in circles above. It is Einstein being able to infer true physical relationships based on integrating disparate equations and creating a highly abstract model of new, previously unimagined understandings in his head. There is very limited use of representations of the existing and known physical world in this process.

    Most Engineers model the physical tangible world in their head and then apply their understanding to resolve concrete physical problems. It is theoretical but less abstract.

    Engineers often intensively use theory, measurement and mathematics in this pursuit to fine tune and test their solutions. Now they do FEA for some of that work as well, but in the old world they would just build shit and break it until they got it to work.

    Moving from mechanical, to metallurgical/material, chemical, and electrical engineering, it seems the work becomes more abstract, and requires a different set of aptitudes and interests. Thus the ME’s always seem to mock the EE’s while everyone thought the Metallugists were wierdos. Theoretical physics, particularly the high energy particle stuff seems to be efforts of total abstraction to me.

    I am not a physicist, but a former HR guy. Have hired many scientists and engineers and these are my observations.

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    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    Within the US, compare the past where politicians were often engineers or scientists, to now where it’s very lawyer heavy. I think I prefer the past. China has the right idea, most of the top dogs there are engineer types. World manipulation vs symbol manipulation - the former gets things done and the latter just talks. Trump has surrounded himself with talkers.
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  107. @Crawfurdmuir

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.
     
    Like many people, you make the error of tearing the phrase "all men are created equal" from its context. Read the sentence containing that phrase in full -

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seen most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    The asserted equality is one of rights, not of personal characteristics. It is an assertion of natural law, not a scientific hypothesis.

    If anything is self-evident it is that people are not equal - not physically, not intellectually, and not even morally. Individuals manifestly vary in their physical, mental, and moral characteristics, and many of these are innate. While all may possess the natural rights asserted by the Declaration, their differing personal characteristics lead to their exercising those rights in different ways - some more and some less effectual in obtaining the "happiness" the document asserts their right to pursue. This inevitably leads to social and economic inequality, something with which the signers of the Declaration were quite familiar, and which they were largely at ease.

    The Declaration attempts to place in terms of general moral principles the particular issue over which the colonists were aggrieved - namely, that it was part of the settlement of the English Civil War that taxes should not be levied upon the people except by the action of the House of Commons, in which those people were represented. This element of "Consent of the Governed," while enjoyed by Englishmen in England, was not enjoyed by Englishmen in the colonies of North America. This inequality of rights - the colonists' subjection to taxation without representation - was seen as destructive to the ends that had been enshrined in English law since the restoration of Charles II. This, then, was the provocation that led them to alter or abolish the government they had, and to institute a new one that would be more likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    The Founding Fathers sought only to overthrow British government in the colonies, not to reject the ordinary inequalities that naturally existed between individuals. Jefferson, indeed, was an acute observer of the latter, and in his Notes on the State of Virginia acknowledges them repeatedly, in detail, sometimes regretfully, but without any sign of rejecting them on moral or political grounds.

    Blank-slatism and Procrustean egalitarianism have their roots in Rousseau, the Jacobins, and Marx - not in the American founding fathers.

    All correct, but if you have to generate three paragraphs of context then you’ve already lost the propaganda war, and it’s now the most over-worked phrase in American history.

    Same with “E pluribus unum.” I still remember Al Gore saying, “Out of one, many.” I think he really believed he was right.

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  108. @Eagle Eye

    ... Sartre and the other Frenchies [are] ... fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments..

    I think the single worst book I read in college ... Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor
     
    Remember that Being and Nothingness ("L'Etre et le néant") was published with full approval of the German National Socialists who then controlled France.

    That’s right, bu proves not much – other than that there were quite some sophisticated German military at work in Paris, which is true: Think of entomologist and conservative writer Ernst Jünger, for example, who resented Hitler deeply btw. – from the thirties on.

    Being and Nothingness was a big success, because it weigehd in at exactly 1 kilogram, and was therefor very useful in war-times France, because lead was scarce… (if not true – this story’s very well thought out) – – but there are people who do hold, that there is some truth in this anecdote.

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  109. @PhysicistDave
    anon[135] wrote to me:

    Jews are very much over-represented among great physicists, no? I wonder why, and alo why physics in particular and not, say, architecture or mechanical engineering.
     
    Yeah, four of the five Nobel laureates I have studied under or worked for or with were Jewish, all extremely bright of course.

    Two were experimentalists (Marty Perl and Burt Richter), and being an experimentalist does not require nearly as strong a power of abstract visualization as being a top theoretical physicist. (Please note everyone: I am not at all disparaging Marty or Burt, both of whom were brilliant by any normal standards. I'm just saying their visualization skills were not up there with Einstein, a very high standard indeed!) Kip Thorne (the one non-Jew) was a theorist, but won the Nobel for his contributions to the LIGO experiment: I believe he deserved the Nobel, but it was not at all typical theoretical work.

