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The Five Laws of Behavioral Genetics
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The time has come for a review post on the laws of behavioral genetics. I will talk about why these laws are laws and why they are important. Eventually, this will be merged into my Behavioral Genetics Page, but for now, I will start with this primer.

The five laws of behavioral genetics are:

  1. All human behavioral traits are heritable
  2. The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes.
  3. A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioral traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families.
  4. A typical human behavioral trait is associated with very many genetic variants, each of which accounts for a very small percentage of the behavioral variability.
  5. All phenotypic relationships are to some degree genetically mediated or confounded.

All are simple. All can be said in one sentence. Yet all are incredibly profound and terribly underappreciated in today’s society.

For most of the history of the laws, there were only three. The first three were coined by Eric Turkheimer (who has since spent his time trying to undermine his own discovery). Recent genomic studies have added the fourth (Chabris et al, 2015). And Emil Kirkegaard has proposed the fifth based on multivariate behavioral genetic studies. Allow me to review the five laws and their everyday significance.

First Law: All human behavioral traits are heritable.

Derivation:

  • Identical twins raised apart will be similar – and usually highly similar in every conceivable measurement
  • More generally, behavioral and other phenotypic similarity is predicted by genetic similarity for all behaviors and phenotypes, across all human relations, regardless of environmental circumstances. That is, identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins or full siblings, who are more similar than half-siblings, who are more similar than first cousins, and so on ad infintum.

This is underappreciated because this means that all human characteristics, including the things we feel are products of “free choice” or “free will” are infact heavily dependent on genetic forces. This includes life circumstances, such as where and how you live – even how you grew up. Free will doesn’t exist. Political, religious, and moral views are themselves partly enshrined in the genes. This (or, more specifically, additive heritability) is responsible for continuity within families and within social and ethnic groups. And this is why human societies and behavioral quirks persist, resistant to change.

Second Law: The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes.

Derivation:

  • Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together
  • Non-related individuals reared together are no more similar than random strangers
  • More generally, people growing up together are no more similar than you’d expect from their genetic relationship alone

Also under appreciated, the Second Law talks about the “shared environment” – parents, peers, schools, neighborhoods – all the things children growing up in the same household share. The effect of all those things on any behavioral trait or other phenotype is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters. No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment, this includes criminality, marital stability, income, adult happiness, and substance abuse (though note, educational attainment seems to be affected by shared environment, but even here, the effect of education goes away when you look at income). It just doesn’t matter. This strikes squarely against popular belief, making the second law the most vehemently denied of them all.

Third Law: A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioral traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families.

Derivation:

  • Identical twins (even raised together) are in fact far from identical and differ in significant ways
  • In general, there will be variance left over once genes and shared environmental effects are accounted for

Identical twins may have different handedness, have different fingerprints, and indeed, can differ in criminal history (such as perpetrating a mass shooting).

More poignantly, identical twins can (and in fact, in cases where at least one is gay, usually do) differ in sexual orientation.

Twins differ substantially for cancer incidence – despite having very similar lifestyle habits, indicating that these factors don’t do as much as many think.

Now, while a good bit of this of left over variance turns out to actually be measurement error (i.e., twins are even more similar than they first appear when you watch them long enough/better), the Third Law means that there is more to the story that straight-up genetic forces. Many commenters here try to fill in the blanks with the usual environmental suspects (e.g., schools, peers, differential parental treatment) – ignoring the lessons of the Second Law which shows the nonexistence of any effect of these things. As fingerprints indicate, there are deep developmental forces at work that render many of these ideas unnecessary – indeed, nonsensical in many cases. Or, in the case of sexual oriental, the distinguishing force may be something largely outside our control, such as pathogens (see Greg Cochran’s “Gay Germ” Hypothesis – An Exercise in the Power of Germs). The Third Law indicates that chance effects can dash our best laid plans.

Fourth Law: A typical human behavioral trait is associated with very many genetic variants, each of which accounts for a very small percentage of the behavioral variability.

Derivation:

  • Genomic studies have found few genetic variants that have a large effect on behavioral traits

This is mostly of concern for breeding or for genetic engineering. This puts the kibosh on simplistic notions of a “gene for X”, because in reality there are a plethora of genetic variants at play in a given behavioral trait. This is why, despite the progress being made in genetic modification, it will be still a while yet before “made to order” designer babies are a reality.

Fifth Law: All phenotypic relationships are to some degree genetically mediated or confounded.

Derivation:

  • Whenever there is an association between two phenotypes (such as poverty and crime), there will be a genetic association driving both

And finally, I come to Emil Kirkegaard’s newly coined law, one that is vastly underappreciated. This was drawn from studies like those of Amir Sariaslan’s and others showing the confounded nature of phenotypical associations (even extended phenotypes like social circumstances). This essentially strikes at the heart of modern social science (and for that matter, medical science), which assumes, wrongly, that association between social and/or behavioral factors is an indication that one causes the other. In reality, genetic forces cause both. Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes.

* * *

I could go on and also talk about another thing that bugs me, namely twin control studies, which basically apply a version of the confounded wisdom seen in the Fifth Law. Namely such studies assume that correlations in unshared environment (i.e., the matter of the Third Law) as causal, ignoring the substance of the Third Law in the process (i.e., unshared biological forces could cause both factors of interest). But, this will be a topic for another day.

These are dangerous times for biosocial science – societal and political forces make this matter difficult to discuss or research. A reckoning is approaching, and it is unclear how it will turn out. In the mean time, technology and our understanding of the forces at play marches on, waiting for our society to catch up.

 
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  1. “Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes.”

    So in Jayman’s world, diet and exercise has absolutely no benefits?

    Also what do you know about behavioral therapy?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263194/

    I’ve used these guidelines with great success for people.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it’s genetic anyway?

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/07/30/diet-and-exercise-dont-do-it/

    This doesn’t even touch on obesogenic environments and the food reward hypothesis. I may get into that later.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    From your piece:

    The relationship between vigorous exercise and all-cause mortality is well studied.

    ...

    Unfit thin people had two times higher mortality rate than normal weight fit people. Further, overweight and obese fit people had similar mortality rates when compared to normal weight fit people

    ...

    Exercise into old age is also related to higher cognition and lower mortality rate in when compared to individuals who do not exercise.
     

    You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don't have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.

    But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn't really expect you to understand.

    , @Anon
    A guess the problem here is how genes influence people's way deal with food and exercise, like some people have propensity to go workout and eat less food or be more concern with their health, and some other people don't have that drive to eat less or be concern with health and what type of food they are eating. And there's the question about each body have somewhat different reaction to food. But in end of the day, caloric intake is important, you can put obese people in a hypo caloric diet for a time, and they will lose weight and fat, but once they are "loose" again, they will regain weight because the plethora of factor will again start to come in to play, factor like: their personality, their body reaction to food, their environment; some of this factor are beyond control, like personality or body reaction, other you can change like environment, but still some people will simply run to another environment that suits their needs. It's complex question, that even doctor don't know how to act, the proof of this is all of those diets and dietitian fads that come and go. Here a link to a good site about science of fitness and related stuff: http://sci-fit.net/2017/450-weight-loss-studies/

    Highlight to:

    "*Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)

    *The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)"



    Ah, and sorry for my poor English, it's not my first language.
    , @The Alarmist
    The study published by NIH conveniently ignores the flooding of the world's food channels with highly processed carbohydrate sources and other food "poisons" like high-fructose corn syrup, which are huge exports of the US, and which have contributed hugely toward the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the developed and developing countries.

    The study also reinforces the flawed view that obesity and T2D are the products of poor behaviour of overeating; in reality, both are the symptoms of insulin resistance, albeit often coupled with overating, often triggered by the flawed conventional wisdom of eating small meals and snacks throughout the day rather than allowing for periods of fasting to stop triggering the secretion of insulin that constant eating causes, and it is more likely the insulin that inreases morbidity from things like coronary hear disease or kidney failure than the obesity or T2D themselves, aside from their common relationship to the presence of insulin. BTW, this is why you have fat people who live long, healthy lives with no meaningful exercise, and thin people who exercise like crazy and drop dead from coronaries in their fifties. The BT works not because restricting calorie intake reduces weight and serum glucose as much as it helps reduce insulin secretion.

    Sure, exercise helps, but if you aren't treating insulin secretion patterns and insulin resistance, you are kidding yourself and your patients.
    , @c matt
    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it’s genetic anyway?

    I am not sure what he is saying. The only thing I could see as plausible is that diet and exercise will have differing effects/levels of success based upon genetic predisposition. Subject A, who follows the same diet/exercise regimen as subject B, may have better results (higher muscle gain/fat loss, etc.) than subject B due to genes. Still, subject B who diets and exercises will be better off than subject B who doesn't.
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  2. JayMan says: • Website
    @RaceRealist88
    "Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes."

    So in Jayman's world, diet and exercise has absolutely no benefits?

    Also what do you know about behavioral therapy?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263194/

    I've used these guidelines with great success for people.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it's genetic anyway?

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/07/30/diet-and-exercise-dont-do-it/

    This doesn't even touch on obesogenic environments and the food reward hypothesis. I may get into that later.

    From your piece:

    The relationship between vigorous exercise and all-cause mortality is well studied.

    Unfit thin people had two times higher mortality rate than normal weight fit people. Further, overweight and obese fit people had similar mortality rates when compared to normal weight fit people

    Exercise into old age is also related to higher cognition and lower mortality rate in when compared to individuals who do not exercise.

    You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.

    But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn’t really expect you to understand.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation."

    I understand that. That's basic.

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences. Behavioral therapy can ameliorate these things. As I said, I've used the above pubmed article with great success. Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don't. That's a causal effect on exercise.

    Read into behavioral therapy. It works. Numerous people have used it with great success.

    I eat right every day of the week. I eat a certain kcal/macro split depending on rest of workout day. Would you say that if I didn't do that I'd still be in good health and be in shape?

    "But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn’t really expect you to understand."

    Taking charge of people's health is my career. I've helped hundreds of people get better habits and live healthier lifestyle.

    But of course, since you've never worked with people who need this help I wouldn't really expect you to understand.

    I've been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn't. And what you're saying is extremely dangerous for people's health.

    Also I'm sure you know that if you're giving this "advice" that it's illegal since you don't have the correct credentials.
  3. res says:

    Thanks for your exposition of these laws. One quibble (emphasis mine):

    More poignantly, identical twins can (and in fact, usually do) differ in sexual orientation.

    Is that really what you mean to say? Aren’t most identical twin pairs the same–heterosexual? Do you mean something like “of identical twin pairs where at least one is homosexual”?

    Read More
  4. @JayMan
    From your piece:

    The relationship between vigorous exercise and all-cause mortality is well studied.

    ...

    Unfit thin people had two times higher mortality rate than normal weight fit people. Further, overweight and obese fit people had similar mortality rates when compared to normal weight fit people

    ...

    Exercise into old age is also related to higher cognition and lower mortality rate in when compared to individuals who do not exercise.
     

    You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don't have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.

    But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn't really expect you to understand.

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences. Behavioral therapy can ameliorate these things. As I said, I’ve used the above pubmed article with great success. Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t. That’s a causal effect on exercise.

    Read into behavioral therapy. It works. Numerous people have used it with great success.

    I eat right every day of the week. I eat a certain kcal/macro split depending on rest of workout day. Would you say that if I didn’t do that I’d still be in good health and be in shape?

    “But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn’t really expect you to understand.”

    Taking charge of people’s health is my career. I’ve helped hundreds of people get better habits and live healthier lifestyle.

    But of course, since you’ve never worked with people who need this help I wouldn’t really expect you to understand.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.
     

    However:

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences.
     
    Apparently, you don't.

    Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t.
     
    That's not what large RCTs show.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.
     

    Let's not even get into selection bias.
    , @Logan
    With regard to the illegality of giving health advice.

    I understand that giving medical advice, without the proper qualifications, to a particular person is illegal in many cases.

    Surely this doesn't mean I, as an "unqualified" individual, am therefore prohibited from writing about how I think psychological drugs are ineffective or dangerous,or that we should all subsist on a diet of raw meat and cashews? Isn't such opinionating, no matter how uninformed, covered by the First Amendment? As is your reply that while raw meat is fine, cashews will kill you.
  5. JayMan says: • Website
    @res
    Thanks for your exposition of these laws. One quibble (emphasis mine):

    More poignantly, identical twins can (and in fact, usually do) differ in sexual orientation.
     
    Is that really what you mean to say? Aren't most identical twin pairs the same--heterosexual? Do you mean something like "of identical twin pairs where at least one is homosexual"?

    Yup, already fixed! Thanks though!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other's character.

    I have known lots of identical twins and nearly always one is dominant. It is as if tbe first time someone asked them what they wanted the future dominant one shouted his or her preference and the other shrugged and thought " yes, I suppose that would be OK" and a habit was immediately born.
  6. JayMan says: • Website
    @RaceRealist88
    "You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation."

    I understand that. That's basic.

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences. Behavioral therapy can ameliorate these things. As I said, I've used the above pubmed article with great success. Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don't. That's a causal effect on exercise.

    Read into behavioral therapy. It works. Numerous people have used it with great success.

    I eat right every day of the week. I eat a certain kcal/macro split depending on rest of workout day. Would you say that if I didn't do that I'd still be in good health and be in shape?

    "But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn’t really expect you to understand."

    Taking charge of people's health is my career. I've helped hundreds of people get better habits and live healthier lifestyle.

    But of course, since you've never worked with people who need this help I wouldn't really expect you to understand.

    I've been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn't. And what you're saying is extremely dangerous for people's health.

    Also I'm sure you know that if you're giving this "advice" that it's illegal since you don't have the correct credentials.

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.

    However:

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences.

    Apparently, you don’t.

    Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t.

    That’s not what large RCTs show.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.

    Let’s not even get into selection bias.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "Apparently, you don’t."

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn't sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn't exercise. What will happen?

    Why don't you answer my direct questions to you: Would you say that if I didn’t do that I’d still be in good health and be in shape? Are you saying not to diet and exercise?

    Furthermore, can you tell me which genes mediate this effect of exercise, dieting and sitting? I'd love to be enlightened.

    I know you've read Gary Taubes, so you know the reason for the obesity increase: processed carbs/sugar. So, as I've said, changing our food environment will lead to a change in weight in America. This is driven by our change in environment; we have Paleolithic genomes in novel environments. I'm sure you know that insulin is the driver of obesity---why we gain weight.

    "That’s not what large RCTs show."

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don't mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn't be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368053/

    Lastly, 2.5 hours of exercise a week compared to no exercise is associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality by 19 percent whereas 7 hours a week compared to no activity resulted in a 24 percent decrease.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/40/1/121/658816/Non-vigorous-physical-activity-and-all-cause

    Decreases in all-cause mortality were even seen going from no activity to light walking.

    http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/42/4/238

    Non-vigorous exercise is associated with lower all-cause mortality.

    "Let’s not even get into selection bias."

    I'm stating my personal experience in my time doing this.

    Low-carb ketogenic diets are best for type II diabetics. There are benefits to having ketones circulating in the blood, which include (but are not limited to): weight loss, improved HbA1c levels, reduced rate of kidney disease/damage, cardiac benefits, reversing non-alcoholic fatty liver, elevated insulin, and abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood. These benefits, of course, carry over to the general non-diabetic population as well.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/

    Relevant article:

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/food-cravings/

    , @Stephen R. Diamond
    So, I suppose it's illegal for you to give this legal "advice"? But seriously, that's ridiculous.
    , @Demontage2000
    Speaking at different levels: In practice, it might always make sense to encourage someone to choose the salad instead of the fries at any given meal; In theory (supported by the basic research) it is highly probable that the people who 'listen' to 'good dietary advice', are predisposed to it anyhow, these people seek out advice which they can follow.
  7. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @RaceRealist88
    "Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes."

    So in Jayman's world, diet and exercise has absolutely no benefits?

    Also what do you know about behavioral therapy?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263194/

    I've used these guidelines with great success for people.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it's genetic anyway?

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/07/30/diet-and-exercise-dont-do-it/

    This doesn't even touch on obesogenic environments and the food reward hypothesis. I may get into that later.

    A guess the problem here is how genes influence people’s way deal with food and exercise, like some people have propensity to go workout and eat less food or be more concern with their health, and some other people don’t have that drive to eat less or be concern with health and what type of food they are eating. And there’s the question about each body have somewhat different reaction to food. But in end of the day, caloric intake is important, you can put obese people in a hypo caloric diet for a time, and they will lose weight and fat, but once they are “loose” again, they will regain weight because the plethora of factor will again start to come in to play, factor like: their personality, their body reaction to food, their environment; some of this factor are beyond control, like personality or body reaction, other you can change like environment, but still some people will simply run to another environment that suits their needs. It’s complex question, that even doctor don’t know how to act, the proof of this is all of those diets and dietitian fads that come and go. Here a link to a good site about science of fitness and related stuff: http://sci-fit.net/2017/450-weight-loss-studies/

    Highlight to:

    “*Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)

    *The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)”

    Ah, and sorry for my poor English, it’s not my first language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    Thanks for the link. Tons of studies which I can use to better help my clients.

    "other you can change like environment"

    The food environment in the whole country needs to change. Look at when obesity exploded in America and then look at dietary recommendations around that time. There is your answer to why we have this epidemic.

    "Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)"

    The hormone ghrelin, for instance, shows great diurnal variation. This coincides with hunger "coming and going". It's possible to 'train' yourself when you get hungry, mainly through intermittent fasting.

    I'm well aware that more ghrelin is released when one is in a kcal deficit. This mainly goes back to the 'dietary recommendations' set by the AHA---mainly their 55% CHO recommendations. If you knew insulin's role in the body you'd know why that's a bad combination for attempting to lose weight.

    Insulin inhibits the breakdown of fat in the adipose tissue by inhibiting the lipase that hydrolyzes the fat out of the cell. Since insulin facilitates the entry of glucose into the cell, when this occurs, the glucose is synthesized into glycerol. Along with the fatty acids in the liver, they both are synthesized into triglycerides in the liver. Due to these mechanisms, insulin is directly involved with the shuttling of more fat into the adipocyte, meaning it has a fat-sparing effect. Insulin drives most cells to prefer carbohydrates for energy. Putting this all together, insulin indirectly stimulates the accumulation of fat into the adipose tissue.

    So eating whatever you want is a recipe for diabesity. Do this for long enough, then you'll be going to Dr. Jason Fung to have your foot cut off.

    De novo lipogenesis is also another factor in fat accumulation.

    "The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)"

    I am well aware of adaptive thermogenesis, body set weight, etc. Dr. Fung agrees that all diets fail.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/all-diets-fail-how-to-lose-weight-xi/

    Insulin resistance maintains high insulin levels which cause more resistance to insulin which result in a vicious cycle. This, over time, causes weight gain. To break the cycle, you must lower insulin and the subsequent insulin resistance which is doable by LKCD/low-carb diets.
    , @nicky
    Obesity has a genetic component, but it is generally not our 'own' genes. It has become clear that the composition of our intestinal microbiota (bacteria outnumber our own cells by several orders of magnitude) plays a major role. It is not yet well understood how a 'healthy' life-style, diet in particular, impacts our intestinal ecosystem.
    It is plausible -but not yet proven- that all kinds of preservatives used in processed foods, as well as antibiotic use, would have an impact.
    Point is, we (in fact, all multicellular organisms) live in a tight symbiosis with our microbiota and their amount of genes -in variety and numbers- is far greater than our own genes. We are only beginning to have an inkling of understanding of how this affects us.
  8. Brabantian says: • Website

    Powerful stuff here, especially this part from JayMan’s article above

    Under appreciated, the Second Law talks about the “shared environment” – parents, peers, schools, neighborhoods – all the things children growing up in the same household share. The effect of all things on any behavioral trait … is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters. No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment … It just doesn’t matter.

    Somehow I thought of when, a few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million of his Facebook profits to improve the Newark NJ school system performance … only to find math & reading evaluation scores continue to decline, in what became a legendary ‘social spending’ boondoggle disaster. Tho to be fair a lot of that dosh was spent corruptly on $1000-a-day consultants etc.

    Re the ‘gay germ’ or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy … the child fears destruction for being a ‘competitor’ to the same sex parent, so the child ‘inverts’ his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat … Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types … possibly the tendency to have that kind of large-scale fear, & to respond in such a way, is itself genetic

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Great comment, except for this part:

    Re the ‘gay germ’ or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy … the child fears destruction for being a ‘competitor’ to the same sex parent, so the child ‘inverts’ his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat … Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types
     
    That's precisely the sort of nonsense this entry is made to address. :)
    , @hyperbola
    This article is primarily non-quantitative, non-scientific gobble-de-gook. The main problem with many assertions is that they seem not to be true. In fact, you can find MANY articles that deny these assertions. Here is one that addresses some serious scientific research in layman's terms and provides real physical mechanisms for why identical twins are different in personality traits.


    The Mystery of How Identical Twins Develop Different Personalities
    http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032

    ...."In twin studies it had been clear that even though the twins are identical (monozygotic), there are still some differences between them that emerges over time," says Gerd Kempermann, a behavioral geneticist at the Dresden University of Technology and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in Germany. "Identical twins are often amazingly similar, but mothers and close relatives can still tell them apart easily."

    .... Importantly, identical twins raised in the same household — the same "outer" environment — still develop personality differences over time. Behavioral geneticists have long pegged these differences to influences by the "non-shared environment," though there's no real consensus on exactly what the non-shared environment consists of, Kempermann told io9. In twin studies, he says, these non-shared environmental influences essentially boil down to the individual experiences siblings have, and their own personal interactions with their environment.

    Kemperman and his colleagues studied genetically identical mice, and found that their experiences influenced the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus — a part of the brain associated with learning and memory. They believe these neurological changes promote individual differences in behavior and personality.

    Naturally, the development of personality differences should be reflected in the brain. In the hippocampus, new neurons are constantly being generated in a process called neurogenesis. Knowing this, Kempermann and his colleagues wondered: How do life experiences drive individualization in the brain? Specifically, if genetically identical mice lived in the same environment, how much individuality would they each develop, and would their different "personalities" be reflected in their hippocampal neurogenesis?...............

    ,,,,The team found that the mice, though genetically identical, showed highly individualized explorative behaviors. They lived in the exact same arena, but they reacted to this environment differently, Kempermann says, adding that the behavioral differences only grew over time. So some mice became explorers, who roamed the environment more as the months passed, while other mice preferred to really stick to areas they knew....

    .... So to recap: The mice's experiences, or interactions with their environment, affected their long-term behavioral patterns and the growth of new neurons, promoting the development of distinct personalities despite their genetically identical makeup....

    _______________________________________________________________

    In fact, this kind of knowledge has been available for a LONG time already. For example, the personality of genetically identical cats can be changed FOR LIFE by imprinting certain areas of their brains chemically during gestation.

    This article should NOT appear in Unz Review as a scientific article. It is not science, only opinion.
  9. JayMan says: • Website
    @Brabantian
    Powerful stuff here, especially this part from JayMan's article above


    Under appreciated, the Second Law talks about the “shared environment” – parents, peers, schools, neighborhoods – all the things children growing up in the same household share. The effect of all things on any behavioral trait ... is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters. No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment ... It just doesn’t matter.

     

    Somehow I thought of when, a few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million of his Facebook profits to improve the Newark NJ school system performance ... only to find math & reading evaluation scores continue to decline, in what became a legendary 'social spending' boondoggle disaster. Tho to be fair a lot of that dosh was spent corruptly on $1000-a-day consultants etc.

    Re the 'gay germ' or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy ... the child fears destruction for being a 'competitor' to the same sex parent, so the child 'inverts' his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat ... Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types ... possibly the tendency to have that kind of large-scale fear, & to respond in such a way, is itself genetic

    Great comment, except for this part:

    Re the ‘gay germ’ or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy … the child fears destruction for being a ‘competitor’ to the same sex parent, so the child ‘inverts’ his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat … Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types

    That’s precisely the sort of nonsense this entry is made to address. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Not non-sense at all. This needs further examination. Gay liberation politics have made such etiology non-kosher.
    , @Alden
    Jacques Lacan was a disciple of dr Sigmund Fraud whose lies dominated mental health for 100 years. The idea that every mental and emotional problem was caused by some trivial thing that happened before age 4 was always nonsense.

    Thanks be to God and pharmacology, Fraudian psychiatry is on the way out. Actually, it was the insurance companies that ended Fraudian psychiatry. They only pay for treatment that works. The companies now refuse to pay for years of Fraudian therapy whose outcome is not a cure but the need for more Fraudian therapy.
  10. anon says: • Disclaimer

    You are, as the saying goes, ‘not even wrong’ about free will.
    Because free will is not a scientifically identifiable quality. It’s simply a description of the way it feels to humans as they go about their business and make decisions. We are complex creatures, and have, as Daniel Dennett puts it, ‘all the free will we need’ in order to be held responsible for our actions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    You are, as the saying goes, ‘not even wrong’ about free will.
    Because free will is not a scientifically identifiable quality. It’s simply a description of the way it feels to humans as they go about their business and make decisions.
     
    Actually, there are useful definitions of free will, that do have meaning here.
    , @Jim
    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will. But it's hard from a scientific perspective to see how an autonomous will can be a true cause of any behavior.
  11. JayMan says: • Website
    @anon
    You are, as the saying goes, 'not even wrong' about free will.
    Because free will is not a scientifically identifiable quality. It's simply a description of the way it feels to humans as they go about their business and make decisions. We are complex creatures, and have, as Daniel Dennett puts it, 'all the free will we need' in order to be held responsible for our actions.

    You are, as the saying goes, ‘not even wrong’ about free will.
    Because free will is not a scientifically identifiable quality. It’s simply a description of the way it feels to humans as they go about their business and make decisions.

    Actually, there are useful definitions of free will, that do have meaning here.

    Read More
  12. dearieme says:

    “All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters.” Does it include parental divorce?

    Read More
  13. dearieme says:

    “Twins differ substantially for cancer incidence”: I didn’t know that. I wonder if some cancers are infectious diseases: presumably even twins are exposed to the haphazard nature of picking up infections.

    Read More
  14. JayMan says: • Website
    @dearieme
    "All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters." Does it include parental divorce?

    Does it include parental divorce?

    It does.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    Would the following be consistent with the data?

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.
  15. JayMan says: • Website

    To a certain commenter: you’ve been banned since the WordPress days. And you’re still banned, so don’t try to circumvent it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    Just curious.

    What prevents a banned commenter from signing up under another handle? If necessary using a different computer and ISP? For that matter, there are lots of anonymizers available.

    Not trying to get around a ban, as I haven't been. Just curious how this is enforceable.
    , @David
    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns.
  16. @JayMan

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.
     

    However:

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences.
     
    Apparently, you don't.

    Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t.
     
    That's not what large RCTs show.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.
     

    Let's not even get into selection bias.

    “Apparently, you don’t.”

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn’t sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn’t exercise. What will happen?

    Why don’t you answer my direct questions to you: Would you say that if I didn’t do that I’d still be in good health and be in shape? Are you saying not to diet and exercise?

    Furthermore, can you tell me which genes mediate this effect of exercise, dieting and sitting? I’d love to be enlightened.

    I know you’ve read Gary Taubes, so you know the reason for the obesity increase: processed carbs/sugar. So, as I’ve said, changing our food environment will lead to a change in weight in America. This is driven by our change in environment; we have Paleolithic genomes in novel environments. I’m sure you know that insulin is the driver of obesity—why we gain weight.

    “That’s not what large RCTs show.”

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don’t mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn’t be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368053/

    Lastly, 2.5 hours of exercise a week compared to no exercise is associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality by 19 percent whereas 7 hours a week compared to no activity resulted in a 24 percent decrease.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/40/1/121/658816/Non-vigorous-physical-activity-and-all-cause

    Decreases in all-cause mortality were even seen going from no activity to light walking.

    http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/42/4/238

    Non-vigorous exercise is associated with lower all-cause mortality.

    “Let’s not even get into selection bias.”

    I’m stating my personal experience in my time doing this.

    Low-carb ketogenic diets are best for type II diabetics. There are benefits to having ketones circulating in the blood, which include (but are not limited to): weight loss, improved HbA1c levels, reduced rate of kidney disease/damage, cardiac benefits, reversing non-alcoholic fatty liver, elevated insulin, and abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood. These benefits, of course, carry over to the general non-diabetic population as well.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/

    Relevant article:

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/food-cravings/

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    Dude, this is not the place to pontificate. I'm going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies.

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn’t sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn’t exercise. What will happen?
     
    There was this study.

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don’t mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn’t be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.
     

    Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.
     
    "Great success" to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.

    Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.

    Last warning: you simply need to do better.

  17. @Anon
    A guess the problem here is how genes influence people's way deal with food and exercise, like some people have propensity to go workout and eat less food or be more concern with their health, and some other people don't have that drive to eat less or be concern with health and what type of food they are eating. And there's the question about each body have somewhat different reaction to food. But in end of the day, caloric intake is important, you can put obese people in a hypo caloric diet for a time, and they will lose weight and fat, but once they are "loose" again, they will regain weight because the plethora of factor will again start to come in to play, factor like: their personality, their body reaction to food, their environment; some of this factor are beyond control, like personality or body reaction, other you can change like environment, but still some people will simply run to another environment that suits their needs. It's complex question, that even doctor don't know how to act, the proof of this is all of those diets and dietitian fads that come and go. Here a link to a good site about science of fitness and related stuff: http://sci-fit.net/2017/450-weight-loss-studies/

    Highlight to:

    "*Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)

    *The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)"



    Ah, and sorry for my poor English, it's not my first language.

    Thanks for the link. Tons of studies which I can use to better help my clients.

    “other you can change like environment”

    The food environment in the whole country needs to change. Look at when obesity exploded in America and then look at dietary recommendations around that time. There is your answer to why we have this epidemic.

    “Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)”

    The hormone ghrelin, for instance, shows great diurnal variation. This coincides with hunger “coming and going”. It’s possible to ‘train’ yourself when you get hungry, mainly through intermittent fasting.

    I’m well aware that more ghrelin is released when one is in a kcal deficit. This mainly goes back to the ‘dietary recommendations’ set by the AHA—mainly their 55% CHO recommendations. If you knew insulin’s role in the body you’d know why that’s a bad combination for attempting to lose weight.

    Insulin inhibits the breakdown of fat in the adipose tissue by inhibiting the lipase that hydrolyzes the fat out of the cell. Since insulin facilitates the entry of glucose into the cell, when this occurs, the glucose is synthesized into glycerol. Along with the fatty acids in the liver, they both are synthesized into triglycerides in the liver. Due to these mechanisms, insulin is directly involved with the shuttling of more fat into the adipocyte, meaning it has a fat-sparing effect. Insulin drives most cells to prefer carbohydrates for energy. Putting this all together, insulin indirectly stimulates the accumulation of fat into the adipose tissue.

    So eating whatever you want is a recipe for diabesity. Do this for long enough, then you’ll be going to Dr. Jason Fung to have your foot cut off.

    De novo lipogenesis is also another factor in fat accumulation.

    “The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)”

    I am well aware of adaptive thermogenesis, body set weight, etc. Dr. Fung agrees that all diets fail.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/all-diets-fail-how-to-lose-weight-xi/

    Insulin resistance maintains high insulin levels which cause more resistance to insulin which result in a vicious cycle. This, over time, causes weight gain. To break the cycle, you must lower insulin and the subsequent insulin resistance which is doable by LKCD/low-carb diets.

    Read More
  18. JayMan says: • Website
    @RaceRealist88
    "Apparently, you don’t."

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn't sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn't exercise. What will happen?

    Why don't you answer my direct questions to you: Would you say that if I didn’t do that I’d still be in good health and be in shape? Are you saying not to diet and exercise?

    Furthermore, can you tell me which genes mediate this effect of exercise, dieting and sitting? I'd love to be enlightened.

    I know you've read Gary Taubes, so you know the reason for the obesity increase: processed carbs/sugar. So, as I've said, changing our food environment will lead to a change in weight in America. This is driven by our change in environment; we have Paleolithic genomes in novel environments. I'm sure you know that insulin is the driver of obesity---why we gain weight.

    "That’s not what large RCTs show."

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don't mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn't be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368053/

    Lastly, 2.5 hours of exercise a week compared to no exercise is associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality by 19 percent whereas 7 hours a week compared to no activity resulted in a 24 percent decrease.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/40/1/121/658816/Non-vigorous-physical-activity-and-all-cause

    Decreases in all-cause mortality were even seen going from no activity to light walking.

    http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/42/4/238

    Non-vigorous exercise is associated with lower all-cause mortality.

    "Let’s not even get into selection bias."

    I'm stating my personal experience in my time doing this.

    Low-carb ketogenic diets are best for type II diabetics. There are benefits to having ketones circulating in the blood, which include (but are not limited to): weight loss, improved HbA1c levels, reduced rate of kidney disease/damage, cardiac benefits, reversing non-alcoholic fatty liver, elevated insulin, and abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood. These benefits, of course, carry over to the general non-diabetic population as well.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/

    Relevant article:

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/food-cravings/

    Dude, this is not the place to pontificate. I’m going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies.

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn’t sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn’t exercise. What will happen?

    There was this study.

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don’t mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn’t be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.

    Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.

    “Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.

    Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.

    Last warning: you simply need to do better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "I’m going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies."

    Do you know of any non-confounded causal studies? As I said above, the Look AHEAD trial doesn't mean that diet and exercise shouldn't be prescribed to diabetics.

    Can you explain to me how the studies on LKCD are confounded and why they show those reductions/improvements in patients? They even show weight loss. This is not up for debate; it is an established fact.

    "There was this study."

    I was speaking in terms of mortality, not weight gain.

    I agree with you in regards to traditional dieting but IF/low-carb diets shows great promise in helping obese people.

    Even then, that study is not new to me. It also replicated the findings of the Vermont Prison Study which showed that the body revved the metabolism upwards to 50% in order to get rid of excess weight after the prisoners were taken off the feeding regime, they effortlessly went back down to their regular weight. This is evidence for the body set weight.

    Obviously, the twin with the healthier habits will live a longer life with better quality than the twin with shitter habits in regards to my thought experiment. Can you answer my questions: Are you saying people should not exercise? Are you saying that people should not watch what they eat and should not make an effort to eat higher-quality foods? What is so hard about answering simple yes or no questions?

    "Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway."

    Source? You seem to be anti-physical activity despite the large body of research in regards to its benefits.

    "“Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up."

    Well, the "great success" is in regards to his clients that he works with. I've had "great success" with the people I've worked with. Should I disregard my personal experiences in this field? Should I find a new career because "fuck it, dieting and exercise doesn't work anyway so just sit around and be lazy cuz genetics"?

    "Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population."

    Why wouldn't they? People who would show a reduction in malady A while doing exercise regimen B would be proof enough for this. LKCD studies show this very simple point.

    Is there any specific reason you're so anti-physical activity? The data is out there, yet you deny it.

    If I were to just stop my strength-training routine, eat like shit and sit around all day, I wouldn't increase my chance for all-cause mortality?

    "Last warning: you simply need to do better."

    I am doing better. Your one-liners really leave a lot to be desired.

    , @Double-Juice-JJ
    Your assumptions rely on reification and unwarranted genetic determinism. Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health and there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes. Your logic would require instinctive knowledge of what is good for health and equality of access to those things.
  19. songbird says:

    My understanding is that somewhat rarely, there can be large IQ differences between identical twins. This, no doubt, can’t be explained by home environment, and, though possible, is not likely explained by genetic differences. I think it is strong evidence for developmental factors, most likely in the womb. Possibly mediated by infectious disease or the immune system.

    Anyway, since IQ seems to generally be so heritable, I think it really puts things in perspective in possibly explaining some of the other differences one might observe between twins.

    Read More
    • Replies: @phil
    Don't forget about somatic mutations, which can alter DNA after conception.
  20. @JayMan
    Dude, this is not the place to pontificate. I'm going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies.

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn’t sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn’t exercise. What will happen?
     
    There was this study.

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don’t mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn’t be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.
     

    Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.
     
    "Great success" to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.

    Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.

    Last warning: you simply need to do better.

    “I’m going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies.”

    Do you know of any non-confounded causal studies? As I said above, the Look AHEAD trial doesn’t mean that diet and exercise shouldn’t be prescribed to diabetics.

    Can you explain to me how the studies on LKCD are confounded and why they show those reductions/improvements in patients? They even show weight loss. This is not up for debate; it is an established fact.

    “There was this study.”

    I was speaking in terms of mortality, not weight gain.

    I agree with you in regards to traditional dieting but IF/low-carb diets shows great promise in helping obese people.

    Even then, that study is not new to me. It also replicated the findings of the Vermont Prison Study which showed that the body revved the metabolism upwards to 50% in order to get rid of excess weight after the prisoners were taken off the feeding regime, they effortlessly went back down to their regular weight. This is evidence for the body set weight.

    Obviously, the twin with the healthier habits will live a longer life with better quality than the twin with shitter habits in regards to my thought experiment. Can you answer my questions: Are you saying people should not exercise? Are you saying that people should not watch what they eat and should not make an effort to eat higher-quality foods? What is so hard about answering simple yes or no questions?

    “Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway.”

    Source? You seem to be anti-physical activity despite the large body of research in regards to its benefits.

    ““Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.”

    Well, the “great success” is in regards to his clients that he works with. I’ve had “great success” with the people I’ve worked with. Should I disregard my personal experiences in this field? Should I find a new career because “fuck it, dieting and exercise doesn’t work anyway so just sit around and be lazy cuz genetics”?

    “Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.”

    Why wouldn’t they? People who would show a reduction in malady A while doing exercise regimen B would be proof enough for this. LKCD studies show this very simple point.

    Is there any specific reason you’re so anti-physical activity? The data is out there, yet you deny it.

    If I were to just stop my strength-training routine, eat like shit and sit around all day, I wouldn’t increase my chance for all-cause mortality?

    “Last warning: you simply need to do better.”

    I am doing better. Your one-liners really leave a lot to be desired.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Can you explain to me how the studies on LKCD are confounded and why they show those reductions/improvements in patients?
     
    See here:

    "Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.
     
    --

    “Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.”

    Why wouldn’t they? People who would show a reduction in malady A while doing exercise regimen B would be proof enough for this. LKCD studies show this very simple point.
     

    No intervention shows that lifestyle changes extend life – or even improve health. Even if they did, their generalizability would depend on their actual prescription. In any case, the point is moot, since they don't even show such improvements in the first place.

    Please see my previously linked Obesity Facts page for more. Once you've read that, get back to me. Until then, I'm putting the brakes on this discussion.

  21. @JayMan
    Dude, this is not the place to pontificate. I'm going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies.

    Take two twins. Lock both of them in a metabolic chamber. Monitor them over their lives and they do not leave the chamber. They are fed different diets (one has a high-carb diet full of processed foods, the other a healthy diet for whatever activity he does); one exercises vigorously/strength trains (not on the same day though!) while the other does nothing and the twin who exercises and eats well doesn’t sit as often as the twin who eats a garbage diet and doesn’t exercise. What will happen?
     
    There was this study.

    Which? Like Look AHEAD? Too bad the results don’t mean that diet or exercise advice shouldn’t be given to diabetics.

    http://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00303-7/fulltext

    The intentional weight loss group showed a 15% reduction in all-cause mortality.
     

    Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway.

    In regards to weight loss, see Dr. Jason Fung who uses intermittent fasting and low-carb diets with his patients with great success.
     
    "Great success" to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.

    Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.

    Last warning: you simply need to do better.

    Your assumptions rely on reification and unwarranted genetic determinism. Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health and there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes. Your logic would require instinctive knowledge of what is good for health and equality of access to those things.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health
     
    Strictly speaking that statement is true. But the usefulness of the statement in isolation is very limited.

    there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes.
     
    I guess you missed the First Law.
  22. Race Realist is well-meaning but he’s an argumentative Italian-American and has an exercise/nutrition business to support. So he’s never gonna accept the evidence no matter how good it is.

    Anyhow, I’m glad to see you put up another post. Creationists of all types can never accept the evidence, while the rationalists can truly grok these dark facts!

    Read More
  23. Tulip says:

    Jayman writes:

    All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters.

    This doesn’t accord with the empirical findings in a lot of the literature:

    http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3644700/

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    This doesn’t accord with the empirical findings in a lot of the literature:
     
    See the above mentioned Fifth Law, as well as the "Sixth Law" I mentioned.
  24. I’ve always wanted to contribute to science, so here goes:

    benotype, bē-nə-ˌtīp, the observable behavioral traits or properties of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment.

    Read More
  25. JayMan says: • Website
    @Double-Juice-JJ
    Your assumptions rely on reification and unwarranted genetic determinism. Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health and there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes. Your logic would require instinctive knowledge of what is good for health and equality of access to those things.

    Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health

    Strictly speaking that statement is true. But the usefulness of the statement in isolation is very limited.

    there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes.

    I guess you missed the First Law.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Double-Juice-JJ
    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract, using it as proof of anything is reification fallacy. Heritability is one thing (abstract construct), actual genotype to phenotype mechanism is another (empirical reality).
  26. JayMan says: • Website
    @RaceRealist88
    "I’m going to have to start deleting your comments if you keep relying on confounded correlational studies."

    Do you know of any non-confounded causal studies? As I said above, the Look AHEAD trial doesn't mean that diet and exercise shouldn't be prescribed to diabetics.

    Can you explain to me how the studies on LKCD are confounded and why they show those reductions/improvements in patients? They even show weight loss. This is not up for debate; it is an established fact.

    "There was this study."

    I was speaking in terms of mortality, not weight gain.

    I agree with you in regards to traditional dieting but IF/low-carb diets shows great promise in helping obese people.

    Even then, that study is not new to me. It also replicated the findings of the Vermont Prison Study which showed that the body revved the metabolism upwards to 50% in order to get rid of excess weight after the prisoners were taken off the feeding regime, they effortlessly went back down to their regular weight. This is evidence for the body set weight.

    Obviously, the twin with the healthier habits will live a longer life with better quality than the twin with shitter habits in regards to my thought experiment. Can you answer my questions: Are you saying people should not exercise? Are you saying that people should not watch what they eat and should not make an effort to eat higher-quality foods? What is so hard about answering simple yes or no questions?

    "Larger meta-analyses find no such effect. And there is some publication bias in the above paper, aside from the fact that their result is non-significant, anyway."

    Source? You seem to be anti-physical activity despite the large body of research in regards to its benefits.

    "“Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up."

    Well, the "great success" is in regards to his clients that he works with. I've had "great success" with the people I've worked with. Should I disregard my personal experiences in this field? Should I find a new career because "fuck it, dieting and exercise doesn't work anyway so just sit around and be lazy cuz genetics"?

    "Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population."

    Why wouldn't they? People who would show a reduction in malady A while doing exercise regimen B would be proof enough for this. LKCD studies show this very simple point.

    Is there any specific reason you're so anti-physical activity? The data is out there, yet you deny it.

    If I were to just stop my strength-training routine, eat like shit and sit around all day, I wouldn't increase my chance for all-cause mortality?

    "Last warning: you simply need to do better."

    I am doing better. Your one-liners really leave a lot to be desired.

    Can you explain to me how the studies on LKCD are confounded and why they show those reductions/improvements in patients?

    See here:

    “Great success” to me would be large sample, long duration/follow-up.

    “Not that interventions would necessarily provide evidence of the effectiveness of lifestyle to improve health/extend life in the general population.”

    Why wouldn’t they? People who would show a reduction in malady A while doing exercise regimen B would be proof enough for this. LKCD studies show this very simple point.

    No intervention shows that lifestyle changes extend life – or even improve health. Even if they did, their generalizability would depend on their actual prescription. In any case, the point is moot, since they don’t even show such improvements in the first place.

    Please see my previously linked Obesity Facts page for more. Once you’ve read that, get back to me. Until then, I’m putting the brakes on this discussion.

    Read More
  27. @JayMan

    Diet and exercice obvioulsy impact health
     
    Strictly speaking that statement is true. But the usefulness of the statement in isolation is very limited.

    there are no eating well genes or appropriate activity genes.
     
    I guess you missed the First Law.

    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract, using it as proof of anything is reification fallacy. Heritability is one thing (abstract construct), actual genotype to phenotype mechanism is another (empirical reality).

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract
     
    Decades of study show otherwise:

    Polderman et al (2015)

    MaTCH Meta-Analysis of Twin Correlations and Heritability

  28. hyperbola says:
    @Brabantian
    Powerful stuff here, especially this part from JayMan's article above


    Under appreciated, the Second Law talks about the “shared environment” – parents, peers, schools, neighborhoods – all the things children growing up in the same household share. The effect of all things on any behavioral trait ... is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters. No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment ... It just doesn’t matter.

     

    Somehow I thought of when, a few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million of his Facebook profits to improve the Newark NJ school system performance ... only to find math & reading evaluation scores continue to decline, in what became a legendary 'social spending' boondoggle disaster. Tho to be fair a lot of that dosh was spent corruptly on $1000-a-day consultants etc.

    Re the 'gay germ' or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy ... the child fears destruction for being a 'competitor' to the same sex parent, so the child 'inverts' his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat ... Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types ... possibly the tendency to have that kind of large-scale fear, & to respond in such a way, is itself genetic

    This article is primarily non-quantitative, non-scientific gobble-de-gook. The main problem with many assertions is that they seem not to be true. In fact, you can find MANY articles that deny these assertions. Here is one that addresses some serious scientific research in layman’s terms and provides real physical mechanisms for why identical twins are different in personality traits.

    The Mystery of How Identical Twins Develop Different Personalities

    http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032

    ….”In twin studies it had been clear that even though the twins are identical (monozygotic), there are still some differences between them that emerges over time,” says Gerd Kempermann, a behavioral geneticist at the Dresden University of Technology and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in Germany. “Identical twins are often amazingly similar, but mothers and close relatives can still tell them apart easily.”

    …. Importantly, identical twins raised in the same household — the same “outer” environment — still develop personality differences over time. Behavioral geneticists have long pegged these differences to influences by the “non-shared environment,” though there’s no real consensus on exactly what the non-shared environment consists of, Kempermann told io9. In twin studies, he says, these non-shared environmental influences essentially boil down to the individual experiences siblings have, and their own personal interactions with their environment.

    Kemperman and his colleagues studied genetically identical mice, and found that their experiences influenced the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus — a part of the brain associated with learning and memory. They believe these neurological changes promote individual differences in behavior and personality.

    Naturally, the development of personality differences should be reflected in the brain. In the hippocampus, new neurons are constantly being generated in a process called neurogenesis. Knowing this, Kempermann and his colleagues wondered: How do life experiences drive individualization in the brain? Specifically, if genetically identical mice lived in the same environment, how much individuality would they each develop, and would their different “personalities” be reflected in their hippocampal neurogenesis?……………

    ,,,,The team found that the mice, though genetically identical, showed highly individualized explorative behaviors. They lived in the exact same arena, but they reacted to this environment differently, Kempermann says, adding that the behavioral differences only grew over time. So some mice became explorers, who roamed the environment more as the months passed, while other mice preferred to really stick to areas they knew….

    …. So to recap: The mice’s experiences, or interactions with their environment, affected their long-term behavioral patterns and the growth of new neurons, promoting the development of distinct personalities despite their genetically identical makeup….

    _______________________________________________________________

    In fact, this kind of knowledge has been available for a LONG time already. For example, the personality of genetically identical cats can be changed FOR LIFE by imprinting certain areas of their brains chemically during gestation.

    This article should NOT appear in Unz Review as a scientific article. It is not science, only opinion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Importantly, identical twins raised in the same household — the same “outer” environment — still develop personality differences over time.
     
    Great recap of the Third Law, which jives with what I wrote in the piece.

    This article should NOT appear in Unz Review as a scientific article. It is not science, only opinion.
     
    Funny how your own source seems to say otherwise.
  29. dearieme says:
    @JayMan

    Does it include parental divorce?
     
    It does.

    Would the following be consistent with the data?

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.
     
    Correct. Parental divorce can also make children happier (by breaking up acrimonious home lives). Also, people are pretty bad at nailing down the source of their unhappiness (which is often themselves).
  30. JayMan says: • Website
    @dearieme
    Would the following be consistent with the data?

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.

    Correct. Parental divorce can also make children happier (by breaking up acrimonious home lives). Also, people are pretty bad at nailing down the source of their unhappiness (which is often themselves).

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    I read a history of MI6 recently. At the time of The War, one of their top coves apparently believed in hiring men raised in homes with the father missing: dead or divorced. The children grew up as more observant of human behaviour, he believed.

    Then I reread some John Le Carre spy novels: he alluded to the same belief. Obviously that sort of notion can hang on for a long time in an organisation.
  31. JayMan says: • Website
    @hyperbola
    This article is primarily non-quantitative, non-scientific gobble-de-gook. The main problem with many assertions is that they seem not to be true. In fact, you can find MANY articles that deny these assertions. Here is one that addresses some serious scientific research in layman's terms and provides real physical mechanisms for why identical twins are different in personality traits.


    The Mystery of How Identical Twins Develop Different Personalities
    http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032

    ...."In twin studies it had been clear that even though the twins are identical (monozygotic), there are still some differences between them that emerges over time," says Gerd Kempermann, a behavioral geneticist at the Dresden University of Technology and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in Germany. "Identical twins are often amazingly similar, but mothers and close relatives can still tell them apart easily."

    .... Importantly, identical twins raised in the same household — the same "outer" environment — still develop personality differences over time. Behavioral geneticists have long pegged these differences to influences by the "non-shared environment," though there's no real consensus on exactly what the non-shared environment consists of, Kempermann told io9. In twin studies, he says, these non-shared environmental influences essentially boil down to the individual experiences siblings have, and their own personal interactions with their environment.

    Kemperman and his colleagues studied genetically identical mice, and found that their experiences influenced the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus — a part of the brain associated with learning and memory. They believe these neurological changes promote individual differences in behavior and personality.

    Naturally, the development of personality differences should be reflected in the brain. In the hippocampus, new neurons are constantly being generated in a process called neurogenesis. Knowing this, Kempermann and his colleagues wondered: How do life experiences drive individualization in the brain? Specifically, if genetically identical mice lived in the same environment, how much individuality would they each develop, and would their different "personalities" be reflected in their hippocampal neurogenesis?...............