    That leaves Steve Weinberg and Dick Feynman. As smart as Weinberg certainly is, I always felt he was a bit more of a symbol manipulator than a visualizer, and, indeed, I think that the fact that Weinberg's achievements are not viewed quite as highly as Feynman's or Hawking's is partly because Steve does not have quite the physical intuition they did. (Again, this is relative: I would of course be ecstatic if my own contributions to physics were even close to Weinberg's.)

    Feynman of course did most assuredly have superlative physical intuition and could "see"' what was going on mentally: indeed, he wrote about this, and, as one of his students, I can attest to his skill of visualization.

    So, thinking through the Nobel laureates I have known, I guess my conclusion is that you can be an excellent experimental physicist without superb visualization skills and even a good enough theorist to have a shot at a Nobel. But, if you want to be Feynman or Gibbs, much less Newton or Einstein, I think you need the incredible power of abstract visualization, the superb "physical intuition," that they all possessed.

    I'm sort of thinking out loud here: hope this makes sense.

    anon[135] also wrote to me:

    My default assumption is that profession preferences have more to do with culture, or geography or having an uncle who’s in the field.
     
    Yeah, I think that is probably true. For obvious reasons, I am not going to list here the names of Jewish physicists I have known who ranged from mediocre to outright incompetents, but I can think of a number of names for that list (and, of course, a large number of names of non-Jewish physicists as well).

    Is there a greater fraction of Jewish physicists who are of the first rank as compared to non-Jewish physicists, or are there so many first-rank Jewish physicists simply because there are so many Jewish physicists altogether? I honestly do not know. Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish engineers, proportionately speaking, than Jewish physicists. I don't know why that is.

    Again, I hope it is clear to everyone that I am making relative comparisons here: all the people I have mentioned above truly did, in my opinion, deserve their Nobel and were not only very bright but also very, very hard workers.

    Dave

    I’m a bit surprised you ranked Hawking as highly as Feynman, my impression is that other physicists didn’t think as highly of him as the general public did. I remember reading a physicist saying that Peter Higgs deserved much more acclaim as the greatest living British physicist ( Before Hawking’s recent death, but also before Higgs Nobel Prize). than did Hawking.

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  110. @Crawfurdmuir

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.
     
    Like many people, you make the error of tearing the phrase "all men are created equal" from its context. Read the sentence containing that phrase in full -

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power in such Form, as to them shall seen most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    The asserted equality is one of rights, not of personal characteristics. It is an assertion of natural law, not a scientific hypothesis.

    If anything is self-evident it is that people are not equal - not physically, not intellectually, and not even morally. Individuals manifestly vary in their physical, mental, and moral characteristics, and many of these are innate. While all may possess the natural rights asserted by the Declaration, their differing personal characteristics lead to their exercising those rights in different ways - some more and some less effectual in obtaining the "happiness" the document asserts their right to pursue. This inevitably leads to social and economic inequality, something with which the signers of the Declaration were quite familiar, and which they were largely at ease.

    The Declaration attempts to place in terms of general moral principles the particular issue over which the colonists were aggrieved - namely, that it was part of the settlement of the English Civil War that taxes should not be levied upon the people except by the action of the House of Commons, in which those people were represented. This element of "Consent of the Governed," while enjoyed by Englishmen in England, was not enjoyed by Englishmen in the colonies of North America. This inequality of rights - the colonists' subjection to taxation without representation - was seen as destructive to the ends that had been enshrined in English law since the restoration of Charles II. This, then, was the provocation that led them to alter or abolish the government they had, and to institute a new one that would be more likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    The Founding Fathers sought only to overthrow British government in the colonies, not to reject the ordinary inequalities that naturally existed between individuals. Jefferson, indeed, was an acute observer of the latter, and in his Notes on the State of Virginia acknowledges them repeatedly, in detail, sometimes regretfully, but without any sign of rejecting them on moral or political grounds.

    Blank-slatism and Procrustean egalitarianism have their roots in Rousseau, the Jacobins, and Marx - not in the American founding fathers.

    I’m not sure where you think we disagree. Your explanation is quite in line with my opinion.

    We are, or should be, equal in rights, as commonly being children of God. But since we aren’t the same, we are equal in no other real way.

    I think you’re reading things into my comment that aren’t there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don’t do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.

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    I think you’re reading things into my comment that aren’t there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don’t do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.
     