    ,,,,The team found that the mice, though genetically identical, showed highly individualized explorative behaviors. They lived in the exact same arena, but they reacted to this environment differently, Kempermann says, adding that the behavioral differences only grew over time. So some mice became explorers, who roamed the environment more as the months passed, while other mice preferred to really stick to areas they knew....

    .... So to recap: The mice's experiences, or interactions with their environment, affected their long-term behavioral patterns and the growth of new neurons, promoting the development of distinct personalities despite their genetically identical makeup....

    _______________________________________________________________

    In fact, this kind of knowledge has been available for a LONG time already. For example, the personality of genetically identical cats can be changed FOR LIFE by imprinting certain areas of their brains chemically during gestation.

    This article should NOT appear in Unz Review as a scientific article. It is not science, only opinion.

    Importantly, identical twins raised in the same household — the same “outer” environment — still develop personality differences over time.

    Great recap of the Third Law, which jives with what I wrote in the piece.

    This article should NOT appear in Unz Review as a scientific article. It is not science, only opinion.

    Funny how your own source seems to say otherwise.

    Read More
  32. JayMan says: • Website
    @Double-Juice-JJ
    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract, using it as proof of anything is reification fallacy. Heritability is one thing (abstract construct), actual genotype to phenotype mechanism is another (empirical reality).

    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract

    Decades of study show otherwise:

    Polderman et al (2015)

    MaTCH Meta-Analysis of Twin Correlations and Heritability

    Read More
    • Replies: @Double-Juice-JJ
    Ever heard about the missing heritability crisis? Or how difficult it is to spot actual SNPs that account for the variance in complex traits and then understanding the underlying biological genotype/phenotype interractions.

    You seem to be unaware that heritability estimates only exist in a statistical reality, nothing empirical. I'm not implying that heritability is meaningless. It just shows genetic influence, not determinism and tels nothing about malleability or between group variance.

    Moreover, behavioral genetics is not really able to establish "laws" like physics and life sciences do.
  33. @JayMan

    No, the first law is a gross generalization that remains abstract
     
    Decades of study show otherwise:

    Polderman et al (2015)

    MaTCH Meta-Analysis of Twin Correlations and Heritability

    Ever heard about the missing heritability crisis? Or how difficult it is to spot actual SNPs that account for the variance in complex traits and then understanding the underlying biological genotype/phenotype interractions.

    You seem to be unaware that heritability estimates only exist in a statistical reality, nothing empirical. I’m not implying that heritability is meaningless. It just shows genetic influence, not determinism and tels nothing about malleability or between group variance.

    Moreover, behavioral genetics is not really able to establish “laws” like physics and life sciences do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan
    For fuck's sake:

    Ever heard about the missing heritability crisis?
     
    Non-problem: Missing Heritability – found? | West Hunter

    Or how difficult it is to spot actual SNPs that account for the variance in complex traits
     
    See the Fourth Law above.

    You seem to be unaware that heritability estimates only exist in a statistical reality, nothing empirical.
     
    Preaching is a good way to get banned here.

    It just shows genetic influence, not determinism and tels nothing about malleability or between group variance.
     
    Along with a lot of other evidence that does just that.
  34. >As fingerprints indicate, there are deep developmental forces at work that render many of these ideas unnecessary

    An example of some of these developmental forces,Jayman?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    An example of some of these developmental forces,Jayman?
     
    Pathogens as mentioned before. But these factors are at present poorly understood.
  35. JayMan says: • Website
    @Double-Juice-JJ
    Ever heard about the missing heritability crisis? Or how difficult it is to spot actual SNPs that account for the variance in complex traits and then understanding the underlying biological genotype/phenotype interractions.

    You seem to be unaware that heritability estimates only exist in a statistical reality, nothing empirical. I'm not implying that heritability is meaningless. It just shows genetic influence, not determinism and tels nothing about malleability or between group variance.

    Moreover, behavioral genetics is not really able to establish "laws" like physics and life sciences do.

    For fuck’s sake:

    Ever heard about the missing heritability crisis?

    Non-problem: Missing Heritability – found? | West Hunter

    Or how difficult it is to spot actual SNPs that account for the variance in complex traits

    See the Fourth Law above.

    You seem to be unaware that heritability estimates only exist in a statistical reality, nothing empirical.

    Preaching is a good way to get banned here.

    It just shows genetic influence, not determinism and tels nothing about malleability or between group variance.

    Along with a lot of other evidence that does just that.

    Read More
  36. JayMan says: • Website
    @guhyasamAja
    >As fingerprints indicate, there are deep developmental forces at work that render many of these ideas unnecessary

    An example of some of these developmental forces,Jayman?

    An example of some of these developmental forces,Jayman?

    Pathogens as mentioned before. But these factors are at present poorly understood.

    Read More
  37. dearieme says:
    @JayMan

    Parental divorce might make children unhappy for years but by middle age the effect has dwindled away.
     
    Correct. Parental divorce can also make children happier (by breaking up acrimonious home lives). Also, people are pretty bad at nailing down the source of their unhappiness (which is often themselves).

    I read a history of MI6 recently. At the time of The War, one of their top coves apparently believed in hiring men raised in homes with the father missing: dead or divorced. The children grew up as more observant of human behaviour, he believed.

    Then I reread some John Le Carre spy novels: he alluded to the same belief. Obviously that sort of notion can hang on for a long time in an organisation.

    Read More
  38. JayMan says: • Website
    @Tulip
    Jayman writes:

    All the things people (especially in the modern West) think matter to children’s development have no effect at all. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters.

    This doesn't accord with the empirical findings in a lot of the literature:

    http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3644700/

    This doesn’t accord with the empirical findings in a lot of the literature:

    See the above mentioned Fifth Law, as well as the “Sixth Law” I mentioned.

    Read More
  39. PiqueABoo says:

    No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment

    As much as I like looking at this field, in fact feel lucky because Plomin’s gang have been playing with local English data, I can’t accept ‘No’.

    What outcomes are we measuring? I’ve got a 14 year-old who has some extremes, very bright, very self-motivated, determined and also quite intoverted. None of the latter was my magic parenting (if it were then picking ‘introverted’ isn’t a winning strategy for school-side life), but I will take credit for a substantial amount of the knowledge in her head having answered zillions of questions about new vocabulary/concepts and having had countless enjoyable debates over this or that, ever since she was old enough to talk a bit. A lot of that isn’t taught by schools or measured by national exams, but there has clearly been a significant effect.

    If you zoom in on an individual, then parenting does make a difference. If I pick some of this one’s superpowers then a couple of them have been gained by chance. One of the latter is that she’s quite accomplished mountain tech-climber, the only child doing anything like that in her school, which has clearly made her a bit heroic/dangerous in her saturated by Lara/Katnis/Kris peers’ eyes, as opposed to a conscientious academic girl that some girl-clique will inevitably decide to make this months’s target. In terms of personality I don’t think it’s done much more than draw out propensity for stoicism etc., but I’m certain that act of parenting has changed the peer relations and it has also changed her self-identity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    If you zoom in on an individual, then parenting does make a difference.
     
    -

    the only child doing anything like that in her school, which has clearly made her a bit heroic/dangerous in her saturated by Lara/Katnis/Kris peers’ eyes, as opposed to a conscientious academic girl that some girl-clique will inevitably decide to make this months’s
     
    Anecdotal evidence is always the best kind...

    Parents impart skills and knowledge, but what a kid does with such is very much out of the parents' hands.

  40. expeedee says:

    This is a wonderful article and I think you did a good job of summarizing the principles of behavioral genetics. Could the differences in identical twins be due to tandem repeats, transposable elements, methylation or just developmental noise? I’ve heard that transposable elements are very active during brain development and that there is a certain randomness involved. Might that affect sexual orientation?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Could the differences in identical twins be due to tandem repeats, transposable elements, methylation or just developmental noise?
     
    MZ twins due have some minute genetic differences due to point mutations, and they could play a smart part of observed twin differences.

    Might that affect sexual orientation?
     
    Probably not.
  41. JayMan says: • Website
    @PiqueABoo
    No adult outcome shows any effect of shared environment

    As much as I like looking at this field, in fact feel lucky because Plomin's gang have been playing with local English data, I can't accept 'No'.

    What outcomes are we measuring? I've got a 14 year-old who has some extremes, very bright, very self-motivated, determined and also quite intoverted. None of the latter was my magic parenting (if it were then picking 'introverted' isn't a winning strategy for school-side life), but I will take credit for a substantial amount of the knowledge in her head having answered zillions of questions about new vocabulary/concepts and having had countless enjoyable debates over this or that, ever since she was old enough to talk a bit. A lot of that isn't taught by schools or measured by national exams, but there has clearly been a significant effect.

    If you zoom in on an individual, then parenting does make a difference. If I pick some of this one's superpowers then a couple of them have been gained by chance. One of the latter is that she's quite accomplished mountain tech-climber, the only child doing anything like that in her school, which has clearly made her a bit heroic/dangerous in her saturated by Lara/Katnis/Kris peers' eyes, as opposed to a conscientious academic girl that some girl-clique will inevitably decide to make this months's target. In terms of personality I don't think it's done much more than draw out propensity for stoicism etc., but I'm certain that act of parenting has changed the peer relations and it has also changed her self-identity.

    If you zoom in on an individual, then parenting does make a difference.

    -

    the only child doing anything like that in her school, which has clearly made her a bit heroic/dangerous in her saturated by Lara/Katnis/Kris peers’ eyes, as opposed to a conscientious academic girl that some girl-clique will inevitably decide to make this months’s

    Anecdotal evidence is always the best kind…

    Parents impart skills and knowledge, but what a kid does with such is very much out of the parents’ hands.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uiop
    SOME parents impart knowledge and skills, you must mean.
  42. JayMan says: • Website
    @expeedee
    This is a wonderful article and I think you did a good job of summarizing the principles of behavioral genetics. Could the differences in identical twins be due to tandem repeats, transposable elements, methylation or just developmental noise? I've heard that transposable elements are very active during brain development and that there is a certain randomness involved. Might that affect sexual orientation?

    Could the differences in identical twins be due to tandem repeats, transposable elements, methylation or just developmental noise?

    MZ twins due have some minute genetic differences due to point mutations, and they could play a smart part of observed twin differences.

    Might that affect sexual orientation?

    Probably not.

    Read More
  43. Jayman

    Traits such as openness to new experiences or introversion are fuzzy and open to doubt. I would imagine that tests that measure tonal pitch discrimination, reaction time to a stimulus, sensitivity to pain, color discrimination and such would also show heritability. Since these are more readily quantified they would seem to be ideal basis for convincing skeptics. Can you provide examples of other readily quantifiable tests used by psychologists that would support your case? (which I personally accept, but that’s irrelevant)

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Traits such as openness to new experiences or introversion are fuzzy and open to doubt.
     
    It's called measurement error. Low-error measurements of those things show higher heritability.

    Can you provide examples of other readily quantifiable tests used by psychologists that would support your case? (which I personally accept, but that’s irrelevant)
     
    See the Polderman et al paper linked above. No human trait has a heritability of 0 (hence, the First Law).
  44. JayMan says: • Website
    @ThreeCranes
    Jayman

    Traits such as openness to new experiences or introversion are fuzzy and open to doubt. I would imagine that tests that measure tonal pitch discrimination, reaction time to a stimulus, sensitivity to pain, color discrimination and such would also show heritability. Since these are more readily quantified they would seem to be ideal basis for convincing skeptics. Can you provide examples of other readily quantifiable tests used by psychologists that would support your case? (which I personally accept, but that's irrelevant)

    Traits such as openness to new experiences or introversion are fuzzy and open to doubt.

    It’s called measurement error. Low-error measurements of those things show higher heritability.

    Can you provide examples of other readily quantifiable tests used by psychologists that would support your case? (which I personally accept, but that’s irrelevant)

    See the Polderman et al paper linked above. No human trait has a heritability of 0 (hence, the First Law).

    Read More
  45. nickels says:

    ‘Identical twins raised apart will be similar – and usually highly similar in every conceivable measurement’

    This proves nothing.
    First, i challenge you science worshipers to understand the brain and how it functions (you don’t and you can’t).
    Second, describe to me how the gene’s manifest the brain organization from the first task (you can’t–scientist don’t have a clue hiw DNA works beyond building protiens, snipping them, etc…).

    We don’t understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world. These studies seem to indicate there may be some ties between such souls.

    Now you can criticize my take, but we can both explain the mechanics of our differing theories to the same degree: zero.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Now you can criticize my take
     
    I don't know how much I really need to do, given:

    We don’t understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world.
     
    I suppose it's heartening that all the critical responses here are coming from some flavor of creationist.
    , @Jim
    Actually an awful lot of understanding is available about how polynucleotides function in living creatures. I don't deny that biochemistry is extremely complicated and an awful lot remains to be learned but there have been huge advances in the understanding of biochemical processes over the last 50 years.

    You should read a good text on biochemistry.
  46. nickels says:

    ‘Correlation does not equal causation.’

    Proceeds to write an entire article of statistical mumbo jumbo (zero understanding of mechanics) that does nothing but try to argue correlation is causation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    ‘Correlation does not equal causation.’

    Proceeds to write an entire article of statistical mumbo jumbo (zero understanding of mechanics) that does nothing but try to argue correlation is causation.
     

    This one is sort of fair.

    The answer is that there are times when it's OK to infer causation from correlation. One reason in this case is because the various environmental factors couldn't have caused genes. So the causal arrow couldn't have run in that direction. That and other evidence (e.g., studies demonstrating the validity of twin studies, such as misclassified twin studies and doppleganger studies, in addition to adoption studies and modern genomic quantification studies) demonstrate the causal role of genes.

  47. phil says:
    @songbird
    My understanding is that somewhat rarely, there can be large IQ differences between identical twins. This, no doubt, can't be explained by home environment, and, though possible, is not likely explained by genetic differences. I think it is strong evidence for developmental factors, most likely in the womb. Possibly mediated by infectious disease or the immune system.

    Anyway, since IQ seems to generally be so heritable, I think it really puts things in perspective in possibly explaining some of the other differences one might observe between twins.

    Don’t forget about somatic mutations, which can alter DNA after conception.

    Read More
  48. A quibble to point out an exception that proves the rule.

    1. All human behavioral traits are heritable

    Except the behavior of getting your reproductive bits wacked off prior to puberty because you think you are the other gender. Surely that’s not a heritable trait after it makes its appearance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Except the behavior of getting your reproductive bits wacked off prior to puberty because you think you are the other gender. Surely that’s not a heritable trait after it makes its appearance.
     
    It is:

    The heritability of gender identity disorder in a child and adolescent twin sample. (2002)

    , @Alden
    Before you comment, you should at least ask Mr Google about the subject. If you are so interested in sex changes you should make yourself knowledgeable about the subject.

    Your ignorance about sex changes is appalling. I'm sure even the superficial Wikepedia can tell you the basics of sex changes.

    1 nothing is whacked off.

    2 the process starts a year or so before puberty. Nothing is whacked off. At 10 or 11 the kids are given hormone blockers to slow down puberty. Then the girls are given male hormones and the boys female hormones.

    Sex changes are very profitable to the medical and pharma industries. The hormone treatment is like insulin for diabetes. It's a lifelong dependency on those expensive hormones.

    That is probably the reason for the mad search to detect trans children. Imagine the profit in hormone treatment from age 10 to 85.

    Then there's the mental health counseling. All those psychology grads with few job prospects will now have jobs.

    After the man to woman operations are done, they need a few plastic surgery procedures to make the repulsive mess less repulsive. They also need collagen injections several times a year.
  49. Cundalini says:

    There’s a sixth law;

    We are all just pieces of meat and the Universe does not care wether we live or die.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred

    There’s a sixth law;

    We are all just pieces of meat and the Universe does not care whether [FTFY] we live or die.
     
    Apparently I do not comment enough to have the "AGREE" button activated. I agree, but a corollary is that we are feeling pieces of meat and the fact that the universe does not care does not mean that it should not be of some consequence to us.
  50. nicky says:
    @Anon
    A guess the problem here is how genes influence people's way deal with food and exercise, like some people have propensity to go workout and eat less food or be more concern with their health, and some other people don't have that drive to eat less or be concern with health and what type of food they are eating. And there's the question about each body have somewhat different reaction to food. But in end of the day, caloric intake is important, you can put obese people in a hypo caloric diet for a time, and they will lose weight and fat, but once they are "loose" again, they will regain weight because the plethora of factor will again start to come in to play, factor like: their personality, their body reaction to food, their environment; some of this factor are beyond control, like personality or body reaction, other you can change like environment, but still some people will simply run to another environment that suits their needs. It's complex question, that even doctor don't know how to act, the proof of this is all of those diets and dietitian fads that come and go. Here a link to a good site about science of fitness and related stuff: http://sci-fit.net/2017/450-weight-loss-studies/

    Highlight to:

    "*Some people may be genetically predisposed to obesity (hunger, willpower, motivation, etc.)

    *The body might try to regain lost weight via different weight regulation mechanisms (metabolic, behavioral, hormonal, and more)"



    Ah, and sorry for my poor English, it's not my first language.

    Obesity has a genetic component, but it is generally not our ‘own’ genes. It has become clear that the composition of our intestinal microbiota (bacteria outnumber our own cells by several orders of magnitude) plays a major role. It is not yet well understood how a ‘healthy’ life-style, diet in particular, impacts our intestinal ecosystem.
    It is plausible -but not yet proven- that all kinds of preservatives used in processed foods, as well as antibiotic use, would have an impact.
    Point is, we (in fact, all multicellular organisms) live in a tight symbiosis with our microbiota and their amount of genes -in variety and numbers- is far greater than our own genes. We are only beginning to have an inkling of understanding of how this affects us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Obesity has a genetic component, but it is generally not our ‘own’ genes. It has become clear that the composition of our intestinal microbiota
     
    The may be involved. They may just be along for the ride. At present, it's hard to say. However, one's microbiome is highly heritable.
  51. Alfred says:

    “I read a history of MI6 recently”

    dearieme,

    There is a reason why there are so many homosexual males in these covert organisations – they are used to leading double-lives

    Read More
  52. Logan says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation."

    I understand that. That's basic.

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences. Behavioral therapy can ameliorate these things. As I said, I've used the above pubmed article with great success. Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don't. That's a causal effect on exercise.

    Read into behavioral therapy. It works. Numerous people have used it with great success.

    I eat right every day of the week. I eat a certain kcal/macro split depending on rest of workout day. Would you say that if I didn't do that I'd still be in good health and be in shape?

    "But of course, if you make money off this, I wouldn’t really expect you to understand."

    Taking charge of people's health is my career. I've helped hundreds of people get better habits and live healthier lifestyle.

    But of course, since you've never worked with people who need this help I wouldn't really expect you to understand.

    I've been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn't. And what you're saying is extremely dangerous for people's health.

    Also I'm sure you know that if you're giving this "advice" that it's illegal since you don't have the correct credentials.

    With regard to the illegality of giving health advice.

    I understand that giving medical advice, without the proper qualifications, to a particular person is illegal in many cases.

    Surely this doesn’t mean I, as an “unqualified” individual, am therefore prohibited from writing about how I think psychological drugs are ineffective or dangerous,or that we should all subsist on a diet of raw meat and cashews? Isn’t such opinionating, no matter how uninformed, covered by the First Amendment? As is your reply that while raw meat is fine, cashews will kill you.

    Read More
  53. Logan says:
    @JayMan
    To a certain commenter: you've been banned since the Wordpress days. And you're still banned, so don't try to circumvent it.

    Just curious.

    What prevents a banned commenter from signing up under another handle? If necessary using a different computer and ISP? For that matter, there are lots of anonymizers available.

    Not trying to get around a ban, as I haven’t been. Just curious how this is enforceable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
    Its probably the content thats the red flag. If someone is going thru the trouble to make a new account with a different email, behind an anonymizer, they probably are saying something that jayman has warned against and previously banned. So when a new user gets on and repeats previously banned comments or thoughts, it probably a dead give away.
    , @Logan
    Thanks. I've been banned, but not from this site!
  54. Apparently there must be at least a couple of genes dominant for cacoethes scribendi.

    Good gawd.

    Read More
  55. David says:
    @JayMan
    To a certain commenter: you've been banned since the Wordpress days. And you're still banned, so don't try to circumvent it.

    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns
     
    Got some data on that? :p
    , @iffen
    If true, it is only true since razib left.
    , @hyperbola
    A better comment might be that the amount of silent censorship (seems to be common here) is inversely proportional to the credibility of the column.
  56. @RaceRealist88
    "Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes."

    So in Jayman's world, diet and exercise has absolutely no benefits?

    Also what do you know about behavioral therapy?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263194/

    I've used these guidelines with great success for people.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it's genetic anyway?

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/07/30/diet-and-exercise-dont-do-it/

    This doesn't even touch on obesogenic environments and the food reward hypothesis. I may get into that later.

    The study published by NIH conveniently ignores the flooding of the world’s food channels with highly processed carbohydrate sources and other food “poisons” like high-fructose corn syrup, which are huge exports of the US, and which have contributed hugely toward the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the developed and developing countries.

    The study also reinforces the flawed view that obesity and T2D are the products of poor behaviour of overeating; in reality, both are the symptoms of insulin resistance, albeit often coupled with overating, often triggered by the flawed conventional wisdom of eating small meals and snacks throughout the day rather than allowing for periods of fasting to stop triggering the secretion of insulin that constant eating causes, and it is more likely the insulin that inreases morbidity from things like coronary hear disease or kidney failure than the obesity or T2D themselves, aside from their common relationship to the presence of insulin. BTW, this is why you have fat people who live long, healthy lives with no meaningful exercise, and thin people who exercise like crazy and drop dead from coronaries in their fifties. The BT works not because restricting calorie intake reduces weight and serum glucose as much as it helps reduce insulin secretion.

    Sure, exercise helps, but if you aren’t treating insulin secretion patterns and insulin resistance, you are kidding yourself and your patients.

    Read More
  57. JayMan says: • Website
    @nickels
    'Identical twins raised apart will be similar – and usually highly similar in every conceivable measurement'

    This proves nothing.
    First, i challenge you science worshipers to understand the brain and how it functions (you don't and you can't).
    Second, describe to me how the gene's manifest the brain organization from the first task (you can't--scientist don't have a clue hiw DNA works beyond building protiens, snipping them, etc...).

    We don't understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world. These studies seem to indicate there may be some ties between such souls.

    Now you can criticize my take, but we can both explain the mechanics of our differing theories to the same degree: zero.

    Now you can criticize my take

    I don’t know how much I really need to do, given:

    We don’t understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world.

    I suppose it’s heartening that all the critical responses here are coming from some flavor of creationist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @nickels
    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct, but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.
    That said, perhaps a more Orthodox understanding of the twin similarity is that, the fallen body essentially being a burden to the soul (people who have died and returned report a hightened sense of awareness), having very similar bodies may affect the souls with similar challenged and hence develop similar behaviours.
    But to go from there to full on Neo-Calvinistic determinism (which is the essence of your atheist philosophy), arguing against the idea of 'free will' is certainly not warranted.
  58. JayMan says: • Website
    @nickels
    'Correlation does not equal causation.'

    Proceeds to write an entire article of statistical mumbo jumbo (zero understanding of mechanics) that does nothing but try to argue correlation is causation.

    ‘Correlation does not equal causation.’

    Proceeds to write an entire article of statistical mumbo jumbo (zero understanding of mechanics) that does nothing but try to argue correlation is causation.

    This one is sort of fair.

    The answer is that there are times when it’s OK to infer causation from correlation. One reason in this case is because the various environmental factors couldn’t have caused genes. So the causal arrow couldn’t have run in that direction. That and other evidence (e.g., studies demonstrating the validity of twin studies, such as misclassified twin studies and doppleganger studies, in addition to adoption studies and modern genomic quantification studies) demonstrate the causal role of genes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    Hume famously argued that correlation and causation are identical. Hume's critics were quick to point out the flaws of this view. For example correlation is a symmetrical relation whereas causation is not. But Hume's insight is important. Correlation is the only empirical aspect of causation. The rest of causation is metaphysics.
  59. JayMan says: • Website
    @George Turner
    A quibble to point out an exception that proves the rule.

    1. All human behavioral traits are heritable

    Except the behavior of getting your reproductive bits wacked off prior to puberty because you think you are the other gender. Surely that's not a heritable trait after it makes its appearance.

    Except the behavior of getting your reproductive bits wacked off prior to puberty because you think you are the other gender. Surely that’s not a heritable trait after it makes its appearance.

    It is:

    The heritability of gender identity disorder in a child and adolescent twin sample. (2002)

    Read More
  60. JayMan says: • Website
    @nicky
    Obesity has a genetic component, but it is generally not our 'own' genes. It has become clear that the composition of our intestinal microbiota (bacteria outnumber our own cells by several orders of magnitude) plays a major role. It is not yet well understood how a 'healthy' life-style, diet in particular, impacts our intestinal ecosystem.
    It is plausible -but not yet proven- that all kinds of preservatives used in processed foods, as well as antibiotic use, would have an impact.
    Point is, we (in fact, all multicellular organisms) live in a tight symbiosis with our microbiota and their amount of genes -in variety and numbers- is far greater than our own genes. We are only beginning to have an inkling of understanding of how this affects us.

    Obesity has a genetic component, but it is generally not our ‘own’ genes. It has become clear that the composition of our intestinal microbiota

    The may be involved. They may just be along for the ride. At present, it’s hard to say. However, one’s microbiome is highly heritable.

    Read More
  61. JayMan says: • Website
    @David
    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns.

    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns

    Got some data on that? :p

    Read More
  62. iffen says:
    @David
    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns.

    If true, it is only true since razib left.

    Read More
  63. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @JayMan
    Great comment, except for this part:

    Re the ‘gay germ’ or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy … the child fears destruction for being a ‘competitor’ to the same sex parent, so the child ‘inverts’ his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat … Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types
     
    That's precisely the sort of nonsense this entry is made to address. :)

    Not non-sense at all. This needs further examination. Gay liberation politics have made such etiology non-kosher.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Not non-sense at all. This needs further examination.
     
    I think you should review the Second Law.
  64. “Free will doesn’t exist” -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.

    His conclusions cannot be considered the thoughtful result of careful study and judgement to discern true facts from false. Rather, they are the inevitable and inescapable result of his biology, determined only by genes and other inescapable material forces.

    Free will exists but is often constrained by biological factors to a degree not widely appreciated in society. JayMan is doing a service in highlighting these forces and the evidence for them. If free will doesn’t exist, then JayMan isn’t “doing” anything and his posting (and my reply) are meaningless runs of predetermined functions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    “Free will doesn’t exist” -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.
     

    Even if behavior was 100% environmentally determined, there would still be no free will.
    , @Jim
    But that JayMan's views are completely determined by biology doesn't constitute any evidence against them. How people arrive at their views has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of their views. I could determine my views by throwing darts at a dart board. That doesn't demonstrate that my views are false.

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.
  65. Anybody who flatly states, without arrière-pensées, that free will does not exist, is so philosophically stunted that his opinion on any matter of moment can be safely ignored thereafter. What’s even more juvenile is the author’s implication that it is modern genetic research which gives weight to his determinism. This is absurd.

    There have always been people mooting a determinist hypothesis. One does not need to know anything about modern genetics, or Newtonian physics, or any sort of scientific paradigm whatsoever, in order to make that case as strong as it can possibly be made. A moment’s reflection upon this historical fact ought to convince one that the issue is metaphysical in nature and that “science” has nothing to do with it. The act of bringing in the scientific fancies of the day as evidence for determinism, as if they and they alone had decisively settled the question, is both uninformed and improper, a category mistake, and possibly a disingenuous trick. In practice it tends to be either a put-up job (i.e. a post hoc rationalization for an unexamined opinion already held) or mere pigheadedness. In any case, it is wrong.

    Further reflection upon the fact that while determinism remains an eternal set piece of the great philosophical conversation, the explanations adduced for determinism come and go, may even cause one to conclude that today’s currently fashionable scientific theories do not have anything like the permanence and unquestionable authority he had hitherto assigned to them. We would probably be rather puzzled today by a man who dared venture onto the scene to lay out determinism’s case in terms of Democritian Atomism, even though the argument in those terms would be no less valid than had it been uttered in any other suitable terms. Indeed, you will scarcely find a physicist anymore willing to throw down the gauntlet like that, despite physicists having, among the men of science, a far greater right to do so. On the other hand, deterministic biologists and sociologists, with their much weaker sauce, are ten a penny. Were they to scratch their beards and emit grave tones about the deleterious influence of inferior breeds, they would at least rise to the level of being malicious mountebanks. But they don’t even do that; like great moral cowards, they convert their position into an excuse for the hedonistic celebration of depravity.

    And another thing: Recursively referring to your own self-articulated rules whenever someone challenges your assertions is not a valid argument. It is a most annoying form of question-begging that marks one off as a blockhead. Jayman is the Jonathan Revusky of the gene-osphere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    And another thing: Recursively referring to your own self-articulated rules whenever someone challenges your assertions is not a valid argument. It is a most annoying form of question-begging that marks one off as a blockhead. Jayman is the Jonathan Revusky of the gene-osphere.
     
    Being too lazy to ascertain that there are hundreds of previous posts here that contain support for what I say is most annoying indeed.
    , @nickels
    Great comment.
    Its the total phosophical hegemony of scientific materialism that has made metaphysics a subject only for those outside the modern academy.
    Part of why the modern academy is becoming completely irrelevant.
  66. TG says:

    “Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together.” – yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.

    As far as complex traits being complex, yes. Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%. Yes genes are more important than most modern politically correct sociologists will admit, but genes and environment DO interact quite strongly. Although as you suggest, much of the power of environment may be negative: infections, injuries, etc.

    No free will? I think that depends on your perspective. As a man, I am far more likely to want to go see Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 than a woman, and the traits behind this sex-linked difference are to a great extent genetic. Sure. So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion. The fact that my genetic heritage may bias this choice – may change the calculus of what factors I consider in making a decision – does not, I think, make choice an illusion.

    If I have a choice of eating chicken or hay, I won’t choose hay, because genetically I am not a horse. Hay does not work for me. Does that mean that I have no free will? No. My genetics pushes me in certain directions, and constrains the range of my choices, but I could always eat beef or tofu.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    “Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together.” – yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.
     
    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don't seem to have an effect.

    Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%.
     
    Well, to use the example of autism, the "healthy" co-twin tends to suffer from a host of maladies (Lundström et al, 2015).

    Diagnosis is important. But indeed, developmental variation also plays a role.


    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.
     
    Why do you make the choices you make?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    On free will see #76
    , @Alden
    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.

    Other than money and occupations, the families were similar in being normal suitable fit for adoption decent types.

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families
  67. hyperbola says:
    @David
    The amount a columnist at unz.com discusses banning commenters is inversely proportional to the originality and interest of his columns.

    A better comment might be that the amount of silent censorship (seems to be common here) is inversely proportional to the credibility of the column.

    Read More
  68. Joe Hide says:

    I liked your article. When I first saw Your pseudo-name “Jayman, (It is a psuedo- right?) I wanted to just quickly scim read as I figured the topics would be weird. Actually, I spent a lot of time digesting it and it’s 5 laws. Very good read. Please write more.

    Read More
  69. @Cundalini
    There's a sixth law;

    We are all just pieces of meat and the Universe does not care wether we live or die.

    There’s a sixth law;

    We are all just pieces of meat and the Universe does not care whether [FTFY] we live or die.

    Apparently I do not comment enough to have the “AGREE” button activated. I agree, but a corollary is that we are feeling pieces of meat and the fact that the universe does not care does not mean that it should not be of some consequence to us.

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  70. JayMan says: • Website
    @anonymous
    Not non-sense at all. This needs further examination. Gay liberation politics have made such etiology non-kosher.

    Not non-sense at all. This needs further examination.

    I think you should review the Second Law.

    Read More
  71. JayMan says: • Website
    @PennTothal
    "Free will doesn't exist" -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.

    His conclusions cannot be considered the thoughtful result of careful study and judgement to discern true facts from false. Rather, they are the inevitable and inescapable result of his biology, determined only by genes and other inescapable material forces.

    Free will exists but is often constrained by biological factors to a degree not widely appreciated in society. JayMan is doing a service in highlighting these forces and the evidence for them. If free will doesn't exist, then JayMan isn't "doing" anything and his posting (and my reply) are meaningless runs of predetermined functions.

    “Free will doesn’t exist” -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.

    Even if behavior was 100% environmentally determined, there would still be no free will.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    The delightful little book "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" by Carlo Rovelli says in a supplementary chapter "To be free doesn't mean that our behaviour is not determined by the laws of nature. It means that it is determined by the laws of nature acting in our brains". As he puts it "I decide" because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the ehole complex of my neurons decides..

    It is interesting to make this kind of rationality fit with the social and legal reasoning by which we decide to attribute responsibility for what we take to be intentional acts. One could start by noting that sn exculpation on the ground that someone spiked a non dtinker's drink before he killed someone is, in Rovelli's terms, the result of someone adding something to the billions of neurons and their connections which "I" had nothing to do with.
    , @Jim
    Actually environmental determinism would create exactly the same problem about praise or blame. I might be a vicious thug because my genetic endowment strongly predisposes me to vicious behavior or I might be a vicious thug because I was grossly abused as a child. To many people, probably most, it wouldn't seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.
  72. JayMan says: • Website
    @Intelligent Dasein
    Anybody who flatly states, without arrière-pensées, that free will does not exist, is so philosophically stunted that his opinion on any matter of moment can be safely ignored thereafter. What's even more juvenile is the author's implication that it is modern genetic research which gives weight to his determinism. This is absurd.

    There have always been people mooting a determinist hypothesis. One does not need to know anything about modern genetics, or Newtonian physics, or any sort of scientific paradigm whatsoever, in order to make that case as strong as it can possibly be made. A moment's reflection upon this historical fact ought to convince one that the issue is metaphysical in nature and that "science" has nothing to do with it. The act of bringing in the scientific fancies of the day as evidence for determinism, as if they and they alone had decisively settled the question, is both uninformed and improper, a category mistake, and possibly a disingenuous trick. In practice it tends to be either a put-up job (i.e. a post hoc rationalization for an unexamined opinion already held) or mere pigheadedness. In any case, it is wrong.

    Further reflection upon the fact that while determinism remains an eternal set piece of the great philosophical conversation, the explanations adduced for determinism come and go, may even cause one to conclude that today's currently fashionable scientific theories do not have anything like the permanence and unquestionable authority he had hitherto assigned to them. We would probably be rather puzzled today by a man who dared venture onto the scene to lay out determinism's case in terms of Democritian Atomism, even though the argument in those terms would be no less valid than had it been uttered in any other suitable terms. Indeed, you will scarcely find a physicist anymore willing to throw down the gauntlet like that, despite physicists having, among the men of science, a far greater right to do so. On the other hand, deterministic biologists and sociologists, with their much weaker sauce, are ten a penny. Were they to scratch their beards and emit grave tones about the deleterious influence of inferior breeds, they would at least rise to the level of being malicious mountebanks. But they don't even do that; like great moral cowards, they convert their position into an excuse for the hedonistic celebration of depravity.

    And another thing: Recursively referring to your own self-articulated rules whenever someone challenges your assertions is not a valid argument. It is a most annoying form of question-begging that marks one off as a blockhead. Jayman is the Jonathan Revusky of the gene-osphere.

    And another thing: Recursively referring to your own self-articulated rules whenever someone challenges your assertions is not a valid argument. It is a most annoying form of question-begging that marks one off as a blockhead. Jayman is the Jonathan Revusky of the gene-osphere.

    Being too lazy to ascertain that there are hundreds of previous posts here that contain support for what I say is most annoying indeed.

    Read More
  73. JayMan says: • Website
    @TG
    "Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together." - yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.

    As far as complex traits being complex, yes. Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%. Yes genes are more important than most modern politically correct sociologists will admit, but genes and environment DO interact quite strongly. Although as you suggest, much of the power of environment may be negative: infections, injuries, etc.

    No free will? I think that depends on your perspective. As a man, I am far more likely to want to go see Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 than a woman, and the traits behind this sex-linked difference are to a great extent genetic. Sure. So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion. The fact that my genetic heritage may bias this choice - may change the calculus of what factors I consider in making a decision - does not, I think, make choice an illusion.

    If I have a choice of eating chicken or hay, I won't choose hay, because genetically I am not a horse. Hay does not work for me. Does that mean that I have no free will? No. My genetics pushes me in certain directions, and constrains the range of my choices, but I could always eat beef or tofu.

    “Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together.” – yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.

    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don’t seem to have an effect.

    Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%.

    Well, to use the example of autism, the “healthy” co-twin tends to suffer from a host of maladies (Lundström et al, 2015).

    Diagnosis is important. But indeed, developmental variation also plays a role.

    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.

    Why do you make the choices you make?

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don’t seem to have an effect.
     
    I think you would get less pushback if you emphasized this point more often. In particular, the limitation implied by "the range of environments encountered in the modern West." Also useful to note that study populations may have restriction of range issues with respect to environment.

    The part I find interesting is considering what might be possible given well targeted interventions. As your argument with RaceRealist88 covers, it is hard to reconcile the failure of such interventions (e.g. the research you cited) in studies with clear examples of anecdotal successes. I assume there is some combination of genetic predispositions, selection effect, selective memory, etc. contributing to the overall impression of success, but I still find it surprising that the research studies can't get a detectable positive result. Perhaps a problem with inadequate compliance or dramatic enough measures in studies compared to individual cases where people have prioritized fixing their problems and are willing to work hard to do so?
    , @Art

    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.

    Why do you make the choices you make?
     
    Most people temper their decisions with the thought of getting along with their environment.

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.

    It can be said that all living entities have an emotional free will to extend their lives.
  74. Alden says:
    @George Turner
    A quibble to point out an exception that proves the rule.

    1. All human behavioral traits are heritable

    Except the behavior of getting your reproductive bits wacked off prior to puberty because you think you are the other gender. Surely that's not a heritable trait after it makes its appearance.

    Before you comment, you should at least ask Mr Google about the subject. If you are so interested in sex changes you should make yourself knowledgeable about the subject.

    Your ignorance about sex changes is appalling. I’m sure even the superficial Wikepedia can tell you the basics of sex changes.

    1 nothing is whacked off.

    2 the process starts a year or so before puberty. Nothing is whacked off. At 10 or 11 the kids are given hormone blockers to slow down puberty. Then the girls are given male hormones and the boys female hormones.

    Sex changes are very profitable to the medical and pharma industries. The hormone treatment is like insulin for diabetes. It’s a lifelong dependency on those expensive hormones.

    That is probably the reason for the mad search to detect trans children. Imagine the profit in hormone treatment from age 10 to 85.

    Then there’s the mental health counseling. All those psychology grads with few job prospects will now have jobs.

    After the man to woman operations are done, they need a few plastic surgery procedures to make the repulsive mess less repulsive. They also need collagen injections several times a year.

    Read More
  75. nickels says:
    @JayMan

    Now you can criticize my take
     
    I don't know how much I really need to do, given:

    We don’t understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world.
     
    I suppose it's heartening that all the critical responses here are coming from some flavor of creationist.

    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct, but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.
    That said, perhaps a more Orthodox understanding of the twin similarity is that, the fallen body essentially being a burden to the soul (people who have died and returned report a hightened sense of awareness), having very similar bodies may affect the souls with similar challenged and hence develop similar behaviours.
    But to go from there to full on Neo-Calvinistic determinism (which is the essence of your atheist philosophy), arguing against the idea of ‘free will’ is certainly not warranted.

    Read More
    • Troll: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct
     
    For fuck's sake dude! Read about purifying selection.

    but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.
     
    Yeah, I think I'm done here...
  76. JayMan says: • Website
    @nickels
    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct, but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.
    That said, perhaps a more Orthodox understanding of the twin similarity is that, the fallen body essentially being a burden to the soul (people who have died and returned report a hightened sense of awareness), having very similar bodies may affect the souls with similar challenged and hence develop similar behaviours.
    But to go from there to full on Neo-Calvinistic determinism (which is the essence of your atheist philosophy), arguing against the idea of 'free will' is certainly not warranted.

    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct

    For fuck’s sake dude! Read about purifying selection.

    but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.

    Yeah, I think I’m done here…

    Read More
    • Replies: @nickels
    'Purifying selection'
    'Synergetic epistasis'
    'Punctuated equilibrium'

    Its all makeup on the same pig.
    Information is never created, it is only lost. We all kniw this, mathematically, intuitively, and instinctively.

    The only argument an evolutionist can pull out is the monkey on the typewriter, defying universal odds to type out that magical code of life, and a whole evolutionary history of improbable and impossibly separable beneficial mutations, selected against the odds and despite the fact that that environment noise hides the majority of expression in beneficial mutations.

    By all means, grasp at the straw of ultimate improbability, cause *That's Science*.
  77. @JayMan

    “Free will doesn’t exist” -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.
     

    Even if behavior was 100% environmentally determined, there would still be no free will.

    The delightful little book “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” by Carlo Rovelli says in a supplementary chapter “To be free doesn’t mean that our behaviour is not determined by the laws of nature. It means that it is determined by the laws of nature acting in our brains”. As he puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the ehole complex of my neurons decides..

    It is interesting to make this kind of rationality fit with the social and legal reasoning by which we decide to attribute responsibility for what we take to be intentional acts. One could start by noting that sn exculpation on the ground that someone spiked a non dtinker’s drink before he killed someone is, in Rovelli’s terms, the result of someone adding something to the billions of neurons and their connections which “I” had nothing to do with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @S.H.A.Prodi
    <<As [Rovelli] puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the whole complex of my neurons decides.>>

    So now neurons "decide"? Can anybody explain to me by which "laws" the pixels on my computer screen that represented the quoted sentence caused my neurons to cause themselves to move my fingers to type a reply to the quoted sentence? Is there any doubt about the fact that the sentence and the reply to it are as incomprehensible to my neurons as they are to my fingers? Are we supposed to assume that neurons are capable of "understanding", "thinking" and "self-criticism"?
    But then, what's the point of neuronizing yourself, if you must humanize neurons even to pretend to be able to express yourself meaningfully?

    What would be a scientific demonstration of the thesis "Free will does not exist"?
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of another person's brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? No, it would not. In order to set up and run a scientific experiment, he would have to be able to control certain parameters at will. If he had no free will, he would not be able to do so. His experiment would merely demonstrate his free will in addition to his power to override the other person's will.
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of his own brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? To ask the question is to answer it.
    Are we, then, supposed to take it as Gospel truth that science and scientific experiments are impossible (because free will does not exist)?

    All that Jayman and Rovelli are entitled to conclude is that many, perhaps most people are weak-willed most of the time. But, surely, that is hardly a discovery of modern science.
  78. @TG
    "Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together." - yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.

    As far as complex traits being complex, yes. Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%. Yes genes are more important than most modern politically correct sociologists will admit, but genes and environment DO interact quite strongly. Although as you suggest, much of the power of environment may be negative: infections, injuries, etc.

    No free will? I think that depends on your perspective. As a man, I am far more likely to want to go see Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 than a woman, and the traits behind this sex-linked difference are to a great extent genetic. Sure. So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion. The fact that my genetic heritage may bias this choice - may change the calculus of what factors I consider in making a decision - does not, I think, make choice an illusion.

    If I have a choice of eating chicken or hay, I won't choose hay, because genetically I am not a horse. Hay does not work for me. Does that mean that I have no free will? No. My genetics pushes me in certain directions, and constrains the range of my choices, but I could always eat beef or tofu.

    On free will see #76

    Read More
  79. res says:
    @JayMan

    “Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together.” – yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.
     
    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don't seem to have an effect.

    Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%.
     
    Well, to use the example of autism, the "healthy" co-twin tends to suffer from a host of maladies (Lundström et al, 2015).

    Diagnosis is important. But indeed, developmental variation also plays a role.


    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.
     
    Why do you make the choices you make?

    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don’t seem to have an effect.

    I think you would get less pushback if you emphasized this point more often. In particular, the limitation implied by “the range of environments encountered in the modern West.” Also useful to note that study populations may have restriction of range issues with respect to environment.

    The part I find interesting is considering what might be possible given well targeted interventions. As your argument with RaceRealist88 covers, it is hard to reconcile the failure of such interventions (e.g. the research you cited) in studies with clear examples of anecdotal successes. I assume there is some combination of genetic predispositions, selection effect, selective memory, etc. contributing to the overall impression of success, but I still find it surprising that the research studies can’t get a detectable positive result. Perhaps a problem with inadequate compliance or dramatic enough measures in studies compared to individual cases where people have prioritized fixing their problems and are willing to work hard to do so?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    "compared to individual cases where people have prioritized fixing their problems and are willing to work hard to do so?"

    I say: only two things can change a person; a very close brush with death and a great love. Both these are extraordinary and therefore won't be captured by Jayman's statistical approach. By great love I mean a once in a lifetime thing.

    A very close brush with death so radically alters the body's chemistry that a person is never quite the same. It may be merely anecdotal, but I would guess than anyone who has literally hung over the abyss of death (as I once did) will confirm what I am saying.

    Nothing is ever quite the same. One realizes that not Mom and Dad, best friends, teachers, girl friends, lovers, spouses, not anyone is going to go through what you are about to go through. You are alone. And this changes you. Just as no one will accompany you when you die, so no one really accompanies you while you live. You are alone in your consciousness. You cannot farm the job of experiencing the world out to someone else (bad faith).

    I am utterly unqualified to contest any finding in evolutionary psychology or genetics and I readily accept that Jayman knows quantums more than I do, nevertheless
  80. Alden says:
    @TG
    "Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together." - yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.

    As far as complex traits being complex, yes. Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%. Yes genes are more important than most modern politically correct sociologists will admit, but genes and environment DO interact quite strongly. Although as you suggest, much of the power of environment may be negative: infections, injuries, etc.

    No free will? I think that depends on your perspective. As a man, I am far more likely to want to go see Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 than a woman, and the traits behind this sex-linked difference are to a great extent genetic. Sure. So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion. The fact that my genetic heritage may bias this choice - may change the calculus of what factors I consider in making a decision - does not, I think, make choice an illusion.

    If I have a choice of eating chicken or hay, I won't choose hay, because genetically I am not a horse. Hay does not work for me. Does that mean that I have no free will? No. My genetics pushes me in certain directions, and constrains the range of my choices, but I could always eat beef or tofu.

    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.

    Other than money and occupations, the families were similar in being normal suitable fit for adoption decent types.

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.
     
    Wrong. Behavioral genetic studies at this point include millions of twins (as well as many other family combinations).

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families
     
    Also not true.
  81. @JayMan
    Yup, already fixed! Thanks though!

    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other’s character.

    I have known lots of identical twins and nearly always one is dominant. It is as if tbe first time someone asked them what they wanted the future dominant one shouted his or her preference and the other shrugged and thought ” yes, I suppose that would be OK” and a habit was immediately born.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other’s character.
     
    There is no negative shared environment impact: twins raised together aren't less similar than twins raised apart. Siblings don't have much of an effect.
  82. The statement “free will does not exist” is unscientific, in my opinion. Mathematics has nonexistence proofs, but the natural sciences do not. The statement also creates logical inconsistencies, regarding whether such a statement can have meaning, if proposed by an entity without free will.

    Read More
  83. JayMan says: • Website
    @Alden
    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.

    Other than money and occupations, the families were similar in being normal suitable fit for adoption decent types.

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families

    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.

    Wrong. Behavioral genetic studies at this point include millions of twins (as well as many other family combinations).

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families

    Also not true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    Please prove your assertion that some of the children in the Minnesota Twins study were malnourished beaten and abused.

    My boys are identical twins. I have 2 sets of non identical twin grand children. No one ever wanted to study them.

    It's well known that children adopted shortly after birth exhibit their natural parents traits more than the adopted parents traits.
  84. JayMan says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz
    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other's character.

    I have known lots of identical twins and nearly always one is dominant. It is as if tbe first time someone asked them what they wanted the future dominant one shouted his or her preference and the other shrugged and thought " yes, I suppose that would be OK" and a habit was immediately born.

    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other’s character.

    There is no negative shared environment impact: twins raised together aren’t less similar than twins raised apart. Siblings don’t have much of an effect.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I have seen and heard too often of identical twins where one nearly ways dominates conversation, typically if you ask what restaurant or play or sporting event they would like to go to, to doubt the truth of my generalisation.

    I recall e.g.one of a pair of high IQ females (who could have made a living as a portrait painter and described herself as left handed right brained) saying to her 50 year old identical twin who was talking to me "shut up S I want to talk to W". Absolutely typical. (It was the right handed "left brained" twin who got the high academic honours in languages and other g related subjects).

    Then, amongst many other memories, I recall one twin saying "i hardly spoke to an adult until I was 3 [could have been 2]. L always did it for me". L was a high powered investment banker. Her identical twin who spoke of their relationship was in the course of finishing a rather long drawn out path to a PhD in a specialised field of Art History. So... no brain damage or other such explanation.

    The only way I can reconcile your reply with all that is that you would insist that it is only because of the peculiarly striking fact of their being identical twins that I have noticed these striking interactions and that they would be just ss common in any randomly chosen pair of frequently interacting people. If so, evidence please.
  85. nickels says:
    @JayMan

    Well one sort of has to be a creationist once they study DNA and they realize that overwhelming accumulation of deleterious mutations in the genome and the very impossibility of selection to affect such an accumulation means not only that humans are slowly going extinct
     
    For fuck's sake dude! Read about purifying selection.

    but that the entire pagan philosophy of evolution about as probable as me leaving my copy of Crime and Punishment in the garage and hoping several new chapters will spontaneously generate over a decade or so.
     
    Yeah, I think I'm done here...

    ‘Purifying selection’
    ‘Synergetic epistasis’
    ‘Punctuated equilibrium’

    Its all makeup on the same pig.
    Information is never created, it is only lost. We all kniw this, mathematically, intuitively, and instinctively.