    I don't think I am reading anything into your comment that wasn't there. Equality of rights and equality of socio-economic outcomes are two different matters, and if race has some "intersection" with the latter, there is nothing that says it must have anything to do with the former.

    The problem is perhaps with what constitute "rights." The Founders considered them to be freedoms beyond the reach of the state. Thus, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" - and so on. The Bill of Rights tells government what it shall not do. And the equality of rights consists solely in that government shall be excluded equally from intervention in certain aspects of every person's life, whatever his race, creed, color, etc., may be.

    Such "negative rights" are considered inadequate by leftists. They prefer "positive rights" like the last two of FDR's "Four Freedoms" - freedom from want and freedom from fear. These mandate that government do something for certain people, rather than doing nothing to any people. And ensuring such "freedoms" is not free - it comes at someone's cost. Guaranteeing "freedom from want" entails exacting money from some citizens to give to others. This is a mischievous alteration of what the Founders understood to be natural rights.

    And of course it involves government in some sort of judgment about how much socio-economic inequality is to be tolerated, inviting the state to poke its nose into affairs that were hitherto left up to civil society and the informal "social power" of voluntary associations such as families, businesses, churches, neighborhoods, etc. This is the slippery slope down which we have slid into the thrall of the social-justice-warriors.
    , @EH
    Intelligence is measured by the difficulty of questions one can answer correctly, and the difficulty of questions is measured by how much intelligence is required to answer them. (Having lots of questions and lots of people trying to answer them allows using matrix math to measure both at the same time.)

    Less intelligent people are by definition more likely to be wrong on every difficult question than are more intelligent people, but are nevertheless declared to have equal rights to vote in a democracy, thus ensuring that democratic decisions will be wrong on every difficult question and that those who are right will be subjugated to the rule of those who are wrong. This is, of course, unjust.

    Treating the better and the worse equally is unjust, and always leads to preferring the more common "worse" to the less common "better", which is evil.
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  111. @PhysicistDave
    Logan wrote:

    Personally, I strongly dislike the emerging evidence that IQ, like just about all other biological traits, is highly heritable. It puts a pretty significant dent in the “all men are created equal” idea on which I base my personal ideology.
     
    The famous "all men are created equal" phrase was an abbreviated form of what the Founders actually thought. A more accurate presentation comes from the June 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights penned by George Mason:

    THAT all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
     
    The phrasing in the Declaration of Independence is more euphonious and less verbose, and Jefferson and the Continental Congress reasonably thought that everyone would understand that it was merely a more concise form of what Mason had written.

    Alas, we live in an age in which too few people are reasonable enough to acknowledge that of course all men are not "equal" in the most literal, naive sense of the word.

    So, relax: all sane people, most certainly including Jefferson and the other Founders, have always known that human beings are not literally equal and that many human traits are largely hereditary. I assure you that almost assuredly your great-great grandparents would have thought anyone was truly bonkers who denied those obvious facts.

    The political issue is whether all normal adult human beings are fully (and therefore "equally") entitled to certain natural, inalienable rights: it is certainly possible to apply, say, the Bill of Rights to stupid people as well as smart people while still recognizing that stupid people are not equal in intelligence to smart people.

    The Founders, after all, assuredly did not think that most people were as intelligent as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams!

    Incidentally, it is worth reading through the Virginia Declaration of Rights in its entirety: you will see phrases later embodied in both the First and Second Amendments, for example.

    George Mason was more important than most Americans now realize. Mason and other significant founding figures are discussed in an excellent (and readable) recent book, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government by, of all people, Senator Mike Lee.

    I agree completely.

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  112. @DFH
    Only about 10% of the genes responsible for variation in height have been found as well

    Actually, the variance of height explained by SNPs is up to about 40%: http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2017/09/accurate-genomic-prediction-of-human.html

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  113. @Muse


    Having worked also in engineering, I have noticed that there seem to be many fewer Jewish



    Dave thanks for your comments.

    Having tribe members in my family,
    I make the following observations.

    They tend to have poorer interface with the physical world, and a poorer ability to understand their physical position in space, and to interact with the physical world. There also seems to be a lack of interest. Verbal and logical processes seem to be stronger. Again averages here - Some Jews are outstanding in these traits.

    Putting together a cheap Grill from Home Depot or crap furniture from Ikea can create a crisis despite the 140+ IQ. I have had to rescue many wielding an Allen key and a screwdriver.

    As for physics, the theoretical stuff I am talking about is not Newtonian with carts rolling down inclined planes, or heavenly bodies whirling in circles above. It is Einstein being able to infer true physical relationships based on integrating disparate equations and creating a highly abstract model of new, previously unimagined understandings in his head. There is very limited use of representations of the existing and known physical world in this process.

    Most Engineers model the physical tangible world in their head and then apply their understanding to resolve concrete physical problems. It is theoretical but less abstract.

    Engineers often intensively use theory, measurement and mathematics in this pursuit to fine tune and test their solutions. Now they do FEA for some of that work as well, but in the old world they would just build shit and break it until they got it to work.

    Moving from mechanical, to metallurgical/material, chemical, and electrical engineering, it seems the work becomes more abstract, and requires a different set of aptitudes and interests. Thus the ME’s always seem to mock the EE’s while everyone thought the Metallugists were wierdos. Theoretical physics, particularly the high energy particle stuff seems to be efforts of total abstraction to me.

    I am not a physicist, but a former HR guy. Have hired many scientists and engineers and these are my observations.
     

     

     

    Within the US, compare the past where politicians were often engineers or scientists, to now where it’s very lawyer heavy. I think I prefer the past. China has the right idea, most of the top dogs there are engineer types. World manipulation vs symbol manipulation – the former gets things done and the latter just talks. Trump has surrounded himself with talkers.

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  114. @Logan
    I'm not sure where you think we disagree. Your explanation is quite in line with my opinion.

    We are, or should be, equal in rights, as commonly being children of God. But since we aren't the same, we are equal in no other real way.

    I think you're reading things into my comment that aren't there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don't do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.

    I think you’re reading things into my comment that aren’t there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don’t do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.

    I don’t think I am reading anything into your comment that wasn’t there. Equality of rights and equality of socio-economic outcomes are two different matters, and if race has some “intersection” with the latter, there is nothing that says it must have anything to do with the former.

    The problem is perhaps with what constitute “rights.” The Founders considered them to be freedoms beyond the reach of the state. Thus, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” – and so on. The Bill of Rights tells government what it shall not do. And the equality of rights consists solely in that government shall be excluded equally from intervention in certain aspects of every person’s life, whatever his race, creed, color, etc., may be.

    Such “negative rights” are considered inadequate by leftists. They prefer “positive rights” like the last two of FDR’s “Four Freedoms” – freedom from want and freedom from fear. These mandate that government do something for certain people, rather than doing nothing to any people. And ensuring such “freedoms” is not free – it comes at someone’s cost. Guaranteeing “freedom from want” entails exacting money from some citizens to give to others. This is a mischievous alteration of what the Founders understood to be natural rights.

    And of course it involves government in some sort of judgment about how much socio-economic inequality is to be tolerated, inviting the state to poke its nose into affairs that were hitherto left up to civil society and the informal “social power” of voluntary associations such as families, businesses, churches, neighborhoods, etc. This is the slippery slope down which we have slid into the thrall of the social-justice-warriors.

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  115. @utu

    The most important skill for brilliant theoretical physicists — Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman — is not “symbolic manipulation ability” but a strong visualization ability.
     
    It is interesting that Newton thought of himself as mathematician specifically to differentiate himself from Hooke whose physics ideas he borrowed and was inspired by and then was very reluctant to acknowledge. But his mathematics, his calculus was chiefly geometric in nature and he did not develop nor appreciate formalization of mathematical procedures. His geometry was Cartesian not Euclidean. The necessity of formal proofs in Euclidean geometry he found boring as he did not appreciate the need for the logical structure: why to prove something what seems to be obvious? He geometrically proved that ellipsis is a solution of the equation of motion for inverse square law force but he was not aware or did not consider it necessary to prove that it was the only solution. This was proven rigorously by Bernoulli. Critics of Newton considered him to be typical British empiricist who unlike Leibniz or continental mathematicians and physicists had sense nor desire to seek the universal. If something worked he was happy with it.

    Certainly his Principia was a great accomplishment but it should not be viewed in vacuum. There were many mathematicians and physicists at that time who worked on similar problems and some of them achieved similar results before him and from some of them Newton borrowed ideas w/o acknowledgment. In particular he treated Hooke badly. Hook was poor.

    Was Newton the greatest? Where did his fame come form? The malicious Voltaire wrote that Newton owed his career "not to infinitesimal calculus and gravitation but to the beauty of his niece." He was rather unpleasant person who did not tolerate disagreements. Often was wrong and had no scruples to fabricate documents to support his claims. And he was a crank. He considered himself a Christian but did not believe in Trinity and thought that God possibly had more sons than just one Jesus. The fact that he was born on Christmas Day may had something to do with it.

    Maxwell in your list, at least from what I know, does not seem to be a person who got his ideas outside of mathematics. After all his greatest accomplishments was to fomulate the set of differential equations which actually can be derived form integral equations that were known before by mathematical formalism.