    The only argument an evolutionist can pull out is the monkey on the typewriter, defying universal odds to type out that magical code of life, and a whole evolutionary history of improbable and impossibly separable beneficial mutations, selected against the odds and despite the fact that that environment noise hides the majority of expression in beneficial mutations.

    By all means, grasp at the straw of ultimate improbability, cause *That’s Science*.

    Read More
  86. Alden says:
    @JayMan
    Great comment, except for this part:

    Re the ‘gay germ’ or similar thoughts, the French psycho-analyst Jacques Lacan (1901-81) thought that gay tendencies are the result of child fears that come into play at some very fragile chance moment, usually in early infancy … the child fears destruction for being a ‘competitor’ to the same sex parent, so the child ‘inverts’ his / her sexuality as a survival tool, so as not to seem a threat … Lacan & others noting the number of gay males who experienced self-insecure fathers or other male figures in youth, particularly authoritarian-types
     
    That's precisely the sort of nonsense this entry is made to address. :)

    Jacques Lacan was a disciple of dr Sigmund Fraud whose lies dominated mental health for 100 years. The idea that every mental and emotional problem was caused by some trivial thing that happened before age 4 was always nonsense.

    Thanks be to God and pharmacology, Fraudian psychiatry is on the way out. Actually, it was the insurance companies that ended Fraudian psychiatry. They only pay for treatment that works. The companies now refuse to pay for years of Fraudian therapy whose outcome is not a cure but the need for more Fraudian therapy.

    Read More
  87. Alden says:
    @JayMan

    This all comes from the Minnesota identical twins adopted into different families study.
     
    Wrong. Behavioral genetic studies at this point include millions of twins (as well as many other family combinations).

    None of the adopted twins were raised in poverty stricken child abusing dysfunctional families
     
    Also not true.

    Please prove your assertion that some of the children in the Minnesota Twins study were malnourished beaten and abused.

    My boys are identical twins. I have 2 sets of non identical twin grand children. No one ever wanted to study them.

    It’s well known that children adopted shortly after birth exhibit their natural parents traits more than the adopted parents traits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Please prove your assertion that some of the children in the Minnesota Twins study were malnourished beaten and abused.
     
    That's not what I said. There are lots of twin studies (see the Polderman et al reference a few comments up), not to mention other behavioral genetic studies. Many come from nationally representative samples (like the Add Health) which include families where there is physical punishment. There's no effect.
  88. Alden says:
    @nickels
    'Purifying selection'
    'Synergetic epistasis'
    'Punctuated equilibrium'

    Its all makeup on the same pig.
    Information is never created, it is only lost. We all kniw this, mathematically, intuitively, and instinctively.

    The only argument an evolutionist can pull out is the monkey on the typewriter, defying universal odds to type out that magical code of life, and a whole evolutionary history of improbable and impossibly separable beneficial mutations, selected against the odds and despite the fact that that environment noise hides the majority of expression in beneficial mutations.

    By all means, grasp at the straw of ultimate improbability, cause *That's Science*.

    How did evolution get into this discussion?

    Read More
  89. nickels says:

    Ignoring the evolutionary tangent (although talking about a ‘soul’ is somewhat ludicrous, assuming that philosophy), these results are interesting, as they demonstrate that the pressures of the flesh (in particular, as laid out in the DNA) are perhaps as strong or stronger than the pressures of the environment on the soul in the battle for virtue and dispassion in this earthly experience (from the Christian perspective, of course).
    That is all.

    Read More
  90. @res

    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don’t seem to have an effect.
     
    I think you would get less pushback if you emphasized this point more often. In particular, the limitation implied by "the range of environments encountered in the modern West." Also useful to note that study populations may have restriction of range issues with respect to environment.

    The part I find interesting is considering what might be possible given well targeted interventions. As your argument with RaceRealist88 covers, it is hard to reconcile the failure of such interventions (e.g. the research you cited) in studies with clear examples of anecdotal successes. I assume there is some combination of genetic predispositions, selection effect, selective memory, etc. contributing to the overall impression of success, but I still find it surprising that the research studies can't get a detectable positive result. Perhaps a problem with inadequate compliance or dramatic enough measures in studies compared to individual cases where people have prioritized fixing their problems and are willing to work hard to do so?

    “compared to individual cases where people have prioritized fixing their problems and are willing to work hard to do so?”

    I say: only two things can change a person; a very close brush with death and a great love. Both these are extraordinary and therefore won’t be captured by Jayman’s statistical approach. By great love I mean a once in a lifetime thing.

    A very close brush with death so radically alters the body’s chemistry that a person is never quite the same. It may be merely anecdotal, but I would guess than anyone who has literally hung over the abyss of death (as I once did) will confirm what I am saying.

    Nothing is ever quite the same. One realizes that not Mom and Dad, best friends, teachers, girl friends, lovers, spouses, not anyone is going to go through what you are about to go through. You are alone. And this changes you. Just as no one will accompany you when you die, so no one really accompanies you while you live. You are alone in your consciousness. You cannot farm the job of experiencing the world out to someone else (bad faith).

    I am utterly unqualified to contest any finding in evolutionary psychology or genetics and I readily accept that Jayman knows quantums more than I do, nevertheless

    Read More
  91. Jayman:

    Great article, as always. As someone who has taught in an AP program in a major city in Canada for twenty years, I can say, anecdotally at least, that the cognitive equipment the students bring to class is far more important than any instruction or intervention I can offer, especially as regards abstract versus concrete thinking. The students who are equipped for abstract thought benefit from my instruction; those who can think only concretely do not. As they say in The Producers, “Or ya got it, or ya ain’t.”

    I am wondering if you have any data or opinion on the following. One of my interests is Revolutionary War history, and I have a hunch that Scots-Irish descent predicted siding with the Patriots (what we would call “Rebels’ up here) and German descent predicted siding with the Loyalists (what those in the U.S. would call Tories). Any ideas? Thanks.

    Read More
  92. nickels says:

    I was ridiculed as a ‘Creationist’ so I responded.
    Kind of a tangent, yes, although accepting the philosophy of evolution pretty much ends the metaphysical arguments for ‘free will’, so not unrelated.
    The Greeks never had a problem arguing from both an atomist and a spiritual side about things, but evolution was used to kill metaphysics in the West.

    Read More
  93. 1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.

    2. That abuse and neglect vary in degree is obvious, even though probably not exactly quantifiable. There are things that are considered abuse by some that are considered proper parenting by others – “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” e.g..

    It follows that to propose that, bar “abuse or neglect,” parenting and upbringing have NO effect on a child is to propose that the effects of abuse or neglect are binary, operating on an on-off switch.

    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify, that does not mean that things we cannot quantify do not exist or are not proper subjects for discussion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.
     
    Don't be so sure. See the Fifth Law above.

    Unless we're talking actual brain damage, I wouldn't say that.


    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify
     
    Every single thing in the universe can be quantified! That includes human behavioral traits.
  94. Art says:

    Free will doesn’t exist

    That is ridicules – it is a lie that diminishes humanness. It is pseudo-intellectual nonsense that pushes a partial truth into an absurdity.

    Free will is free will, is free will – people make different decisions as they mature. They see better ways to respond to things and then change their behavior.

    One can accept and agree that our senses – smell, touch, sight, hearing, and taste are biological in nature, and are controlled by genetic forces. One can agree that children are born with individual likes and dislikes. One can agree that they have individual emotional reactions to their envioronment.

    I can accept that my liking the color blue is genetic. As a child I liked sour things. So did my father. But I married a woman who loved sweets and I began to like sweet things. When this happened, did my billions of cells flip, or did my free will, take over my genetic nature?

    Environment matters. Children who experience mental trauma at a young age have their mental outlook changed for the rest of their life. Environment disturbed their genetic makeup. The only way they can recover is through FREE WILL.

    Read More
  95. JayMan says: • Website
    @Alden
    Please prove your assertion that some of the children in the Minnesota Twins study were malnourished beaten and abused.

    My boys are identical twins. I have 2 sets of non identical twin grand children. No one ever wanted to study them.

    It's well known that children adopted shortly after birth exhibit their natural parents traits more than the adopted parents traits.

    Please prove your assertion that some of the children in the Minnesota Twins study were malnourished beaten and abused.

    That’s not what I said. There are lots of twin studies (see the Polderman et al reference a few comments up), not to mention other behavioral genetic studies. Many come from nationally representative samples (like the Add Health) which include families where there is physical punishment. There’s no effect.

    Read More
  96. JayMan says: • Website
    @another fred
    1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.

    2. That abuse and neglect vary in degree is obvious, even though probably not exactly quantifiable. There are things that are considered abuse by some that are considered proper parenting by others - "Spare the rod and spoil the child," e.g..

    It follows that to propose that, bar "abuse or neglect," parenting and upbringing have NO effect on a child is to propose that the effects of abuse or neglect are binary, operating on an on-off switch.

    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify, that does not mean that things we cannot quantify do not exist or are not proper subjects for discussion.

    1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.

    Don’t be so sure. See the Fifth Law above.

    Unless we’re talking actual brain damage, I wouldn’t say that.

    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify

    Every single thing in the universe can be quantified! That includes human behavioral traits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred
    In Harry Harlow's "chicken wire mother" experiments in the 1950s it was documented that the young monkey's brains were not normal on dissection. Nobody has dissected any human brains in that sort of circumstance (at least they have not published about it), but there have been differences seen on scans, and the behavior of the deprived Romanian orphans (post Ceausescu) was so profoundly abnormal that it is not unreasonable to expect brain abnormalities.

    The corrosive effects of cortisol on nerve cells is well documented.

    As far as everything being quantifiable, chaos theory says that we cannot quantify the effects of everything - as is so far demonstrated by our efforts to predict the weather. You may think that is simply a lack of sufficient data or good enough models, but many scientists will disagree.

    , @Wizard of Oz
    I think it was from Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works" about 20 years ago that I picked up reference to and quoting of Judith Rich Harris's work concluding that genes counted for about 50 per cent of personality (behavioural manifestations I assume), peers [presumably including close siblings] for 45 per cent and parents about 5 per cent. I seem to remember David Rowe coming into it also.

    Is there more up to date research you would care to cite? Is what I have quoted/cited compatible with your findings?
  97. Art says:
    @JayMan

    “Identical twins raised apart are no less similar than identical twins raised together.” – yes, but. That assumes that the twins were raised under very similar socioeconomic conditions. Environmental conditions will predominate in the extremes. Like, if one twin is raised with abundant food and a nurturing environment, and the other is chronically malnourished and beaten etc. You can see this easily with dogs.
     
    So far, environmental differences in the range of environments encountered in the modern West don't seem to have an effect.

    Consider that if one identical twin has schizophrenia, the other has only a 50% chance of getting the disorder. Yes, 50% is way higher than the 1% of the general population, but schizophrenia is not a subtle thing, and 50% is way less than 100%.
     
    Well, to use the example of autism, the "healthy" co-twin tends to suffer from a host of maladies (Lundström et al, 2015).

    Diagnosis is important. But indeed, developmental variation also plays a role.


    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.
     
    Why do you make the choices you make?

    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.

    Why do you make the choices you make?

    Most people temper their decisions with the thought of getting along with their environment.

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.

    It can be said that all living entities have an emotional free will to extend their lives.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.
     
    And why did they do that?

    Meta-behavior is heritable too (and just as unfree). It’s not like high-level thinking is somehow any less biological.
  98. JayMan says: • Website
    @Art

    So what? I still have a choice, in my opinion.

    Why do you make the choices you make?
     
    Most people temper their decisions with the thought of getting along with their environment.

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.

    It can be said that all living entities have an emotional free will to extend their lives.

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.

    And why did they do that?

    Meta-behavior is heritable too (and just as unfree). It’s not like high-level thinking is somehow any less biological.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Gee - you use 5 to prove 1 – 3 to back up 4 – 2 to prove them all (or some other conflation). Are we going in circles here?

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now, that I had then. How could my genetics be ruling me? Until someone comes up with a rational genetic based explanation – this is just wrong.

    Saying there is no “Free Will” just is not observably true. How is it that I can intellectually extrapolate math theorems in my work endeavors, but not social theorems in my daily living? How can we think and make decisions in one sphere but not the other?

    This sounds like Freud pumping gibberish about brains.

  99. Art says:

    Free will doesn’t exist

    1. A typical human behavioral trait is associated with very many genetic variants, each of which accounts for a very small percentage of the behavioral variability.

    Can it not be said that human “free will” is the ultimate genetic mix of traits.

    Every biological entity that can move within its environment, makes decisions in what direction it will take. It moves towards life sustaining free energy and away from toxicity.

    Isn’t “free will” the ultimate genetic mixt within the human brain – does the “free will trait” have the capacity to override all other genetic imperatives?

    How is it that we can hate a food in our childhood, then love it as adults? What strong force prevailed over our emotional hate.

    When we see that our genetic choice is hurting us or is leaving us short of feeling something better – don’t we use our “free will trait” to override our weaker genetic imperative.

    Read More
  100. nickels says:
    @Intelligent Dasein
    Anybody who flatly states, without arrière-pensées, that free will does not exist, is so philosophically stunted that his opinion on any matter of moment can be safely ignored thereafter. What's even more juvenile is the author's implication that it is modern genetic research which gives weight to his determinism. This is absurd.

    There have always been people mooting a determinist hypothesis. One does not need to know anything about modern genetics, or Newtonian physics, or any sort of scientific paradigm whatsoever, in order to make that case as strong as it can possibly be made. A moment's reflection upon this historical fact ought to convince one that the issue is metaphysical in nature and that "science" has nothing to do with it. The act of bringing in the scientific fancies of the day as evidence for determinism, as if they and they alone had decisively settled the question, is both uninformed and improper, a category mistake, and possibly a disingenuous trick. In practice it tends to be either a put-up job (i.e. a post hoc rationalization for an unexamined opinion already held) or mere pigheadedness. In any case, it is wrong.

    Further reflection upon the fact that while determinism remains an eternal set piece of the great philosophical conversation, the explanations adduced for determinism come and go, may even cause one to conclude that today's currently fashionable scientific theories do not have anything like the permanence and unquestionable authority he had hitherto assigned to them. We would probably be rather puzzled today by a man who dared venture onto the scene to lay out determinism's case in terms of Democritian Atomism, even though the argument in those terms would be no less valid than had it been uttered in any other suitable terms. Indeed, you will scarcely find a physicist anymore willing to throw down the gauntlet like that, despite physicists having, among the men of science, a far greater right to do so. On the other hand, deterministic biologists and sociologists, with their much weaker sauce, are ten a penny. Were they to scratch their beards and emit grave tones about the deleterious influence of inferior breeds, they would at least rise to the level of being malicious mountebanks. But they don't even do that; like great moral cowards, they convert their position into an excuse for the hedonistic celebration of depravity.

    And another thing: Recursively referring to your own self-articulated rules whenever someone challenges your assertions is not a valid argument. It is a most annoying form of question-begging that marks one off as a blockhead. Jayman is the Jonathan Revusky of the gene-osphere.

    Great comment.
    Its the total phosophical hegemony of scientific materialism that has made metaphysics a subject only for those outside the modern academy.
    Part of why the modern academy is becoming completely irrelevant.

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  101. Thomm says:

    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article.

    Anyway, I disagree with the premise, since :

    1) The peoples of Western Europe will killing each other en masse until 1945. The Battle of the Somme in WW1 itself was 1.3M deaths (Germans vs. British + French).
    2) Famines in Russia led to cannibalism as recently as 1921. So less than a century ago.

    If behavior is heritable, then these traits would still be present in these peoples.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    If behavior is heritable, then these traits would still be present in these peoples.
     
    Heritable doesn't mean "not dependent on environmental context."
  102. JayMan says: • Website
    @Thomm
    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article.

    Anyway, I disagree with the premise, since :

    1) The peoples of Western Europe will killing each other en masse until 1945. The Battle of the Somme in WW1 itself was 1.3M deaths (Germans vs. British + French).
    2) Famines in Russia led to cannibalism as recently as 1921. So less than a century ago.

    If behavior is heritable, then these traits would still be present in these peoples.

    If behavior is heritable, then these traits would still be present in these peoples.

    Heritable doesn’t mean “not dependent on environmental context.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thomm
    Still... white on white gang violence should be much higher than it is, if the heritability of traits that were in full flow just 75 years ago is for real.

    Yes, the IRA conducted bombings in Britain of a nature identical to what Islamic terrorists do today, but still, it is not at enough scale to support heritability of warlike, mass-killing traits that were apparent just a couple of generations prior.
  103. Art says:
    @JayMan

    They willfully override their selfish genetic inclinations to be cooperative.

    They make decisions of going in one direction or another with the thought of extending their lives.
     
    And why did they do that?

    Meta-behavior is heritable too (and just as unfree). It’s not like high-level thinking is somehow any less biological.

    Gee – you use 5 to prove 1 – 3 to back up 4 – 2 to prove them all (or some other conflation). Are we going in circles here?

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now, that I had then. How could my genetics be ruling me? Until someone comes up with a rational genetic based explanation – this is just wrong.

    Saying there is no “Free Will” just is not observably true. How is it that I can intellectually extrapolate math theorems in my work endeavors, but not social theorems in my daily living? How can we think and make decisions in one sphere but not the other?

    This sounds like Freud pumping gibberish about brains.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now
     
    https://twitter.com/JayMan471/status/477602473608486912

    Genes cause change as well as stability, as growth itself demonstrates.
    , @iffen
    Hey Arts, why don't you ask him how (if there is no free will) you can choose to be a philosophical Christian rather than an actual Christian?
  104. JayMan says: • Website
    @Art
    Gee - you use 5 to prove 1 – 3 to back up 4 – 2 to prove them all (or some other conflation). Are we going in circles here?

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now, that I had then. How could my genetics be ruling me? Until someone comes up with a rational genetic based explanation – this is just wrong.

    Saying there is no “Free Will” just is not observably true. How is it that I can intellectually extrapolate math theorems in my work endeavors, but not social theorems in my daily living? How can we think and make decisions in one sphere but not the other?

    This sounds like Freud pumping gibberish about brains.

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now

    Genes cause change as well as stability, as growth itself demonstrates.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Genes cause change as well as stability, as growth itself demonstrates.

    I agree that different genes come into play at different times of our life.

    But that in no way, proves that there is no free will.

    In my youth I liked sour - but I married a woman who loved sweets and I began to like sweet things.

    If my wife liked sour also - I would have never liked sweets. My taste palette depended on my wife's likes.

    Within each of us is a full panoply of reactions to life – environment plays a part of which comes into play.
  105. @JayMan

    1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.
     
    Don't be so sure. See the Fifth Law above.

    Unless we're talking actual brain damage, I wouldn't say that.


    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify
     
    Every single thing in the universe can be quantified! That includes human behavioral traits.

    In Harry Harlow’s “chicken wire mother” experiments in the 1950s it was documented that the young monkey’s brains were not normal on dissection. Nobody has dissected any human brains in that sort of circumstance (at least they have not published about it), but there have been differences seen on scans, and the behavior of the deprived Romanian orphans (post Ceausescu) was so profoundly abnormal that it is not unreasonable to expect brain abnormalities.

    The corrosive effects of cortisol on nerve cells is well documented.

    As far as everything being quantifiable, chaos theory says that we cannot quantify the effects of everything – as is so far demonstrated by our efforts to predict the weather. You may think that is simply a lack of sufficient data or good enough models, but many scientists will disagree.

    Read More
  106. iffen says:
    @Art
    Gee - you use 5 to prove 1 – 3 to back up 4 – 2 to prove them all (or some other conflation). Are we going in circles here?

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now, that I had then. How could my genetics be ruling me? Until someone comes up with a rational genetic based explanation – this is just wrong.

    Saying there is no “Free Will” just is not observably true. How is it that I can intellectually extrapolate math theorems in my work endeavors, but not social theorems in my daily living? How can we think and make decisions in one sphere but not the other?

    This sounds like Freud pumping gibberish about brains.

    Hey Arts, why don’t you ask him how (if there is no free will) you can choose to be a philosophical Christian rather than an actual Christian?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Hey Arts, why don’t you ask him how (if there is no free will) you can choose to be a philosophical Christian rather than an actual Christian?

    iffen,

    First being a philosophical Christian is being an actual Christian. Most philosophical Christian are in some part religious Christians. This will not always be so. With both, there is a reverence for Jesus.

    I do believe that different tribes have different genetics.

    Biological selection plays a part in tribal procreation. Within generations a tribe can have instinctive biological and social traits.

    It would be very instructive to see the genetic differences between Christians and Jews. One thrives on truth – the other on lies. Had a teacher who thought that integrity was a genetic trait.

    Hmm – is integrity and honesty genetic, or is it acquired through living. Is the dishonesty of the Jews inherent?

    Peace --- Art

  107. Art says:
    @JayMan

    You still have not explained why in my youth I liked sour things and in my adulthood I like sweet things. I have the same genetic makeup now
     
    https://twitter.com/JayMan471/status/477602473608486912

    Genes cause change as well as stability, as growth itself demonstrates.

    Genes cause change as well as stability, as growth itself demonstrates.

    I agree that different genes come into play at different times of our life.

    But that in no way, proves that there is no free will.

    In my youth I liked sour – but I married a woman who loved sweets and I began to like sweet things.

    If my wife liked sour also – I would have never liked sweets. My taste palette depended on my wife’s likes.

    Within each of us is a full panoply of reactions to life – environment plays a part of which comes into play.

    Read More
  108. Thomm says:
    @JayMan

    If behavior is heritable, then these traits would still be present in these peoples.
     
    Heritable doesn't mean "not dependent on environmental context."

    Still… white on white gang violence should be much higher than it is, if the heritability of traits that were in full flow just 75 years ago is for real.

    Yes, the IRA conducted bombings in Britain of a nature identical to what Islamic terrorists do today, but still, it is not at enough scale to support heritability of warlike, mass-killing traits that were apparent just a couple of generations prior.

    Read More
  109. Thomm says:

    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article?
     
    They are twins...
  110. @JayMan

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.
     

    However:

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences.
     
    Apparently, you don't.

    Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t.
     
    That's not what large RCTs show.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.
     

    Let's not even get into selection bias.

    So, I suppose it’s illegal for you to give this legal “advice”? But seriously, that’s ridiculous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Misdirected: intended as reply to RaceRealist.
    , @RaceRealist88
    One can give general health advice but to tell people to do X is illegal without having the right credentials.

    What is not legal – except for Medical Doctors (MDs) and Registered Dietitians (RDs) – is to provide medical nutritional therapy. That is, to prescribe nutritional changes specifically to treat disease.

    http://nutritioncertificationreviews.com/nutrition-advice-qualifications/
  111. @Logan
    Just curious.

    What prevents a banned commenter from signing up under another handle? If necessary using a different computer and ISP? For that matter, there are lots of anonymizers available.

    Not trying to get around a ban, as I haven't been. Just curious how this is enforceable.

    Its probably the content thats the red flag. If someone is going thru the trouble to make a new account with a different email, behind an anonymizer, they probably are saying something that jayman has warned against and previously banned. So when a new user gets on and repeats previously banned comments or thoughts, it probably a dead give away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jim jones
    Using a VPN and a throwaway email is quite normal in these days of State surveillance
  112. The effect of all those things on any behavioral trait or other phenotype is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

    Any behavioral trait? Don’t the studies deal with broad (or “complex”) behavioral traits, not narrow traits? The behavioral trait of “being a Muslim,” for example, seems obviously to be influenced by the familial environment.

    Read More
  113. JayMan says: • Website
    @Thomm
    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article?

    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article?

    They are twins…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thomm

    They are twins…
     
    And?

    Are their personalities the same? Do they react to situations in an identical manner?
  114. @Stephen R. Diamond
    So, I suppose it's illegal for you to give this legal "advice"? But seriously, that's ridiculous.

    Misdirected: intended as reply to RaceRealist.

    Read More
  115. Thomm says:
    @JayMan

    What does the image of the two girls up top have to do with the article?
     
    They are twins...

    They are twins…

    And?

    Are their personalities the same? Do they react to situations in an identical manner?

    Read More
  116. Art says:
    @iffen
    Hey Arts, why don't you ask him how (if there is no free will) you can choose to be a philosophical Christian rather than an actual Christian?

    Hey Arts, why don’t you ask him how (if there is no free will) you can choose to be a philosophical Christian rather than an actual Christian?

    iffen,

    First being a philosophical Christian is being an actual Christian. Most philosophical Christian are in some part religious Christians. This will not always be so. With both, there is a reverence for Jesus.

    I do believe that different tribes have different genetics.

    Biological selection plays a part in tribal procreation. Within generations a tribe can have instinctive biological and social traits.

    It would be very instructive to see the genetic differences between Christians and Jews. One thrives on truth – the other on lies. Had a teacher who thought that integrity was a genetic trait.

    Hmm – is integrity and honesty genetic, or is it acquired through living. Is the dishonesty of the Jews inherent?

    Peace — Art

    Read More
  117. @JayMan

    “You completely miss the meaning of the Fifth Law, and apparently don’t have any understanding of the notion that correlation does not equal causation.”

    I understand that. That’s basic.
     

    However:

    Sitting around, eating like shit and not exercising leads to deleterious health consequences.
     
    Apparently, you don't.

    Obese people who do the above and then stop sitting so much, eat better and exercise have better blood markers than those who don’t.
     
    That's not what large RCTs show.

    I’ve been in this field for years my friend. I know what works and what doesn’t. And what you’re saying is extremely dangerous for people’s health.

    Also I’m sure you know that if you’re giving this “advice” that it’s illegal since you don’t have the correct credentials.
     

    Let's not even get into selection bias.

    Speaking at different levels: In practice, it might always make sense to encourage someone to choose the salad instead of the fries at any given meal; In theory (supported by the basic research) it is highly probable that the people who ‘listen’ to ‘good dietary advice’, are predisposed to it anyhow, these people seek out advice which they can follow.

    Read More
  118. @JayMan

    On identical twins (and siblings generally) I am surprised at no reference to each other as an important part of their environment which, possibly by chance, affects the other’s character.
     
    There is no negative shared environment impact: twins raised together aren't less similar than twins raised apart. Siblings don't have much of an effect.

    I have seen and heard too often of identical twins where one nearly ways dominates conversation, typically if you ask what restaurant or play or sporting event they would like to go to, to doubt the truth of my generalisation.

    I recall e.g.one of a pair of high IQ females (who could have made a living as a portrait painter and described herself as left handed right brained) saying to her 50 year old identical twin who was talking to me “shut up S I want to talk to W”. Absolutely typical. (It was the right handed “left brained” twin who got the high academic honours in languages and other g related subjects).

    Then, amongst many other memories, I recall one twin saying “i hardly spoke to an adult until I was 3 [could have been 2]. L always did it for me”. L was a high powered investment banker. Her identical twin who spoke of their relationship was in the course of finishing a rather long drawn out path to a PhD in a specialised field of Art History. So… no brain damage or other such explanation.

    The only way I can reconcile your reply with all that is that you would insist that it is only because of the peculiarly striking fact of their being identical twins that I have noticed these striking interactions and that they would be just ss common in any randomly chosen pair of frequently interacting people. If so, evidence please.

    Read More
  119. @Stephen R. Diamond
    So, I suppose it's illegal for you to give this legal "advice"? But seriously, that's ridiculous.

    One can give general health advice but to tell people to do X is illegal without having the right credentials.

    What is not legal – except for Medical Doctors (MDs) and Registered Dietitians (RDs) – is to provide medical nutritional therapy. That is, to prescribe nutritional changes specifically to treat disease.

    http://nutritioncertificationreviews.com/nutrition-advice-qualifications/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Anyone can tell anyone "what to do" about anything. It's called free speech. What's not necessarily legal is selling that advice.

    You are trying to portray (and have convinced yourself that) anyone who offers free advice of the sort for which you charge an arm and a leg is a criminal. You are really a rather despicable person.
  120. Logan says:
    @Logan
    Just curious.

    What prevents a banned commenter from signing up under another handle? If necessary using a different computer and ISP? For that matter, there are lots of anonymizers available.

    Not trying to get around a ban, as I haven't been. Just curious how this is enforceable.

    Thanks. I’ve been banned, but not from this site!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    I'm not quite sure how I keep replying to myself.
  121. jim jones says:
    @Delinquent Snail
    Its probably the content thats the red flag. If someone is going thru the trouble to make a new account with a different email, behind an anonymizer, they probably are saying something that jayman has warned against and previously banned. So when a new user gets on and repeats previously banned comments or thoughts, it probably a dead give away.

    Using a VPN and a throwaway email is quite normal in these days of State surveillance

    Read More
  122. There appears to be a large logico-linguistic gap between your wording of the second law – “the effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes [my emphasis]” and your commentary on the second law: ‘the effect of shared environment is nil‘.

    You seem to have transitioned from a number that could logically be as high as 49.999 etc percent to zero, with insufficient explanation. If there is good evidence that the effect of shared environment is zero, then should not the second law be re-formulated ‘there is no effect from being raised in the same family’? And if the effect of shared environment is low but not zero, should it not read, ‘the effect of being raised in the same family is far smaller than the effect of the genes’?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    There appears to be a large logico-linguistic gap between your wording of the second law – “the effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes [my emphasis]” and your commentary on the second law: ‘the effect of shared environment is nil
     
    The first three laws are copied from Turkheimer verbatim, who, as Steven Pinker put it, was being cautious when he coined the Second Law.
  123. This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters.

    None of it matters to behavioral traits.

    It does matter in specific ways too numerous to list. An axiom of LIFE is, “Everything we do becomes a part of us.” Parental guidance during adolescence can and should work to protect kids from exercising youthful folly.

    Insuring your kid is unable to fully engage in risk taking excess can help them live to outgrown the immature assessment of danger common in teens.

    Specific events in our lives make a huge difference.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    None of it matters to behavioral traits.

    It does matter in specific ways too numerous to list. An axiom of LIFE is, “Everything we do becomes a part of us.”
     
    If it becomes part of us, it constitutes a behaviorial trait. (You really can't have it both ways.) Jayman, it seems to me, equivocates on whether a behaviorial trait is any behavioral description or one of the general "traits of personality." (Where to draw the line should be of concern.) But in fact literally every behavioral trait (in the second sense) is (probably) heritable. But some obviously are transmitted substantially by family environment.

    [Example. "Honesty" is probably devoid of familial influence. But "mannerliness" - it would be surprising indeed if families didn't differentially inculcate manners.]
  124. JayMan says: • Website
    @Jack Highlands
    There appears to be a large logico-linguistic gap between your wording of the second law - "the effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes [my emphasis]" and your commentary on the second law: 'the effect of shared environment is nil'.

    You seem to have transitioned from a number that could logically be as high as 49.999 etc percent to zero, with insufficient explanation. If there is good evidence that the effect of shared environment is zero, then should not the second law be re-formulated 'there is no effect from being raised in the same family'? And if the effect of shared environment is low but not zero, should it not read, 'the effect of being raised in the same family is far smaller than the effect of the genes'?

    There appears to be a large logico-linguistic gap between your wording of the second law – “the effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes [my emphasis]” and your commentary on the second law: ‘the effect of shared environment is nil

    The first three laws are copied from Turkheimer verbatim, who, as Steven Pinker put it, was being cautious when he coined the Second Law.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack Highlands
    Thanks: it seems we are moving to far less cautious formulations: no objection from reductionist me.

    On the subject of which, I like to use this estimate: 'genes are about 70% of everything' because that's pretty close to the personality data from twin studies and the voluminous, multi-source, IQ data.

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple. One strong possibility flows from stuff like Cochran's gay germ theory, Flegr's Toxoplasma work, congenital rubella syndrome etc: most of the other 30% is microbial effect that is more subtle than the classical syndromes. Regarding other possibilities, I'd sure like to know the mechanism of First-Born Advantage.
  125. Anecdotally, it’s apparent to me that each of us is born to a specific segment on the spectrum of each human attribute.

    Each of us enjoys a segment of mathematical aptitude, neuroticism, musical ability, etc., on the 0-100 spectrum available.

    We have a choice of where, ON THAT SEGMENT, we exhibit each attribute. Persons born on the border of addictive behavior might choose the path eschewing the addiction, or people born with musical talent might never encounter conditions to nurture it.

    Life experiences (including those offered by parents) matter, because so much of life becomes path dependent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    I think the liability threshold model provides a good way to think about that: http://www.wikilectures.eu/index.php/Genetic_Liability,_Threshold_Model.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_model#Liability_threshold_model
    IMHO more accurate to envision the threshold as being soft with environmental factors modifying where the phenotype appears (as you observe).
  126. nickels says:

    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight:

    The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero

    It isn’t science when the number of degrees of freedom swamp (infinitely) the number of knowns.
    It’s just another curve fit.

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.0956-7976.2003.psci_1475.x

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight
     
    Like I said in the post, Turkheimer has been spending his time trying to undermine his own findings:

    Did Turkheimer et al (2003) replicate? – Clear Language, Clear Mind
  127. JayMan says: • Website
    @nickels
    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight:


    The models suggest that in impoverished families, 60% of the variance in IQ is accounted for by the shared environment, and the contribution of genes is close to zero

     

    It isn't science when the number of degrees of freedom swamp (infinitely) the number of knowns.
    It's just another curve fit.

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.0956-7976.2003.psci_1475.x

    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight

    Like I said in the post, Turkheimer has been spending his time trying to undermine his own findings:

    Did Turkheimer et al (2003) replicate? – Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Turkheimer seems to have decided to become a goodthinker: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech
    I wonder if that was a result of the reaction to the heresy of his three laws.
    , @nickels
    It is interesting that Turkheimer seems to have mutated towards the behavioral and social justice'y side.
    Not surprising, though.
    After all, considering the grant pipeline--claiming its all genes is not as conducive to the social engineers as is ascribing everything to behavior and environment.
    Money in America has a long tradition of ringing the bell for the little salivating doggies.

    Anything but free will, because that leaves the conundrum of having to treat people like humans.
  128. Logan says:
    @Logan
    Thanks. I've been banned, but not from this site!

    I’m not quite sure how I keep replying to myself.

    Read More
  129. @JayMan

    There appears to be a large logico-linguistic gap between your wording of the second law – “the effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes [my emphasis]” and your commentary on the second law: ‘the effect of shared environment is nil
     
    The first three laws are copied from Turkheimer verbatim, who, as Steven Pinker put it, was being cautious when he coined the Second Law.

    Thanks: it seems we are moving to far less cautious formulations: no objection from reductionist me.

    On the subject of which, I like to use this estimate: ‘genes are about 70% of everything’ because that’s pretty close to the personality data from twin studies and the voluminous, multi-source, IQ data.

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple. One strong possibility flows from stuff like Cochran’s gay germ theory, Flegr’s Toxoplasma work, congenital rubella syndrome etc: most of the other 30% is microbial effect that is more subtle than the classical syndromes. Regarding other possibilities, I’d sure like to know the mechanism of First-Born Advantage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple.
     
    Could you spell out your reductionist argument? One complex thing the 30% could be (I'd guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.
  130. res says:
    @dc.sunsets
    Anecdotally, it's apparent to me that each of us is born to a specific segment on the spectrum of each human attribute.

    Each of us enjoys a segment of mathematical aptitude, neuroticism, musical ability, etc., on the 0-100 spectrum available.

    We have a choice of where, ON THAT SEGMENT, we exhibit each attribute. Persons born on the border of addictive behavior might choose the path eschewing the addiction, or people born with musical talent might never encounter conditions to nurture it.

    Life experiences (including those offered by parents) matter, because so much of life becomes path dependent.

    I think the liability threshold model provides a good way to think about that: http://www.wikilectures.eu/index.php/Genetic_Liability,_Threshold_Model.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_model#Liability_threshold_model

    IMHO more accurate to envision the threshold as being soft with environmental factors modifying where the phenotype appears (as you observe).

    Read More
  131. res says:
    @JayMan

    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight
     
    Like I said in the post, Turkheimer has been spending his time trying to undermine his own findings:

    Did Turkheimer et al (2003) replicate? – Clear Language, Clear Mind

    Turkheimer seems to have decided to become a goodthinker: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/5/18/15655638/charles-murray-race-iq-sam-harris-science-free-speech
    I wonder if that was a result of the reaction to the heresy of his three laws.

    Read More
  132. nickels says:
    @JayMan

    There appears to be a problem in keeping the story straight
     
    Like I said in the post, Turkheimer has been spending his time trying to undermine his own findings:

    Did Turkheimer et al (2003) replicate? – Clear Language, Clear Mind

    It is interesting that Turkheimer seems to have mutated towards the behavioral and social justice’y side.
    Not surprising, though.
    After all, considering the grant pipeline–claiming its all genes is not as conducive to the social engineers as is ascribing everything to behavior and environment.
    Money in America has a long tradition of ringing the bell for the little salivating doggies.

    Anything but free will, because that leaves the conundrum of having to treat people like humans.

    Read More
  133. @Jack Highlands
    Thanks: it seems we are moving to far less cautious formulations: no objection from reductionist me.

    On the subject of which, I like to use this estimate: 'genes are about 70% of everything' because that's pretty close to the personality data from twin studies and the voluminous, multi-source, IQ data.

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple. One strong possibility flows from stuff like Cochran's gay germ theory, Flegr's Toxoplasma work, congenital rubella syndrome etc: most of the other 30% is microbial effect that is more subtle than the classical syndromes. Regarding other possibilities, I'd sure like to know the mechanism of First-Born Advantage.

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple.

    Could you spell out your reductionist argument? One complex thing the 30% could be (I’d guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    One complex thing the 30% could be (I’d guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.
     
    Why would that serve to make identical twins growing up together more different, which is what that left over variance means?
  134. I must admit this entire line of thought sounds suspiciously like the difference between public health and individual medical decision.

    Population studies reveal one thing, but it is but tangentially relevant to choices made by individuals.

    Free will is not relevant to populations of people, but positing that personal choice doesn’t exist is akin to claiming that it doesn’t matter whether I chose to shoot someone simply because history will continue unaffected.

    We have degrees of freedom. Jayman in other contexts has agreed with this.

    Read More
  135. @RaceRealist88
    One can give general health advice but to tell people to do X is illegal without having the right credentials.

    What is not legal – except for Medical Doctors (MDs) and Registered Dietitians (RDs) – is to provide medical nutritional therapy. That is, to prescribe nutritional changes specifically to treat disease.

    http://nutritioncertificationreviews.com/nutrition-advice-qualifications/

    Anyone can tell anyone “what to do” about anything. It’s called free speech. What’s not necessarily legal is selling that advice.

    You are trying to portray (and have convinced yourself that) anyone who offers free advice of the sort for which you charge an arm and a leg is a criminal. You are really a rather despicable person.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "Anyone can tell anyone “what to do” about anything. It’s called free speech. What’s not necessarily legal is selling that advice."

    If someone gives advice to one with diabetes, re lifestyle advice, then that's illegal. That's giving medical advice.

    "You are trying to portray (and have convinced yourself that) anyone who offers free advice of the sort for which you charge an arm and a leg is a criminal. You are really a rather despicable person."

    Not a criminal, just giving "advice" that only trained professionals are to give under certain pretexts. This is why last history, current diet and exercise regimen, etc are taken into account before professional advice is given. One may be a layman but think he had the knowledge to give lifestyle advice to someone with, say, type II diabetes, but that advice may be horrible for that specific person in that specific situation.

    My prices are fair and I'm cheaper than most. I don't keep clients for long I want a revolving door of people to help as many people as possible while following up on people I've worked with in the past.
  136. JayMan says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    But if shared environment is close to zero, then reductionism suggests the other 30% should mostly be something pretty simple.
     
    Could you spell out your reductionist argument? One complex thing the 30% could be (I'd guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.

    One complex thing the 30% could be (I’d guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.

    Why would that serve to make identical twins growing up together more different, which is what that left over variance means?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    I'm not sure I understand the question. Any adventitiously different influence would make them more different.

    Aaron and Cal are identical twins. In high school Aaron befriends an extravert in the Drama Club and Cal befriends an introvert in the Chess Club. Aaron becomes more extraverted and Cal more introverted. Which twin befriends which alternative is (assumed to be) pretty much a coin toss.

    [And if Aaron's friend also turns out to be homosexual...]

  137. @dc.sunsets

    This includes expensive schools, nice homes, strict discipline, religious indoctrination – none of it matters.
     
    None of it matters to behavioral traits.

    It does matter in specific ways too numerous to list. An axiom of LIFE is, "Everything we do becomes a part of us." Parental guidance during adolescence can and should work to protect kids from exercising youthful folly.

    Insuring your kid is unable to fully engage in risk taking excess can help them live to outgrown the immature assessment of danger common in teens.

    Specific events in our lives make a huge difference.

    None of it matters to behavioral traits.

    It does matter in specific ways too numerous to list. An axiom of LIFE is, “Everything we do becomes a part of us.”

    If it becomes part of us, it constitutes a behaviorial trait. (You really can’t have it both ways.) Jayman, it seems to me, equivocates on whether a behaviorial trait is any behavioral description or one of the general “traits of personality.” (Where to draw the line should be of concern.) But in fact literally every behavioral trait (in the second sense) is (probably) heritable. But some obviously are transmitted substantially by family environment.

    [Example. "Honesty" is probably devoid of familial influence. But "mannerliness" - it would be surprising indeed if families didn't differentially inculcate manners.]

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    You missed my point.

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn't a behavioral trait.

    Behavior and experiences are two different things.

    A woman can be low on the spectrum of novelty-seeking but if she gets married at 25 having had two prior "adult" relationships, she's not likely chaste. If she got married out of the first relationship, she would have been. (This applies to men, as well.) Is her behavior different? I don't see why I'd expect it to be.

    My point: Events matter, and become part of what we must work with forever. Behaviors, however, are HOW we operate in the presence of the past. It's the difference between data in a warehouse and the software that utilizes it. The data isn't the software instructions.

    My quibble with Jayman's claim that "parenting doesn't matter" is that if he believed this, he'd let his kids do whatever the heck they wanted. After all, "parenting doesn't matter," and if his son was slated to grow up into a self-controlled man, good household discipline didn't teach him squat, while zero discipline won't spoil him, and a zero discipline household wouldn't hurt him.

    Seriously? Bull.

    I'd believe that if I saw it. Having raised three kids, I damn well know better.

    "Parenting doesn't matter" is a statement only an ideologue lacking experience could maintain. I wonder how many kids raised in an "anything goes" home live to see adulthood (where presumably cease expression of teenage stupidity.)
  138. @Stephen R. Diamond
    Anyone can tell anyone "what to do" about anything. It's called free speech. What's not necessarily legal is selling that advice.

    You are trying to portray (and have convinced yourself that) anyone who offers free advice of the sort for which you charge an arm and a leg is a criminal. You are really a rather despicable person.

    “Anyone can tell anyone “what to do” about anything. It’s called free speech. What’s not necessarily legal is selling that advice.”

    If someone gives advice to one with diabetes, re lifestyle advice, then that’s illegal. That’s giving medical advice.

    “You are trying to portray (and have convinced yourself that) anyone who offers free advice of the sort for which you charge an arm and a leg is a criminal. You are really a rather despicable person.”

    Not a criminal, just giving “advice” that only trained professionals are to give under certain pretexts. This is why last history, current diet and exercise regimen, etc are taken into account before professional advice is given. One may be a layman but think he had the knowledge to give lifestyle advice to someone with, say, type II diabetes, but that advice may be horrible for that specific person in that specific situation.

    My prices are fair and I’m cheaper than most. I don’t keep clients for long I want a revolving door of people to help as many people as possible while following up on people I’ve worked with in the past.

    Read More
  139. @JayMan

    One complex thing the 30% could be (I’d guess it is) has to do with the social networks outside the family one adventitiously enters into.
     
    Why would that serve to make identical twins growing up together more different, which is what that left over variance means?

    I’m not sure I understand the question. Any adventitiously different influence would make them more different.

    Aaron and Cal are identical twins. In high school Aaron befriends an extravert in the Drama Club and Cal befriends an introvert in the Chess Club. Aaron becomes more extraverted and Cal more introverted. Which twin befriends which alternative is (assumed to be) pretty much a coin toss.

    [And if Aaron's friend also turns out to be homosexual...]

    Read More
  140. Art says:

    Free will doesn’t exist

    (Sarcasm On)

    Disabled Bitches and Bastards of America (DBBA)

    Hear us America – we are your bad people. We are the bitches and bastards who every day abuse your goodness. We are your liars and conmen, your swindles and thieves, your rapists and murderers, your lawyers and game wardens, your politicians and generals, your Jews and Jihadists, your KKK and Nazis.

    For 26,000 years you good folks have wrongly looked down on us, jailed us, hung us, ostracized us, and banished us.

    Now we learn that we have no fee will. We are bad because of our genetic make-up. With no free will we cannot help ourselves – we are stuck being what we are – we are disabled – it has always been so. We are the ultimate disabled group. How can you be so cruel to us?

    We are the greatest victims of mankind ever. You owe us bigtime – we demand reparations from your government. We are going to become the strongest lobby in America. We have the conning, knowhow, and money to do it. We will bury you in shame – you will be our Stockholm victims.

    Yours, Disabled Bitches and Bastards of America — (DBBA)

    p.s. Thank god for college professors.

    (Sarcasm Off)

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  141. Jim says:
    @anon
    You are, as the saying goes, 'not even wrong' about free will.
    Because free will is not a scientifically identifiable quality. It's simply a description of the way it feels to humans as they go about their business and make decisions. We are complex creatures, and have, as Daniel Dennett puts it, 'all the free will we need' in order to be held responsible for our actions.

    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will. But it’s hard from a scientific perspective to see how an autonomous will can be a true cause of any behavior.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will.
     
    Do you have any interest in affecting their future behavior? If so, not so odd a notion after all.
  142. Jim says:
    @nickels
    'Identical twins raised apart will be similar – and usually highly similar in every conceivable measurement'

    This proves nothing.
    First, i challenge you science worshipers to understand the brain and how it functions (you don't and you can't).
    Second, describe to me how the gene's manifest the brain organization from the first task (you can't--scientist don't have a clue hiw DNA works beyond building protiens, snipping them, etc...).

    We don't understand how each soul is assigned its body for the journey in this world. These studies seem to indicate there may be some ties between such souls.

    Now you can criticize my take, but we can both explain the mechanics of our differing theories to the same degree: zero.

    Actually an awful lot of understanding is available about how polynucleotides function in living creatures. I don’t deny that biochemistry is extremely complicated and an awful lot remains to be learned but there have been huge advances in the understanding of biochemical processes over the last 50 years.

    You should read a good text on biochemistry.

    Read More
  143. JayMan says: • Website
    @Jim
    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will. But it's hard from a scientific perspective to see how an autonomous will can be a true cause of any behavior.

    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will.

    Do you have any interest in affecting their future behavior? If so, not so odd a notion after all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    Blaming or praising people as well for example as punishing or rewarding them materially may very well affect people's behavior. It may very well explain how praising or blaming as a human behavior itself arose. But people generally do not conceptualize praise or blame in instrumental terms. They may praise or blame say Julius Caesar for the things he did even though affecting his behavior is no longer relevant.
    , @dc.sunsets
    So parenting does matter?

    [FTR, I found much better success in paying my sons respect (when earned) rather than getting them accustomed to praise, per se. Yes, my sons are part of a lineage of very bright, capable, highly productive people so they were likely to exhibit respect-worthy behaviors and accomplishments. But in my experience, since all successful human relationships are based on mutual respect, getting them accustomed to "trading" in this medium seemed wise...and the results are quite gratifying.]

    PS: I didn't raise girls, but boys are born barbarians. Parents either socialize it out of them (teaching self-control, because the only alternative is "others-control," and they often come with badges, guns and bad attitudes) or they spawn demons on the world at large.

    A male human is the single most dangerous animal on the planet. Spawning a feral one is far worse than mistreating a 90 lb pitbull terrier.
  144. Jim says:
    @JayMan

    ‘Correlation does not equal causation.’

    Proceeds to write an entire article of statistical mumbo jumbo (zero understanding of mechanics) that does nothing but try to argue correlation is causation.
     

    This one is sort of fair.

    The answer is that there are times when it's OK to infer causation from correlation. One reason in this case is because the various environmental factors couldn't have caused genes. So the causal arrow couldn't have run in that direction. That and other evidence (e.g., studies demonstrating the validity of twin studies, such as misclassified twin studies and doppleganger studies, in addition to adoption studies and modern genomic quantification studies) demonstrate the causal role of genes.

    Hume famously argued that correlation and causation are identical. Hume’s critics were quick to point out the flaws of this view. For example correlation is a symmetrical relation whereas causation is not. But Hume’s insight is important. Correlation is the only empirical aspect of causation. The rest of causation is metaphysics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @helena
    Isn't the point that correlations attach themselves to causes - I was taught that when incomes rise the consumption of televisions and toilet paper goes up (in the 1980s anyway). But there is no causal link between TV and toilet. The causal link is, income to toilet and income to TV. i.e. watching TV doesn't make one use the toilet more. Although perhaps that isn't even true! After all, TV encourages snacking. But I digress. Perhaps another example would have been less confusing.
  145. Jim says:
    @JayMan

    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will.
     
    Do you have any interest in affecting their future behavior? If so, not so odd a notion after all.

    Blaming or praising people as well for example as punishing or rewarding them materially may very well affect people’s behavior. It may very well explain how praising or blaming as a human behavior itself arose. But people generally do not conceptualize praise or blame in instrumental terms. They may praise or blame say Julius Caesar for the things he did even though affecting his behavior is no longer relevant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    But people generally do not conceptualize praise or blame in instrumental terms. They may praise or blame say Julius Caesar for the things he did even though affecting his behavior is no longer relevant.
     
    Affecting other people's behavior is, though.
  146. Jim says:
    @PennTothal
    "Free will doesn't exist" -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.

    His conclusions cannot be considered the thoughtful result of careful study and judgement to discern true facts from false. Rather, they are the inevitable and inescapable result of his biology, determined only by genes and other inescapable material forces.