    Feynman is an interesting case. He was a showman who was creating happenings that supposed to be spontaneous while actually often he rehearsed and worked on them at home. He like to impress people. So it is possible that what he says how he arrived to his discoveries is not entirely true, that more mathematical calculations were involved than what he was willing to admit. Gell-Mann was fed up with him and his antics.

    Finally, Einstein who got even more idolized and turned into an icon than Newton. His image is being more jealously guarded than Newton's ever was. Yahweh is a jealous god. But there are some cracks and one may expect that eventually his apotheosis will be deconstructed. His borrowings and heavy dependence on smart mathematically talented collaborators will be brought to light. The list is long.

    Anyway, I do not agree with your take. First I do not like the concept of those towering geniuses. Any reading of history of physics and mathematics will show that it is always a very collaborative-competitive process with many actors. This belief in geniuses is so 19 century. (Somebody in this thread mentioned Otto Weininger? ) Some of them more lucky than other to achieve fame. Some having pretty nieces and some having no money. And second I do not thing there is any physics outside of mathematics.

    Duhem is good on this topic and Dave has a bit of an Anglophone bias, which influences his analysis.

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    Anglophone bias always leads to simple if not too simple notion of reality.
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  116. @Rob Lee
    Of course intelligence conveys superiority!

    Would you rather undergo brain surgery from a medical professional who truly understood, absorbed and processed the material, or be cut by an affirmative action push-through who feigned comprehension, but is now standing above your cranium with a certain... uncertainty?

    The above analogy can be applied to many other very important facets of life, and despite all the noble rhetoric about equality anyone would be an absolute fool to state that inherent intelligence didn't play a huge - one might even go so far as to say life-altering - role in those scenarios.

    I think you are not understanding my point, quite possibly because I’m doing a poor job of explaining it.

    There are many ways in which people differ from each other. In most of those areas, there is a societal consensus that one end of the scale is superior to the other end. Among those areas: beauty, height, weight, humor, athleticism, charm, wit, musical talent, health, mental stability, honesty, etc.

    Intelligence, which for purposes of this discussion I will assume is measured more or less accurately by IQ tests, is another. In our society it is probably the most important, both in reality and in popular opinion.

    But it is, IMO, one thing to say a person is of superior intelligence, and to say he is a superior person, and therefore the other person is inferior, because of this difference in IQ.

    Generally we wouldn’t say someone who is athletic is a superior person, we’d say he’s superior athletically. We wouldn’t say a taller person is superior to a shorter one, we’d say he’s superior in height. Same goes for any other human characteristic.

    It seems to me both sides of this discussion agree that higher IQ people are superior, even when they reject the consequences of that belief. I am objecting to the idea that higher IQ confers superiority in any ultimate sense, however much it provides a person with greater potential and abilities in many areas.

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  117. @Dieter Kief
    Allan Bloom was for the girls then (he wrote at length about Hegel) and Francis Fukuyama for careerists not too interested in political thinking at all, his Hegel-references secondhand anyways, whereas Robert Brandom's Hegelian American thinking is one to be recognized sometimes in the future ("Making it Explicit" - no simple and no short book, true, but interesting...).
    (Kinda jokin').
    (Plus: I never liked Sartre myself).

    PPS

    There are those who don't need much philosophy - and a few others.

    PPPS

    When asked, what's the differnce between philosophy and the other departments, Jürgen Mittelstrass, a Konstanz philosopher (of the more rational kind) once answered: The others use powerpoint.

    Congratulations for not taking my bait and defending them!

    Allan Bloom was for the girls then

    He preferred the boys. I tried to give The Closing of the American Mind a read given the glowing reviews of it from all the right-wing intellectuals. I couldn’t get very far, he’s a boring writer and too indirect with his points.

    Here’s an example of good philosophy writing, and by a lady-philosopher no less,

    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Nussbaum-Butler-Critique-NR-2-99.pdf

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    Congratulations for not taking my bait and defending them!
     
    Thanks.

    That I did not take the bait might not least be a consequence of my philosophical upbringing - "the ruse of reason" is - a Hegelian thought, that impressed me very early on, and stayed with me for quite some time now...

    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was indeed a playful thinker, and thus very close to Schiller with whom he shared the cultural background of Stuttgartian/Swabian pietism, btw.

    Schiller - : - Humans are only then fully humans, when at play.

    (If I ever get back at teaching philosophy, I'll introduce Hegel via Jean Paul (whom he loved - ahh Jean Paul: One of the titans of the German language (first half of the Top Ten - gentle and thought- and playful and an outstandingly knowledgeable philosopher, educator, novelist and humorist (great Bavarian/Frankian beer-drinker)).