    Free will exists but is often constrained by biological factors to a degree not widely appreciated in society. JayMan is doing a service in highlighting these forces and the evidence for them. If free will doesn't exist, then JayMan isn't "doing" anything and his posting (and my reply) are meaningless runs of predetermined functions.

    But that JayMan’s views are completely determined by biology doesn’t constitute any evidence against them. How people arrive at their views has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of their views. I could determine my views by throwing darts at a dart board. That doesn’t demonstrate that my views are false.

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.

    Read More
    • Replies: @PennTothal

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.
     
    But it still renders meaningless JayMan's action of posting his views here.

    If we are all nodes in a deterministic matrix, rather than independent beings (minds / souls/ whatever you prefer), then what effect will JayMan's words here have on our biologically-predetermined views on the subject?
  147. Jim says:
    @JayMan

    “Free will doesn’t exist” -JayMan

    If there is no such thing as free will, then JayMay is 100% biologically determined to hold the opinions he holds, and forced by biology to form the conclusions he has shared here is this blog post.
     

    Even if behavior was 100% environmentally determined, there would still be no free will.

    Actually environmental determinism would create exactly the same problem about praise or blame. I might be a vicious thug because my genetic endowment strongly predisposes me to vicious behavior or I might be a vicious thug because I was grossly abused as a child. To many people, probably most, it wouldn’t seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.

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    • Replies: @JayMan

    To many people, probably most, it wouldn’t seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.
     
    Well, people are stupid.

    More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior.
  148. The effect of all those things on any behavioral trait or other phenotype is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

    that is pretty incredible if true. just threw all my previous thoughts on the matter into the trash.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Jayman's claim does have some earthshaking implications, but (as I've stressed in a couple of earlier comments) it isn't nearly as strong as the statement that every behavioral trait or phenotype has no variance attributable to family environment.

    This is very obvious. (Perhaps the only reason it isn't obvious to some is the tendency to dismiss obvious counter-examples as trivial.) Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment. (I don't speak it, and the main reason is my family didn't.) If there are no behavioral genetic studies of this phenotype, it is because 1) it is too narrow to be of interest; 2) it is obviously a largely family-environment trait. (But there are likely to be nonobvious example.)

    The claim is striking enough without overstating it to the absurd.

  149. JayMan says: • Website
    @Jim
    Blaming or praising people as well for example as punishing or rewarding them materially may very well affect people's behavior. It may very well explain how praising or blaming as a human behavior itself arose. But people generally do not conceptualize praise or blame in instrumental terms. They may praise or blame say Julius Caesar for the things he did even though affecting his behavior is no longer relevant.

    But people generally do not conceptualize praise or blame in instrumental terms. They may praise or blame say Julius Caesar for the things he did even though affecting his behavior is no longer relevant.

    Affecting other people’s behavior is, though.

    Read More
  150. JayMan says: • Website
    @Jim
    Actually environmental determinism would create exactly the same problem about praise or blame. I might be a vicious thug because my genetic endowment strongly predisposes me to vicious behavior or I might be a vicious thug because I was grossly abused as a child. To many people, probably most, it wouldn't seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.

    To many people, probably most, it wouldn’t seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.

    Well, people are stupid.

    More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior.

    Read More
    • Replies: @helena
    "More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior."

    So what are we trying to do? Are we not evolved?
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Well, people are stupid.
     
    I'd bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act. As with perception, there are inevitable illusions of cognition. What's stupid is elevating an illusion into a doctrine.
  151. helena says:
    @Jim
    Hume famously argued that correlation and causation are identical. Hume's critics were quick to point out the flaws of this view. For example correlation is a symmetrical relation whereas causation is not. But Hume's insight is important. Correlation is the only empirical aspect of causation. The rest of causation is metaphysics.

    Isn’t the point that correlations attach themselves to causes – I was taught that when incomes rise the consumption of televisions and toilet paper goes up (in the 1980s anyway). But there is no causal link between TV and toilet. The causal link is, income to toilet and income to TV. i.e. watching TV doesn’t make one use the toilet more. Although perhaps that isn’t even true! After all, TV encourages snacking. But I digress. Perhaps another example would have been less confusing.

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  152. helena says:
    @JayMan

    To many people, probably most, it wouldn’t seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.
     
    Well, people are stupid.

    More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior.

    “More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior.”

    So what are we trying to do? Are we not evolved?

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    So what are we trying to do? Are we not evolved
     
    Indeed, very good point. The answer is some people evolved to be different than others...
  153. JayMan says: • Website
    @helena
    "More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior."

    So what are we trying to do? Are we not evolved?

    So what are we trying to do? Are we not evolved

    Indeed, very good point. The answer is some people evolved to be different than others…

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  154. @Astuteobservor II

    The effect of all those things on any behavioral trait or other phenotype is nil. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
     
    that is pretty incredible if true. just threw all my previous thoughts on the matter into the trash.

    Jayman’s claim does have some earthshaking implications, but (as I’ve stressed in a couple of earlier comments) it isn’t nearly as strong as the statement that every behavioral trait or phenotype has no variance attributable to family environment.

    This is very obvious. (Perhaps the only reason it isn’t obvious to some is the tendency to dismiss obvious counter-examples as trivial.) Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment. (I don’t speak it, and the main reason is my family didn’t.) If there are no behavioral genetic studies of this phenotype, it is because 1) it is too narrow to be of interest; 2) it is obviously a largely family-environment trait. (But there are likely to be nonobvious example.)

    The claim is striking enough without overstating it to the absurd.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment.
     
    You picked a bad example, since language is one thing that is heavily affected by peers.
  155. @JayMan

    To many people, probably most, it wouldn’t seem to make sense to blame me unless my vicious behavior was the result of the choice of my autonomous will.
     
    Well, people are stupid.

    More to the point, people evolved to create and enforce social rules that allow for a functioning society. Not to understand the deep causes of behavior.

    Well, people are stupid.

    I’d bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act. As with perception, there are inevitable illusions of cognition. What’s stupid is elevating an illusion into a doctrine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    I’d bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act.
     
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity but I don't for a second believe I have free will, since I don't, like everyone else.
  156. JayMan says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond
    Jayman's claim does have some earthshaking implications, but (as I've stressed in a couple of earlier comments) it isn't nearly as strong as the statement that every behavioral trait or phenotype has no variance attributable to family environment.

    This is very obvious. (Perhaps the only reason it isn't obvious to some is the tendency to dismiss obvious counter-examples as trivial.) Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment. (I don't speak it, and the main reason is my family didn't.) If there are no behavioral genetic studies of this phenotype, it is because 1) it is too narrow to be of interest; 2) it is obviously a largely family-environment trait. (But there are likely to be nonobvious example.)

    The claim is striking enough without overstating it to the absurd.

    Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment.

    You picked a bad example, since language is one thing that is heavily affected by peers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    But if we are to speak of behavioral traits or phenotypes generally, we're free not only to speak of 'language' as a trait but also specifically of speaking Swahili. Each language will yield its own partition into familial and peer effects that will be distinct from the average over all languages. (Please correct me if that's wrong.)
  157. JayMan says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Well, people are stupid.
     
    I'd bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act. As with perception, there are inevitable illusions of cognition. What's stupid is elevating an illusion into a doctrine.

    I’d bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act.

    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity but I don’t for a second believe I have free will, since I don’t, like everyone else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity

    How did decision making capacity evolve if there are no decisions to be made?

    And if it's merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?

    What's the benefit in thinking one is making decisions when one is not?

    , @Stephen R. Diamond
    To my thinking, that's rather like saying you don't experience the Muller-Lyer visual illusion because you know it's not veridical. [You mean to tell me you don't feel as though you could do something different from what you in fact do? Maybe you have evolved differently!]
  158. @Jim
    But that JayMan's views are completely determined by biology doesn't constitute any evidence against them. How people arrive at their views has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of their views. I could determine my views by throwing darts at a dart board. That doesn't demonstrate that my views are false.

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.

    But it still renders meaningless JayMan’s action of posting his views here.

    If we are all nodes in a deterministic matrix, rather than independent beings (minds / souls/ whatever you prefer), then what effect will JayMan’s words here have on our biologically-predetermined views on the subject?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin
    Whether JayMan's word will or will not have any effects had been predetermined.
    The fact that JayMan will post his article was predetermined by the time of Big Bang, and so were your complaints about it.

    Whoever Allah guides - he is the [rightly] guided; and whoever He sends astray - it is those who are the losers.

    https://quran.com/7/178
  159. @Wizard of Oz
    The delightful little book "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" by Carlo Rovelli says in a supplementary chapter "To be free doesn't mean that our behaviour is not determined by the laws of nature. It means that it is determined by the laws of nature acting in our brains". As he puts it "I decide" because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the ehole complex of my neurons decides..

    It is interesting to make this kind of rationality fit with the social and legal reasoning by which we decide to attribute responsibility for what we take to be intentional acts. One could start by noting that sn exculpation on the ground that someone spiked a non dtinker's drink before he killed someone is, in Rovelli's terms, the result of someone adding something to the billions of neurons and their connections which "I" had nothing to do with.

    <<As [Rovelli] puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the whole complex of my neurons decides.>>

    So now neurons “decide”? Can anybody explain to me by which “laws” the pixels on my computer screen that represented the quoted sentence caused my neurons to cause themselves to move my fingers to type a reply to the quoted sentence? Is there any doubt about the fact that the sentence and the reply to it are as incomprehensible to my neurons as they are to my fingers? Are we supposed to assume that neurons are capable of “understanding”, “thinking” and “self-criticism”?
    But then, what’s the point of neuronizing yourself, if you must humanize neurons even to pretend to be able to express yourself meaningfully?

    What would be a scientific demonstration of the thesis “Free will does not exist”?
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of another person’s brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? No, it would not. In order to set up and run a scientific experiment, he would have to be able to control certain parameters at will. If he had no free will, he would not be able to do so. His experiment would merely demonstrate his free will in addition to his power to override the other person’s will.
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of his own brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? To ask the question is to answer it.
    Are we, then, supposed to take it as Gospel truth that science and scientific experiments are impossible (because free will does not exist)?

    All that Jayman and Rovelli are entitled to conclude is that many, perhaps most people are weak-willed most of the time. But, surely, that is hardly a discovery of modern science.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I hear what you say. Now please tackle the quote from Rovelli beginning "To be free doesn't mean......".

    Do you disagree with him?
    , @helena
    https://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/free-will/

    I went to a lecture by Susan and she demonstrated that our brains think before our minds know what they have thought. I can't remember what we did exactly. The audience was divided into groups and we each had to think something and there was a time element ...it was very convincing even if this isn't!

    , @nickels
    The experiment one should try to determine the extent of modern man's understanding of intelligence and free will is to go talk to one of the more advanced 'bots' that people have on the internet.

    This immediately will banish any delusions that brilliant modern genius science man has any clue either how the brain, cognition, free will, or intelligence works.
  160. iffen says:
    @JayMan

    I’d bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act.
     
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity but I don't for a second believe I have free will, since I don't, like everyone else.

    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity

    How did decision making capacity evolve if there are no decisions to be made?

    And if it’s merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?

    What’s the benefit in thinking one is making decisions when one is not?

    Read More
    • Replies: @helena
    Think of free will like the person who announces trains arriving at the station (do you have that in USA?). Most of the time the announcer announces the right trains. But they are not his personal trains or schedules. Sometimes somebody might misunderstand the schedule and announce the wrong trains - i.e. sometimes people simply make the wrong decisions, their wires are literally crossed. Free will is a tool produced by the functioning of the complex organism to enable it to function at that level of complexity. Say what? No me neither, God.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    And if it’s merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?
     
    Important question. But remember that not every evolved trait has a direct benefit, some being byproducts of accomplishing other purposes. Think visual illusions, like the Muller-Lyer. (Or to take a common example, the fact that we have 10 fingers and 10 toes, despite there being no reason to think the same number of minor appendages are optimal for both types of subappendages.)

    I see two main possibilities. One is that the illusion of free will evolved to support the practices of praising and blaming. This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will. [Something like this was the basis for Albert Ellis's rational-emotive psychotherapy.]

    The other is that the illusion of free will developed by a classical conditioning process operating on the sense of effort and behavior. This results in mistaking the sense of effort for the cause of the behavior. I develop the latter in Why Free Will? - http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-how-and-why-of-free-will.html

    Some philosophers have sketched a version of free will that is deterministic. The Wizard of Oz alludes to one such effort by a physicist, and Jayman says some free will concepts are useful. This is called compatibilism, which I think involves a fairly subtle confusion but which probably needs here to be distinguished from voluntarism, which is the object of Jayman's contempt. But the philosophical refutation of voluntarism (as opposed to that of compatibilism) is very simple. The doctrine is incoherent because, of the two logical possibilities, determinism and randomness, voluntarist free will can be neither and be true to its concept. It's incoherence (like that of qualia, which I wonder whether Jayman will admit he experiences) doesn't stop us from feeling as though we have it when we act.
  161. @JayMan

    1. That severe neglect or abuse can have profound affects on a child is well documented and denied by few, if any.
     
    Don't be so sure. See the Fifth Law above.

    Unless we're talking actual brain damage, I wouldn't say that.


    It seems to me that we might profit from realizing that, while it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically discuss things we cannot quantify
     
    Every single thing in the universe can be quantified! That includes human behavioral traits.

    I think it was from Steven Pinker’s “How the Mind Works” about 20 years ago that I picked up reference to and quoting of Judith Rich Harris’s work concluding that genes counted for about 50 per cent of personality (behavioural manifestations I assume), peers [presumably including close siblings] for 45 per cent and parents about 5 per cent. I seem to remember David Rowe coming into it also.

    Is there more up to date research you would care to cite? Is what I have quoted/cited compatible with your findings?

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  162. @S.H.A.Prodi
    <<As [Rovelli] puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the whole complex of my neurons decides.>>

    So now neurons "decide"? Can anybody explain to me by which "laws" the pixels on my computer screen that represented the quoted sentence caused my neurons to cause themselves to move my fingers to type a reply to the quoted sentence? Is there any doubt about the fact that the sentence and the reply to it are as incomprehensible to my neurons as they are to my fingers? Are we supposed to assume that neurons are capable of "understanding", "thinking" and "self-criticism"?
    But then, what's the point of neuronizing yourself, if you must humanize neurons even to pretend to be able to express yourself meaningfully?

    What would be a scientific demonstration of the thesis "Free will does not exist"?
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of another person's brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? No, it would not. In order to set up and run a scientific experiment, he would have to be able to control certain parameters at will. If he had no free will, he would not be able to do so. His experiment would merely demonstrate his free will in addition to his power to override the other person's will.
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of his own brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? To ask the question is to answer it.
    Are we, then, supposed to take it as Gospel truth that science and scientific experiments are impossible (because free will does not exist)?

    All that Jayman and Rovelli are entitled to conclude is that many, perhaps most people are weak-willed most of the time. But, surely, that is hardly a discovery of modern science.

    I hear what you say. Now please tackle the quote from Rovelli beginning “To be free doesn’t mean……”.

    Do you disagree with him?

    Read More
  163. Darin says:
    @PennTothal

    So it is totally irrelevant how JayMan views were determined.
     
    But it still renders meaningless JayMan's action of posting his views here.

    If we are all nodes in a deterministic matrix, rather than independent beings (minds / souls/ whatever you prefer), then what effect will JayMan's words here have on our biologically-predetermined views on the subject?

    Whether JayMan’s word will or will not have any effects had been predetermined.
    The fact that JayMan will post his article was predetermined by the time of Big Bang, and so were your complaints about it.

    Whoever Allah guides – he is the [rightly] guided; and whoever He sends astray – it is those who are the losers.

    https://quran.com/7/178

    Read More
  164. Kgaard says:

    Hi Jayman … Always like your posts.

    I have spent a lot of time in Costa Rica. When Americans go down there — especially to the hippie compounds — they get super thin. Happens to me every time. Inflammation goes down, my whole body feels better. Costa Rica is a blue zone and reportedly people live longer there.

    Secondly … how does your theory handle the explosion in obesity in the US? Clearly this is insane what is happening. Is it not related to GMOs?

    Tx …

    PS Sorry if you’ve covered this in the comments — I read most of them but not all as there are quite a few now.

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  165. helena says:
    @S.H.A.Prodi
    <<As [Rovelli] puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the whole complex of my neurons decides.>>

    So now neurons "decide"? Can anybody explain to me by which "laws" the pixels on my computer screen that represented the quoted sentence caused my neurons to cause themselves to move my fingers to type a reply to the quoted sentence? Is there any doubt about the fact that the sentence and the reply to it are as incomprehensible to my neurons as they are to my fingers? Are we supposed to assume that neurons are capable of "understanding", "thinking" and "self-criticism"?
    But then, what's the point of neuronizing yourself, if you must humanize neurons even to pretend to be able to express yourself meaningfully?

    What would be a scientific demonstration of the thesis "Free will does not exist"?
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of another person's brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? No, it would not. In order to set up and run a scientific experiment, he would have to be able to control certain parameters at will. If he had no free will, he would not be able to do so. His experiment would merely demonstrate his free will in addition to his power to override the other person's will.
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of his own brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? To ask the question is to answer it.
    Are we, then, supposed to take it as Gospel truth that science and scientific experiments are impossible (because free will does not exist)?

    All that Jayman and Rovelli are entitled to conclude is that many, perhaps most people are weak-willed most of the time. But, surely, that is hardly a discovery of modern science.

    https://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/free-will/

    I went to a lecture by Susan and she demonstrated that our brains think before our minds know what they have thought. I can’t remember what we did exactly. The audience was divided into groups and we each had to think something and there was a time element …it was very convincing even if this isn’t!

    Read More
  166. helena says:
    @iffen
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity

    How did decision making capacity evolve if there are no decisions to be made?

    And if it's merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?

    What's the benefit in thinking one is making decisions when one is not?

    Think of free will like the person who announces trains arriving at the station (do you have that in USA?). Most of the time the announcer announces the right trains. But they are not his personal trains or schedules. Sometimes somebody might misunderstand the schedule and announce the wrong trains – i.e. sometimes people simply make the wrong decisions, their wires are literally crossed. Free will is a tool produced by the functioning of the complex organism to enable it to function at that level of complexity. Say what? No me neither, God.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Yes, but maybe "free will" [note the quotes] is a tool for allowing us to distinguish various actions for socisl or legal purposes. How would you describe their correspondence?
  167. nickels says:
    @S.H.A.Prodi
    <<As [Rovelli] puts it “I decide” because it would be absurd to suppose that I could do something different from what the whole complex of my neurons decides.>>

    So now neurons "decide"? Can anybody explain to me by which "laws" the pixels on my computer screen that represented the quoted sentence caused my neurons to cause themselves to move my fingers to type a reply to the quoted sentence? Is there any doubt about the fact that the sentence and the reply to it are as incomprehensible to my neurons as they are to my fingers? Are we supposed to assume that neurons are capable of "understanding", "thinking" and "self-criticism"?
    But then, what's the point of neuronizing yourself, if you must humanize neurons even to pretend to be able to express yourself meaningfully?

    What would be a scientific demonstration of the thesis "Free will does not exist"?
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of another person's brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? No, it would not. In order to set up and run a scientific experiment, he would have to be able to control certain parameters at will. If he had no free will, he would not be able to do so. His experiment would merely demonstrate his free will in addition to his power to override the other person's will.
    Suppose a neuroscientist succeeds in taking physical control of his own brain. Would that be an empirical, experimental refutation of free will? To ask the question is to answer it.
    Are we, then, supposed to take it as Gospel truth that science and scientific experiments are impossible (because free will does not exist)?

    All that Jayman and Rovelli are entitled to conclude is that many, perhaps most people are weak-willed most of the time. But, surely, that is hardly a discovery of modern science.

    The experiment one should try to determine the extent of modern man’s understanding of intelligence and free will is to go talk to one of the more advanced ‘bots’ that people have on the internet.

    This immediately will banish any delusions that brilliant modern genius science man has any clue either how the brain, cognition, free will, or intelligence works.

    Read More
  168. c matt says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "Indeed, we see this with health and lifestyle: people who exercise more have fewer/later health problems and live longer, so naturally conventional wisdom interprets this to mean that exercise leads to health and longer life, when in reality healthy people are driven to exercise and have better health due to their genes."

    So in Jayman's world, diet and exercise has absolutely no benefits?

    Also what do you know about behavioral therapy?

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263194/

    I've used these guidelines with great success for people.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it's genetic anyway?

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/07/30/diet-and-exercise-dont-do-it/

    This doesn't even touch on obesogenic environments and the food reward hypothesis. I may get into that later.

    Would you say not to diet and exercise because in the end it’s genetic anyway?

    I am not sure what he is saying. The only thing I could see as plausible is that diet and exercise will have differing effects/levels of success based upon genetic predisposition. Subject A, who follows the same diet/exercise regimen as subject B, may have better results (higher muscle gain/fat loss, etc.) than subject B due to genes. Still, subject B who diets and exercises will be better off than subject B who doesn’t.

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  169. @Stephen R. Diamond

    None of it matters to behavioral traits.

    It does matter in specific ways too numerous to list. An axiom of LIFE is, “Everything we do becomes a part of us.”
     
    If it becomes part of us, it constitutes a behaviorial trait. (You really can't have it both ways.) Jayman, it seems to me, equivocates on whether a behaviorial trait is any behavioral description or one of the general "traits of personality." (Where to draw the line should be of concern.) But in fact literally every behavioral trait (in the second sense) is (probably) heritable. But some obviously are transmitted substantially by family environment.

    [Example. "Honesty" is probably devoid of familial influence. But "mannerliness" - it would be surprising indeed if families didn't differentially inculcate manners.]

    You missed my point.

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn’t a behavioral trait.

    Behavior and experiences are two different things.

    A woman can be low on the spectrum of novelty-seeking but if she gets married at 25 having had two prior “adult” relationships, she’s not likely chaste. If she got married out of the first relationship, she would have been. (This applies to men, as well.) Is her behavior different? I don’t see why I’d expect it to be.

    My point: Events matter, and become part of what we must work with forever. Behaviors, however, are HOW we operate in the presence of the past. It’s the difference between data in a warehouse and the software that utilizes it. The data isn’t the software instructions.

    My quibble with Jayman’s claim that “parenting doesn’t matter” is that if he believed this, he’d let his kids do whatever the heck they wanted. After all, “parenting doesn’t matter,” and if his son was slated to grow up into a self-controlled man, good household discipline didn’t teach him squat, while zero discipline won’t spoil him, and a zero discipline household wouldn’t hurt him.

    Seriously? Bull.

    I’d believe that if I saw it. Having raised three kids, I damn well know better.

    “Parenting doesn’t matter” is a statement only an ideologue lacking experience could maintain. I wonder how many kids raised in an “anything goes” home live to see adulthood (where presumably cease expression of teenage stupidity.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark F.
    Parents are responsible for keeping their kids healthy and safe. However, my parents didn't have too many rules for me. But I had no desire to smoke, shoplift, have sex with girls, be a juvenile delinquent or not attend school, so any rules they had against such things were irrelevant.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn’t a behavioral trait.
     
    Sure it is. And I'm confident it's heritable.
  170. @JayMan

    Blaming or praising people for their behavior seems to depend on some notion of an autonomous will.
     
    Do you have any interest in affecting their future behavior? If so, not so odd a notion after all.

    So parenting does matter?

    [FTR, I found much better success in paying my sons respect (when earned) rather than getting them accustomed to praise, per se. Yes, my sons are part of a lineage of very bright, capable, highly productive people so they were likely to exhibit respect-worthy behaviors and accomplishments. But in my experience, since all successful human relationships are based on mutual respect, getting them accustomed to "trading" in this medium seemed wise...and the results are quite gratifying.]

    PS: I didn’t raise girls, but boys are born barbarians. Parents either socialize it out of them (teaching self-control, because the only alternative is “others-control,” and they often come with badges, guns and bad attitudes) or they spawn demons on the world at large.

    A male human is the single most dangerous animal on the planet. Spawning a feral one is far worse than mistreating a 90 lb pitbull terrier.

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    • Replies: @Mark F.
    The idea that parents can necessarily teach "self-control" is nonsense. I have two younger brothers who have very little self-control and very short time horizons, despite my parents' best efforts.
  171. Mark F. says:
    @dc.sunsets
    You missed my point.

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn't a behavioral trait.

    Behavior and experiences are two different things.

    A woman can be low on the spectrum of novelty-seeking but if she gets married at 25 having had two prior "adult" relationships, she's not likely chaste. If she got married out of the first relationship, she would have been. (This applies to men, as well.) Is her behavior different? I don't see why I'd expect it to be.

    My point: Events matter, and become part of what we must work with forever. Behaviors, however, are HOW we operate in the presence of the past. It's the difference between data in a warehouse and the software that utilizes it. The data isn't the software instructions.

    My quibble with Jayman's claim that "parenting doesn't matter" is that if he believed this, he'd let his kids do whatever the heck they wanted. After all, "parenting doesn't matter," and if his son was slated to grow up into a self-controlled man, good household discipline didn't teach him squat, while zero discipline won't spoil him, and a zero discipline household wouldn't hurt him.