    (Martha Nussbaum is ok, but not as much).

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  118. @Muse
    Are you suggesting a lack of opportunity to flourish in this field for Jews? Where have I had this discussion before?

    I just don’t see an outstanding body of work. Granted the story telling shows up in lyrics for musicals and motion pictures.

    If the culture does not value a trait, particularly the women when choosing a mate, then there will be no selection for this trait.

    If the culture does not value a trait, particularly the women when choosing a mate, then there will be no selection for this trait.

    And which cultures would this be?

    The idea of women choosing a mate and thus implementing sexual selection is wildly unhistorical. With very few exceptions down thru history before the last few centuries (and even then initially in quite limited geographical areas) women married who they were told to marry by their families, generally their father. There were ferocious penalties for women who nevertheless selected sexually outside marriage. This is obvoiusly still the case in much of the world.

    For most of human history it was also not at all uncommon for women to be slaves, or to be captured in war and made a secondary wife, etc. Not much selecting being done by the women here, either.

    Rather than female sexual selection, it would probably be more accurate to refer to father-in-law sexual selection. Now there was no doubt a lot of overlap here. Father-in-law wanted wealth and status just as much in a son-in-law as his daughter did in a husband. But he often put his own political and financial interests well ahead of her concerns, especially idiotic ones like whether she found the guy sexually attractive. What possible importance could that have?

    It is really, really weird that we project our own highly unusual mating customs into the past as the norm driving human evolution, when there is all this massive evidence that nothing of the kind occurred.

    “Who giveth this woman to this man?” For most of human history that was stark, brutal reality, not a charming anachronism.

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  119. @utu

    Can you link to some?
     
    Here it is:

    A comparative study of the general factor of personality in Jewish and non-Jewish populations
    Curtis S. Dunkel, Charlie L. Reeve, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Dimitri van der Linden
    Personality and Individual Differences 78 (2015) 63–67
    Curtis S. Dunkel et al. http://www.midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1488.pdf

    FAIL. The third sentence of your link says:

    Ashkenazi Jewish IQ estimates range from one half to a full standard deviation above the non-Jewish mean.

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  120. @TelfoedJohn

    Societies that arrange marriages no doubt would have a much different relationship to aesthetics and mate selection than a society where the concept of romantic love flourishes.
     
    Charmlessness is endemic among people with no history of chivalry or romance. Pakistanis are from an arranged marriage culture. There is no need to charm the ladies - why bother when you have a cousin of the opposite sex? The result is a lot of rape, and also viewing that rape as a minor indiscretion.

    I just can’t figure out what these Jewish girls were looking for that caused these traits – maybe mom wanted a nice Jewish boy with some shekels in the bank?
     
    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.

    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.

    The claim that priestly celibacy was dysgenic does not hold water. For most of the time between the conversion of Europe to Christianity and the present, it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy – it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.

    The oldest son inherited lands and titles; younger sons had typically to choose careers in the military, the law, or the church. It did not take great intelligence to learn enough Latin to celebrate mass or observe the canonical hours of the breviary. It did take intelligence (and political connections) to advance in the church, but the same could be said of advancement in a legal or military career.

    Eastern Orthodoxy, unlike the Church of Rome, has never required priestly celibacy. If there be any evidence that this made Orthodox populations more eugenic than Roman Catholic ones, I am not aware of it.

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    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn

    it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy – it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.
     
    First born does not mean the cleverest. I expect they chose the most bookish son to study the Bible. Which is still dysgenic.

    Compare Mormons: http://anepigone.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/eugenic-mormons.html
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  121. EH says:
    @Logan
    I'm not sure where you think we disagree. Your explanation is quite in line with my opinion.

    We are, or should be, equal in rights, as commonly being children of God. But since we aren't the same, we are equal in no other real way.

    I think you're reading things into my comment that aren't there. I would indeed be happy if all human ethnic groups were equal in all ways, not because I care that much about the issue, but because the intersection of equality and race fouls up everything. Nobody cares that low-IQ whites don't do as well as high-IQ whites. If we were all of one race this would be of zero interest to anybody.

    Intelligence is measured by the difficulty of questions one can answer correctly, and the difficulty of questions is measured by how much intelligence is required to answer them. (Having lots of questions and lots of people trying to answer them allows using matrix math to measure both at the same time.)

    Less intelligent people are by definition more likely to be wrong on every difficult question than are more intelligent people, but are nevertheless declared to have equal rights to vote in a democracy, thus ensuring that democratic decisions will be wrong on every difficult question and that those who are right will be subjugated to the rule of those who are wrong. This is, of course, unjust.

    Treating the better and the worse equally is unjust, and always leads to preferring the more common “worse” to the less common “better”, which is evil.

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  122. @Crawfurdmuir

    Unlike the celibate priest, the rabbi (the most intellectually fit) was encouraged to have plenty of kids. He was top of the hierarchy and therefore attractive to women, who instinctively turn towards power. Dysgenic Christians vs Eugenic Jews. Though Episcopalians and Mormons are Eugenic in their breeding habits today.
     
    The claim that priestly celibacy was dysgenic does not hold water. For most of the time between the conversion of Europe to Christianity and the present, it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy - it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.

    The oldest son inherited lands and titles; younger sons had typically to choose careers in the military, the law, or the church. It did not take great intelligence to learn enough Latin to celebrate mass or observe the canonical hours of the breviary. It did take intelligence (and political connections) to advance in the church, but the same could be said of advancement in a legal or military career.

    Eastern Orthodoxy, unlike the Church of Rome, has never required priestly celibacy. If there be any evidence that this made Orthodox populations more eugenic than Roman Catholic ones, I am not aware of it.

    it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy – it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.

    First born does not mean the cleverest. I expect they chose the most bookish son to study the Bible. Which is still dysgenic.

    Compare Mormons: http://anepigone.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/eugenic-mormons.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir

    First born does not mean the cleverest. I expect they chose the most bookish son to study the Bible. Which is still dysgenic.
     
    Not necessarily the most bookish. More often those younger sons that were not physically suited for soldiering were destined for the church - e.g., Talleyrand, whose noble family arranged for him to be made bishop of Autun under the ancien régime, was congenitally lame. He was indeed a brilliant man, but had he been fit he'd more likely have followed a different career path and enjoyed comparable success. For every such bright example, how many perfectly humdrum younger sons toiled away in obscurity as curates or sacristans?

    Further it is to be noted that nominally celibate clergy were not necessarily chaste. Many had mistresses and offspring by them, e.g., Rodrigo Borgia, later Alexander VI. He had several very accomplished children:

    "Clippity cloppity,
    Cesare Borgia,
    Modelled himself on
    His father the Pope:
    Paterfamilias,
    Generalissimo,
    Pontifex Maximus -
    Able to cope."


    Bear in mind also that the practice of sending younger sons into the clergy persisted after the Reformation in those parts of Europe that embraced some version of the reformed faith. There, the clergy could and did marry - is there any evidence that these countries experienced an eugenic effect not enjoyed by those that continued within the Roman fold? And again, among the populations having allegiance to Eastern Orthodoxy, which always permitted its clergy to marry, is there any evidence that this led to a perceptible eugenic advantage as compared to what may be observed among those loyal to Rome?

    As far as Mormonism is concerned, can an eugenic result be discerned after less than two hundred years? Surely if this be the case, we could discern one among Protestant populations after five centuries, and among the Orthodox after more than a millennium, during which married clergy were their denominations' norms.
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  123. @megabar
    A fair comment. It takes intellectual honesty to admit what you don't like. I was in the boat you are currently in perhaps a year ago. I am still uncomfortable with the ramifications.

    Indeed, I think it's even worse then your comment indicates. If IQ is genetic, then why not work ethic? Marital fidelity? Criminality? Honesty? Time preference? There are reasons to believe that these are all genetic, and correlate (imperfectly) with IQ.

    These are all important traits, and not just in deciding who we call superior. Rather, those traits have tangible real-world effects. They enable a prosperous and secure society. You can not have such a society if a certain percentage of the population is criminally-oriented or unproductive.

    Every indication that I see is that the US is moving further from that percentage, and our society will continue to devolve as it does.

    Most people’s perspective on this issue is really odd. Everyone will cheerfully agree that geniuses and the mentally challenged (or whatever the present euphemism is) exist. But they resist the idea that there is indeed a spectrum in -between and that a given person’s place on that spectrum is highly relevant.

    It’s very sad that many people are born, through absolutely no fault of their own, unable to fully participate in society due to an absence of intellectual chops. It is even more sad that as a society we are determined to make life more and more difficult for them.

    This issue was, BTW, the whole idea behind The Bell Curve, which I bought recently at a garage sale and read for the first time.

    I had assumed it was a racist rant, but it’s nothing of the sort. It’s about how lower-IQ people are progresively falling out of the bottom of society as us smart people make it more and more complex. Low- IQ people, by definition, do not do well with complexity.

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  124. @TelfoedJohn

    it was not the most intellectually fit that joined the clergy – it was younger sons, those who were spares rather than heirs.
     
    First born does not mean the cleverest. I expect they chose the most bookish son to study the Bible. Which is still dysgenic.