    Seriously? Bull.

    I'd believe that if I saw it. Having raised three kids, I damn well know better.

    "Parenting doesn't matter" is a statement only an ideologue lacking experience could maintain. I wonder how many kids raised in an "anything goes" home live to see adulthood (where presumably cease expression of teenage stupidity.)

    Parents are responsible for keeping their kids healthy and safe. However, my parents didn’t have too many rules for me. But I had no desire to smoke, shoplift, have sex with girls, be a juvenile delinquent or not attend school, so any rules they had against such things were irrelevant.

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  172. Mark F. says:
    @dc.sunsets
    So parenting does matter?

    [FTR, I found much better success in paying my sons respect (when earned) rather than getting them accustomed to praise, per se. Yes, my sons are part of a lineage of very bright, capable, highly productive people so they were likely to exhibit respect-worthy behaviors and accomplishments. But in my experience, since all successful human relationships are based on mutual respect, getting them accustomed to "trading" in this medium seemed wise...and the results are quite gratifying.]

    PS: I didn't raise girls, but boys are born barbarians. Parents either socialize it out of them (teaching self-control, because the only alternative is "others-control," and they often come with badges, guns and bad attitudes) or they spawn demons on the world at large.

    A male human is the single most dangerous animal on the planet. Spawning a feral one is far worse than mistreating a 90 lb pitbull terrier.

    The idea that parents can necessarily teach “self-control” is nonsense. I have two younger brothers who have very little self-control and very short time horizons, despite my parents’ best efforts.

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  173. expeedee says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I learn so much from all of you and I especially like the fact that most commenters focus on substance rather than personal attacks. Raising my own children, I have concluded that the variations in their behavioral traits are largely genetic coupled with their unshared environments which they had an innate propensity to select.

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  174. @helena
    Think of free will like the person who announces trains arriving at the station (do you have that in USA?). Most of the time the announcer announces the right trains. But they are not his personal trains or schedules. Sometimes somebody might misunderstand the schedule and announce the wrong trains - i.e. sometimes people simply make the wrong decisions, their wires are literally crossed. Free will is a tool produced by the functioning of the complex organism to enable it to function at that level of complexity. Say what? No me neither, God.

    Yes, but maybe “free will” [note the quotes] is a tool for allowing us to distinguish various actions for socisl or legal purposes. How would you describe their correspondence?

    Read More
    • Replies: @helena
    If I understand you, yes there has to be a working definition of free will. It's like The Truman Show producers deciding how to run Truman's life. We have the ability to decide how we will run society, what is legitimate and what mitigating circumstances are allowed. In fact the whole liberal debate hinges on this. How many excuses can liberals come up with for gangs - austerity, closure of youth centres, lack of role models, institutional racism, single mothers, absent fathers, poverty, peer-group pressure - ? Free will is only going to be the product of the organism so if as hbders suggest there may be a lower level of 'future orientation', then in that case 'free will' will operate on a shorter time scale. Have I gone off topic?
  175. @JayMan

    I’d bet that you, Jayman, believe in your own free will whenever you act.
     
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity but I don't for a second believe I have free will, since I don't, like everyone else.

    To my thinking, that’s rather like saying you don’t experience the Muller-Lyer visual illusion because you know it’s not veridical. [You mean to tell me you don't feel as though you could do something different from what you in fact do? Maybe you have evolved differently!]

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  176. @iffen
    I believe I have judgment and decision making capacity

    How did decision making capacity evolve if there are no decisions to be made?

    And if it's merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?

    What's the benefit in thinking one is making decisions when one is not?

    And if it’s merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?

    Important question. But remember that not every evolved trait has a direct benefit, some being byproducts of accomplishing other purposes. Think visual illusions, like the Muller-Lyer. (Or to take a common example, the fact that we have 10 fingers and 10 toes, despite there being no reason to think the same number of minor appendages are optimal for both types of subappendages.)

    I see two main possibilities. One is that the illusion of free will evolved to support the practices of praising and blaming. This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will. [Something like this was the basis for Albert Ellis's rational-emotive psychotherapy.]

    The other is that the illusion of free will developed by a classical conditioning process operating on the sense of effort and behavior. This results in mistaking the sense of effort for the cause of the behavior. I develop the latter in Why Free Will?http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-how-and-why-of-free-will.html

    Some philosophers have sketched a version of free will that is deterministic. The Wizard of Oz alludes to one such effort by a physicist, and Jayman says some free will concepts are useful. This is called compatibilism, which I think involves a fairly subtle confusion but which probably needs here to be distinguished from voluntarism, which is the object of Jayman’s contempt. But the philosophical refutation of voluntarism (as opposed to that of compatibilism) is very simple. The doctrine is incoherent because, of the two logical possibilities, determinism and randomness, voluntarist free will can be neither and be true to its concept. It’s incoherence (like that of qualia, which I wonder whether Jayman will admit he experiences) doesn’t stop us from feeling as though we have it when we act.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will.

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless in getting rid of people whose behaviors earned disapproval? It's okay to kill them off because they are to blame for what they did.
  177. helena says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Yes, but maybe "free will" [note the quotes] is a tool for allowing us to distinguish various actions for socisl or legal purposes. How would you describe their correspondence?

    If I understand you, yes there has to be a working definition of free will. It’s like The Truman Show producers deciding how to run Truman’s life. We have the ability to decide how we will run society, what is legitimate and what mitigating circumstances are allowed. In fact the whole liberal debate hinges on this. How many excuses can liberals come up with for gangs – austerity, closure of youth centres, lack of role models, institutional racism, single mothers, absent fathers, poverty, peer-group pressure – ? Free will is only going to be the product of the organism so if as hbders suggest there may be a lower level of ‘future orientation’, then in that case ‘free will’ will operate on a shorter time scale. Have I gone off topic?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I think a future orientation which is short term for genetic or other congenital reasons certainly has to be considered relevant to some aspect(s) of our assessments of an individual when we consider how the billions of neuronal connections in his head have led to his decisions. That's ttue particularly if we put protection of other people well before retributive emotions and huffing and puffing about "evil".
  178. @dc.sunsets
    You missed my point.

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn't a behavioral trait.

    Behavior and experiences are two different things.

    A woman can be low on the spectrum of novelty-seeking but if she gets married at 25 having had two prior "adult" relationships, she's not likely chaste. If she got married out of the first relationship, she would have been. (This applies to men, as well.) Is her behavior different? I don't see why I'd expect it to be.

    My point: Events matter, and become part of what we must work with forever. Behaviors, however, are HOW we operate in the presence of the past. It's the difference between data in a warehouse and the software that utilizes it. The data isn't the software instructions.

    My quibble with Jayman's claim that "parenting doesn't matter" is that if he believed this, he'd let his kids do whatever the heck they wanted. After all, "parenting doesn't matter," and if his son was slated to grow up into a self-controlled man, good household discipline didn't teach him squat, while zero discipline won't spoil him, and a zero discipline household wouldn't hurt him.

    Seriously? Bull.

    I'd believe that if I saw it. Having raised three kids, I damn well know better.

    "Parenting doesn't matter" is a statement only an ideologue lacking experience could maintain. I wonder how many kids raised in an "anything goes" home live to see adulthood (where presumably cease expression of teenage stupidity.)

    Not getting killed in a car crash is part of my past, but it sure as heck isn’t a behavioral trait.

    Sure it is. And I’m confident it’s heritable.

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  179. @JayMan

    Look, speaking the Swahili language is a phenotype, yet it is primarily determined by family environment.
     
    You picked a bad example, since language is one thing that is heavily affected by peers.

    But if we are to speak of behavioral traits or phenotypes generally, we’re free not only to speak of ‘language’ as a trait but also specifically of speaking Swahili. Each language will yield its own partition into familial and peer effects that will be distinct from the average over all languages. (Please correct me if that’s wrong.)

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  180. @helena
    If I understand you, yes there has to be a working definition of free will. It's like The Truman Show producers deciding how to run Truman's life. We have the ability to decide how we will run society, what is legitimate and what mitigating circumstances are allowed. In fact the whole liberal debate hinges on this. How many excuses can liberals come up with for gangs - austerity, closure of youth centres, lack of role models, institutional racism, single mothers, absent fathers, poverty, peer-group pressure - ? Free will is only going to be the product of the organism so if as hbders suggest there may be a lower level of 'future orientation', then in that case 'free will' will operate on a shorter time scale. Have I gone off topic?

    I think a future orientation which is short term for genetic or other congenital reasons certainly has to be considered relevant to some aspect(s) of our assessments of an individual when we consider how the billions of neuronal connections in his head have led to his decisions. That’s ttue particularly if we put protection of other people well before retributive emotions and huffing and puffing about “evil”.

    Read More
  181. iffen says:

    With the limited faculties available to me, I have considered the current comments, past comments, readings on the subject and the Jayman’s writings and I am ready to “switch” sides.

    The problem that I have now is that I apparently can’t make the choice to write, “I have no free will.”

    I did not choose to write the previous sentence and I deny and denounce whoever or whatever it was that made me type it.

    I can now “see” that I don’t have free will, I just can’t, can’t …

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    I did not choose to write the previous sentence and I deny and denounce whoever or whatever it was that made me type it.
     
    After you wrote this (if not before - in which case it was a joke), you probably realized that the same logic (if valid) would preclude you from denying or denouncing, as these behaviors too involve "choice."

    But perhaps you are onto something. Belief isn't something you choose, but something that happens to you.
  182. iffen says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    And if it’s merely an illusion of capacity where is the benefit to the illusion?
     
    Important question. But remember that not every evolved trait has a direct benefit, some being byproducts of accomplishing other purposes. Think visual illusions, like the Muller-Lyer. (Or to take a common example, the fact that we have 10 fingers and 10 toes, despite there being no reason to think the same number of minor appendages are optimal for both types of subappendages.)

    I see two main possibilities. One is that the illusion of free will evolved to support the practices of praising and blaming. This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will. [Something like this was the basis for Albert Ellis's rational-emotive psychotherapy.]

    The other is that the illusion of free will developed by a classical conditioning process operating on the sense of effort and behavior. This results in mistaking the sense of effort for the cause of the behavior. I develop the latter in Why Free Will? - http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-how-and-why-of-free-will.html

    Some philosophers have sketched a version of free will that is deterministic. The Wizard of Oz alludes to one such effort by a physicist, and Jayman says some free will concepts are useful. This is called compatibilism, which I think involves a fairly subtle confusion but which probably needs here to be distinguished from voluntarism, which is the object of Jayman's contempt. But the philosophical refutation of voluntarism (as opposed to that of compatibilism) is very simple. The doctrine is incoherent because, of the two logical possibilities, determinism and randomness, voluntarist free will can be neither and be true to its concept. It's incoherence (like that of qualia, which I wonder whether Jayman will admit he experiences) doesn't stop us from feeling as though we have it when we act.

    This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will.

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless in getting rid of people whose behaviors earned disapproval? It’s okay to kill them off because they are to blame for what they did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless...
     
    Except, if this theory is right, the sense of blame logically depends on the concept of free will; the concept that created blame can't be its cause. However, apart from any sense of blame, it is amazingly hard for most humans to kill another human. So substitute for "feel blameless," "feel praiseworthy."
  183. @iffen
    With the limited faculties available to me, I have considered the current comments, past comments, readings on the subject and the Jayman's writings and I am ready to "switch" sides.

    The problem that I have now is that I apparently can't make the choice to write, "I have no free will."

    I did not choose to write the previous sentence and I deny and denounce whoever or whatever it was that made me type it.

    I can now "see" that I don't have free will, I just can't, can't ...

    I did not choose to write the previous sentence and I deny and denounce whoever or whatever it was that made me type it.

    After you wrote this (if not before – in which case it was a joke), you probably realized that the same logic (if valid) would preclude you from denying or denouncing, as these behaviors too involve “choice.”

    But perhaps you are onto something. Belief isn’t something you choose, but something that happens to you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I actually have "changed my mind", but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.

    I like the idea that the concept of free will or agency allows us to pick and choose which behaviors we will reward or punish. We can see that what is granted agency and to what degree changes over time. We no longer impose capital punishment on animals that kill humans (no pig trials like in the olden days). On the other hand, more and more people have come to believe that blacks do not have agency and should not be held responsible for their behavior (some do have the decency to extend the belief to the lower classes of other races).

  184. @iffen
    This is supported by the observation that one seems less likely to experience the sense of blame when one thoroughly (as thoroughly as possible for humans, that is) rejects the existence of free will.

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless in getting rid of people whose behaviors earned disapproval? It's okay to kill them off because they are to blame for what they did.

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless…

    Except, if this theory is right, the sense of blame logically depends on the concept of free will; the concept that created blame can’t be its cause. However, apart from any sense of blame, it is amazingly hard for most humans to kill another human. So substitute for “feel blameless,” “feel praiseworthy.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless…

    Except, if this theory is right, the sense of blame logically depends on the concept of free will; the concept that created blame can’t be its cause

     

    Not "we".

    We as agents and executioners of what "works" in an evolutionary sense. Assigning blame lets us do what we want against our fellows and do it guilt free.

  185. iffen says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    I did not choose to write the previous sentence and I deny and denounce whoever or whatever it was that made me type it.
     
    After you wrote this (if not before - in which case it was a joke), you probably realized that the same logic (if valid) would preclude you from denying or denouncing, as these behaviors too involve "choice."

    But perhaps you are onto something. Belief isn't something you choose, but something that happens to you.

    I actually have “changed my mind”, but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.

    I like the idea that the concept of free will or agency allows us to pick and choose which behaviors we will reward or punish. We can see that what is granted agency and to what degree changes over time. We no longer impose capital punishment on animals that kill humans (no pig trials like in the olden days). On the other hand, more and more people have come to believe that blacks do not have agency and should not be held responsible for their behavior (some do have the decency to extend the belief to the lower classes of other races).

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    I actually have “changed my mind”, but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.
     
    I don't know how you people came up with the notion that the nonexistence of free will means you can't change your mind or make decisions.

    "Free will" has little to do with freedom of choice. You make decisions "freely." Free will does have something to do with why you make the decisions you do.

  186. Art says:

    The genetic force of “free will” is more important than our lessor genetic traits. Every rational human has one goal – that is to extend their lives. Our rational nature compels us to live on and on. If we think about something we will “freely chose” the path to living longer. We naturally “will ourselves” into making decisions about the future.

    Making rational decisions about tomorrow is the ultimate genetic human trait. It overrides all other human traits. “Willing to get to tomorrow” is the trait the separates us from our fellow species.

    All biological entities have the trait of want to last – our human method of reaching that goal is “free will thinking.”

    Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    All biological entities have the trait of "want to last" – our human method of reaching that goal is “free will thinking.”

    The will to live - is "free will." It is our defining trait.

    Our physical nature, our biological nature, and our intellectual nature drives us forward. Each entity in its own systems of organization, endeavors to go on and on.

    For we humans, the best way to go on and on is to be intellectual free!

    Jesus said it “the truth will set you free” – those are immortal words.

    For those words along – he deserves our love and thanks.

    Peace -- Art
  187. iffen says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless...
     
    Except, if this theory is right, the sense of blame logically depends on the concept of free will; the concept that created blame can't be its cause. However, apart from any sense of blame, it is amazingly hard for most humans to kill another human. So substitute for "feel blameless," "feel praiseworthy."

    So we came up with the concept of free will to enable us to feel blameless…

    Except, if this theory is right, the sense of blame logically depends on the concept of free will; the concept that created blame can’t be its cause

    Not “we”.

    We as agents and executioners of what “works” in an evolutionary sense. Assigning blame lets us do what we want against our fellows and do it guilt free.

    Read More
  188. JayMan says: • Website
    @iffen
    I actually have "changed my mind", but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.

    I like the idea that the concept of free will or agency allows us to pick and choose which behaviors we will reward or punish. We can see that what is granted agency and to what degree changes over time. We no longer impose capital punishment on animals that kill humans (no pig trials like in the olden days). On the other hand, more and more people have come to believe that blacks do not have agency and should not be held responsible for their behavior (some do have the decency to extend the belief to the lower classes of other races).

    I actually have “changed my mind”, but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.

    I don’t know how you people came up with the notion that the nonexistence of free will means you can’t change your mind or make decisions.

    “Free will” has little to do with freedom of choice. You make decisions “freely.” Free will does have something to do with why you make the decisions you do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    When I thought that I had free will I disagreed with you over the existence of free will and its nature.

    Now that I believe that I don't have free will, I disagree with you over the nature of its non-existence.
  189. iffen says:
    @JayMan

    I actually have “changed my mind”, but then my great grandfather knew that I would, rather he made me do it.
     
    I don't know how you people came up with the notion that the nonexistence of free will means you can't change your mind or make decisions.

    "Free will" has little to do with freedom of choice. You make decisions "freely." Free will does have something to do with why you make the decisions you do.

    When I thought that I had free will I disagreed with you over the existence of free will and its nature.

    Now that I believe that I don’t have free will, I disagree with you over the nature of its non-existence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @helena
    Are you seeing the (biochemical) pattern in your approach to (this) discussion?
  190. helena says:
    @iffen
    When I thought that I had free will I disagreed with you over the existence of free will and its nature.

    Now that I believe that I don't have free will, I disagree with you over the nature of its non-existence.

    Are you seeing the (biochemical) pattern in your approach to (this) discussion?

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    No ma'am. If I could see into that black box then I could put my thumb on the outcome that I wanted instead of just taking what I gave myself.
  191. iffen says:
    @helena
    Are you seeing the (biochemical) pattern in your approach to (this) discussion?

    No ma’am. If I could see into that black box then I could put my thumb on the outcome that I wanted instead of just taking what I gave myself.

    Read More
  192. Uiop says:
    @JayMan

    If you zoom in on an individual, then parenting does make a difference.
     
    -

    the only child doing anything like that in her school, which has clearly made her a bit heroic/dangerous in her saturated by Lara/Katnis/Kris peers’ eyes, as opposed to a conscientious academic girl that some girl-clique will inevitably decide to make this months’s
     
    Anecdotal evidence is always the best kind...

    Parents impart skills and knowledge, but what a kid does with such is very much out of the parents' hands.

    SOME parents impart knowledge and skills, you must mean.

    Read More
  193. Art says:
    @Art
    The genetic force of “free will” is more important than our lessor genetic traits. Every rational human has one goal – that is to extend their lives. Our rational nature compels us to live on and on. If we think about something we will “freely chose” the path to living longer. We naturally “will ourselves” into making decisions about the future.

    Making rational decisions about tomorrow is the ultimate genetic human trait. It overrides all other human traits. “Willing to get to tomorrow” is the trait the separates us from our fellow species.

    All biological entities have the trait of want to last – our human method of reaching that goal is “free will thinking.”

    Peace --- Art

    All biological entities have the trait of “want to last” – our human method of reaching that goal is “free will thinking.”

    The will to live – is “free will.” It is our defining trait.

    Our physical nature, our biological nature, and our intellectual nature drives us forward. Each entity in its own systems of organization, endeavors to go on and on.

    For we humans, the best way to go on and on is to be intellectual free!

    Jesus said it “the truth will set you free” – those are immortal words.

    For those words along – he deserves our love and thanks.

    Peace — Art

    Read More
  194. Scotty says:

    Jay,

    Please do me a favor and explain things in more detail. I’ve spoken to another person about your article. She and I both don’t understand what you’re trying to say. And to the extent that we do understand, we find it hard to believe.

    What about religion: Clearly the religion you are born into plays a role in the religion you eventually adopt, right? I know you’ll say the intensity of religion is genetically determined, but I’d just like you to say that, at least, the type of religion one adheres to is not!

    What about suicide rates: I’ve read that Koreans have a very high suicide rate. But Korean American suicide rates are about half as high as the American national average–and so presumably much lower than the Korean average. Aren’t we talking about, in a sense, shared environment here?

    What about education: Suppose a family with one biological child and one adopted child decides to travel the world teaching their children about languages. As a result, both their kids learn Spanish, French, Russian, Flemish, Swahili, and Chinese. If they hadn’t done this, perhaps the child with a propensity toward languages might learn one or two languages at most–assuming he’s an American where learning one or two languages is considered an awesome accomplishment!

    A better example: Why are the Swiss so good with languages but Swiss Americans not so good with languages? Isn’t the fact that they’re Swiss, in a sense, shared environment?

    What good are parents, in your view? What exactly do you think parents do for children? (And what about the Romanian children raised in orphanages–didn’t they have bad outcomes?) And what about sexual and physical abuse–doesn’t this have an effect on outcomes? Suppose identical twins are reared apart–one is abused and one isn’t. Are you saying that they will still be no more different than identical twins raised in non-abusive environments? Which types of environments are you considering so extreme that they should be culled out of the study?

    You got me curious!

    Read More
    • Replies: @JayMan

    Clearly the religion you are born into plays a role in the religion you eventually adopt, right?
     
    Apparently not, given that the shared environment component (the thing that makes people growing up together different from people who didn't, genes considering) is 0. Of course, I'd imagine if you look at it at the global level, you'd find a nonzero C, as you're limited by what's available, but there we are.

    What about suicide rates: I’ve read that Koreans have a very high suicide rate. But Korean American suicide rates are about half as high as the American national average–and so presumably much lower than the Korean average.
     
    The Korean-American rate is about half the South Korean rate.

    First thing to consider is that immigrants aren't a representative slice of their source country. All migration in some way selects for a certain type of people. There's not much more we can say about that.

    Why are the Swiss so good with languages but Swiss Americans not so good with languages?
     
    Is there any data indicating that Swiss Americans have a harder time learning languages than the Swiss?

    Language is heavily affected by your local environment. In particular, your childhood peers appear to be very important to language acquistion.

    What good are parents, in your view? What exactly do you think parents do for children?
     
    They keep their children safe, healthy, and reasonably happy, as well as (yes) educate. Of course, imparting knowledge is different from controlling what the student does with it.

    And what about the Romanian children raised in orphanages–didn’t they have bad outcomes?
     
    Interestingly enough, 80% of such children of Gypsies, and hence not at all representative of typical Romanians.

    And what about sexual and physical abuse–doesn’t this have an effect on outcomes?
     
    Oddly enough, this is unclear (actual permanent physical damage notwithstanding), thanks to the Fifth Law.
  195. JayMan says: • Website
    @Scotty
    Jay,

    Please do me a favor and explain things in more detail. I've spoken to another person about your article. She and I both don't understand what you're trying to say. And to the extent that we do understand, we find it hard to believe.

    What about religion: Clearly the religion you are born into plays a role in the religion you eventually adopt, right? I know you'll say the intensity of religion is genetically determined, but I'd just like you to say that, at least, the type of religion one adheres to is not!

    What about suicide rates: I've read that Koreans have a very high suicide rate. But Korean American suicide rates are about half as high as the American national average--and so presumably much lower than the Korean average. Aren't we talking about, in a sense, shared environment here?

    What about education: Suppose a family with one biological child and one adopted child decides to travel the world teaching their children about languages. As a result, both their kids learn Spanish, French, Russian, Flemish, Swahili, and Chinese. If they hadn't done this, perhaps the child with a propensity toward languages might learn one or two languages at most--assuming he's an American where learning one or two languages is considered an awesome accomplishment!

    A better example: Why are the Swiss so good with languages but Swiss Americans not so good with languages? Isn't the fact that they're Swiss, in a sense, shared environment?

    What good are parents, in your view? What exactly do you think parents do for children? (And what about the Romanian children raised in orphanages--didn't they have bad outcomes?) And what about sexual and physical abuse--doesn't this have an effect on outcomes? Suppose identical twins are reared apart--one is abused and one isn't. Are you saying that they will still be no more different than identical twins raised in non-abusive environments? Which types of environments are you considering so extreme that they should be culled out of the study?

    You got me curious!

    Clearly the religion you are born into plays a role in the religion you eventually adopt, right?

    Apparently not, given that the shared environment component (the thing that makes people growing up together different from people who didn’t, genes considering) is 0. Of course, I’d imagine if you look at it at the global level, you’d find a nonzero C, as you’re limited by what’s available, but there we are.

    What about suicide rates: I’ve read that Koreans have a very high suicide rate. But Korean American suicide rates are about half as high as the American national average–and so presumably much lower than the Korean average.

    The Korean-American rate is about half the South Korean rate.

    First thing to consider is that immigrants aren’t a representative slice of their source country. All migration in some way selects for a certain type of people. There’s not much more we can say about that.

    Why are the Swiss so good with languages but Swiss Americans not so good with languages?

    Is there any data indicating that Swiss Americans have a harder time learning languages than the Swiss?

    Language is heavily affected by your local environment. In particular, your childhood peers appear to be very important to language acquistion.

    What good are parents, in your view? What exactly do you think parents do for children?

    They keep their children safe, healthy, and reasonably happy, as well as (yes) educate. Of course, imparting knowledge is different from controlling what the student does with it.

    And what about the Romanian children raised in orphanages–didn’t they have bad outcomes?

    Interestingly enough, 80% of such children of Gypsies, and hence not at all representative of typical Romanians.

    And what about sexual and physical abuse–doesn’t this have an effect on outcomes?

    Oddly enough, this is unclear (actual permanent physical damage notwithstanding), thanks to the Fifth Law.

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