    Compare Mormons: http://anepigone.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/eugenic-mormons.html

    First born does not mean the cleverest. I expect they chose the most bookish son to study the Bible. Which is still dysgenic.

    Not necessarily the most bookish. More often those younger sons that were not physically suited for soldiering were destined for the church – e.g., Talleyrand, whose noble family arranged for him to be made bishop of Autun under the ancien régime, was congenitally lame. He was indeed a brilliant man, but had he been fit he’d more likely have followed a different career path and enjoyed comparable success. For every such bright example, how many perfectly humdrum younger sons toiled away in obscurity as curates or sacristans?

    Further it is to be noted that nominally celibate clergy were not necessarily chaste. Many had mistresses and offspring by them, e.g., Rodrigo Borgia, later Alexander VI. He had several very accomplished children:

    “Clippity cloppity,
    Cesare Borgia,
    Modelled himself on
    His father the Pope:
    Paterfamilias,
    Generalissimo,
    Pontifex Maximus -
    Able to cope.”

    Bear in mind also that the practice of sending younger sons into the clergy persisted after the Reformation in those parts of Europe that embraced some version of the reformed faith. There, the clergy could and did marry – is there any evidence that these countries experienced an eugenic effect not enjoyed by those that continued within the Roman fold? And again, among the populations having allegiance to Eastern Orthodoxy, which always permitted its clergy to marry, is there any evidence that this led to a perceptible eugenic advantage as compared to what may be observed among those loyal to Rome?

    As far as Mormonism is concerned, can an eugenic result be discerned after less than two hundred years? Surely if this be the case, we could discern one among Protestant populations after five centuries, and among the Orthodox after more than a millennium, during which married clergy were their denominations’ norms.

    Read More
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  125. @Lot
    Congratulations for not taking my bait and defending them!

    Allan Bloom was for the girls then
     
    He preferred the boys. I tried to give The Closing of the American Mind a read given the glowing reviews of it from all the right-wing intellectuals. I couldn't get very far, he's a boring writer and too indirect with his points.

    Here's an example of good philosophy writing, and by a lady-philosopher no less,

    http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Nussbaum-Butler-Critique-NR-2-99.pdf

    Congratulations for not taking my bait and defending them!

    Thanks.

    That I did not take the bait might not least be a consequence of my philosophical upbringing – “the ruse of reason” is – a Hegelian thought, that impressed me very early on, and stayed with me for quite some time now…

    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was indeed a playful thinker, and thus very close to Schiller with whom he shared the cultural background of Stuttgartian/Swabian pietism, btw.

    Schiller – : – Humans are only then fully humans, when at play.

    (If I ever get back at teaching philosophy, I’ll introduce Hegel via Jean Paul (whom he loved – ahh Jean Paul: One of the titans of the German language (first half of the Top Ten – gentle and thought- and playful and an outstandingly knowledgeable philosopher, educator, novelist and humorist (great Bavarian/Frankian beer-drinker)).

    (Martha Nussbaum is ok, but not as much).

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  126. @Anon
    Duhem is good on this topic and Dave has a bit of an Anglophone bias, which influences his analysis.

    Anglophone bias always leads to simple if not too simple notion of reality.

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  127. @Average Man
    The author of the Blank Slate doesn't deserve any praise (2002)? A man who acknowledges and pushes Judith Harris' Nurture Assumption? A man who publicly debated that sex differences were real and many were biologically influenced (2005)? A man who openly discussed Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending's 10k Yr Explosion in TNR? A man who defends the Enlightenment and its values against post-modernists (2018)? That man deserves doesn't deserve anything?

    This crowd needs to learn some respect and appreciation! Pinker was smartly and scientifically talking about heredity/genetics/group differences long before the lot of you had even heard of the phrase HBD. He brings more data and reason to the HBD/genetics table than 99.9% of iSteve commenters. What a bunch of ingrates!

    Well, rah, rah, Steven Pinker (a former client of mine, by the way). Don’t count on Steven Pinker to cover your back when things get ugly.

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  128. @Eagle Eye

    ... Sartre and the other Frenchies [are] ... fit only to be studied by the female-brains over at the English, gender studies, and sociology departments..

    I think the single worst book I read in college ... Being and Nothingness would probably be tied for this dishonor
     
    Remember that Being and Nothingness ("L'Etre et le néant") was published with full approval of the German National Socialists who then controlled France.

    And Heidegger, who was the inspiration for B&N, flirted with Nazism in the early thirties and threw Husserl under the bus. That’s hardly a case that phenomenology has much in common with Nazism. It may be almost completely incomprehensible, but phenomenology is hardly fascist.

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