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Finding the conference location was difficul. The best and most detailed instruction from conference staff was that it was “up the hill”. The hotel porter was more helpful. He said it was up the hill. He also gave me a road name, so I walked up the hill on that road, wondering what the Montreal Neurological Institute might look like, and feeling mildly agitated. At the top of the hill one of the many buildings turned out to be the institute. Inside there were corridors, staircases, a lift, and a raised walk way over a games pitch, but no conference. Finally, after meeting many interesting people, I found a conference hall with familiar faces.

Of course, in retrospect I was visiting a well-known temple of brain research. At the National Hospital, Queen Square, London in the late 60s the talk was all about the work of Wilder Penfield and his brain maps at McGill university. It seemed astounding that a small electric current applied to the brain could often engender a thought, a recollection or déjà vu state. This was real science, against which my psychometric approaches to brain injured children seemed hopelessly imprecise (though it was also a very good measure of the consequences of injury). It should have been a reverential moment, but I could only reflect that the main function of a hospital is to nurse corridors.

We began with a very good talk on brain imaging by the research leader Alan Evans, discussing healthy brains for healthy lives.

https://www.mcgill.ca/neuro/research/researchers/evans

The scope of the subjects studied, including autism, ageing and the usual range of brain disorders is immense, likewise the North American and international network of which it is part. McGill has a unique 3D map of the brain down to a resolution of 20 microns. In Alan’s view the most common damage to the brain is caused by toxic misfolded proteins. Tracking those down, mostly due to genetic disorders, is a health priority. Autism is a brain disorder with multiple sub-types. Very impressive time lapse imaging of the growing infant brain, which comprehensively rewires itself by age 4 years. Looking at it is enough to watch your childhood in fast forward motion. No wonder we remember little of the first four years of life, since it is only at 4 that we have a more fully working brain (though there are more changes to come as development continues). Connectivity is the key, connectivity of white matter, grey matter, and of brain functional regions. Fibre length is crucial, but carries high metabolic cost.

Alan said he was not an intelligence researcher. Nonetheless I told him that he was, and should say which aspect of the brain was most important for those behaviours which we call intelligent. After a pause, his reply: Long range connectivity.

Update: I have just seen the “big brain” in the most agreeable company of the Pinker family mother and daughter. This is one brain which has been sliced at 10 µ level, and assembled slice by slice in a massive project that has taken 6 years to complete. There are 4 large screens: one shows the brain position in 3D and the other 3 screens show the slice in incredible detail. It is like flying through the brain, while also knowing exactly where you are. This gives a benchmark brain against which individual patient brains can be compared, with tremendous accuracy. It has already been used for gamma knife surgery, and will be used for precise stimulation of very discrete brain locations. I could not help but imagine what my research would have been like if we had had this level of accuracy 40 years ago. As I will explain later, the imaging work is closing in fast onto what makes brains differ in mental power.

More to follow.

 
27 Comments to "Montreal's Big Brain"
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  1. res says:

    Connectivity is the key, connectivity of white matter, grey matter, and of brain functional regions. Fibre length is crucial, but carries high metabolic cost.

    … should say which aspect of the brain was most important for those behaviours which we call intelligent. After a pause, his reply: Long range connectivity.

    Interesting. Any thoughts on whether those long range connections might be more sensitive to temporary metabolic insults (e.g. low blood sugar, toxins)? Are they also more sensitive to myelin integrity? Has there been much work at measuring differences in propagating neural action potentials and what affects their integrity over distance? I took this course a while back (interesting, but a bit of math for non-STEM types): https://www.coursera.org/learn/bioelectricity but it took an idealized point of view (e.g. you have a given impedance and ion concentrations, not what causes that impedance and ion concentrations, or membrane permeability etc.).

    My understanding is that myelin integrity is related to both functionality and metabolic cost (e.g. https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7321/full/nature09614.html build vs. operate costs seem like an interesting tradeoff here). Is how the brain regulates its energy expenditure (and what happens to functionality when metabolic limits are approached) well understood? Is there a brain analog to lactic acid in muscles and its effect on performance?

    If there really is a correlation between intelligence (and perhaps even more so creativity) and mental health issues this seems like a worthwhile area to look for explanatory hypotheses.

    When Alan talks about toxic misfolded proteins is he speaking more of those proteins being incorporated in the structure of the brain (for how long?) or as temporary metabolic intermediaries which eventually disperse (e.g. neurotransmitters)? As is probably apparent, I have an interest in trying to understand temporary vs. “permanent” causes of brain dysfunction (and how those two aspects might relate, e.g. a certain structural problem worsening response to toxins).

    Your penultimate sentence is a great teaser.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    Large brains have a huge metabolic cost. People can have IQs in the normal range with chunks of their brain missing as well as having brains in the range of erectus.

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/03/14/brain-size-increased-for-expertise-capacity-not-iq/

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/05/17/traumatic-brain-injury-and-iq/

    http://www.human-existence.com/publications/Skoyles%20Human%20evolution%20expanded%20brains%20expertise%20not%20IQ.pdf

    So large brains aren't needed for IQs in the modern range. Since large brains have a cost, re making it harder to give birth which also has implications for bipedalism, then large brains must have evolved for another reason other than IQ, which is expertise capacity.

    Indeed even taking the .5 correlation between brain size and IQ leaves 75 percent of the variation to be explained. And the capacity for expertise as well as needing a larger brain during our evolutionary history from TBI are part of the cause of our larger brains today.
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  2. @res

    Connectivity is the key, connectivity of white matter, grey matter, and of brain functional regions. Fibre length is crucial, but carries high metabolic cost.

    ... should say which aspect of the brain was most important for those behaviours which we call intelligent. After a pause, his reply: Long range connectivity.
     
    Interesting. Any thoughts on whether those long range connections might be more sensitive to temporary metabolic insults (e.g. low blood sugar, toxins)? Are they also more sensitive to myelin integrity? Has there been much work at measuring differences in propagating neural action potentials and what affects their integrity over distance? I took this course a while back (interesting, but a bit of math for non-STEM types): https://www.coursera.org/learn/bioelectricity but it took an idealized point of view (e.g. you have a given impedance and ion concentrations, not what causes that impedance and ion concentrations, or membrane permeability etc.).

    My understanding is that myelin integrity is related to both functionality and metabolic cost (e.g. https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7321/full/nature09614.html build vs. operate costs seem like an interesting tradeoff here). Is how the brain regulates its energy expenditure (and what happens to functionality when metabolic limits are approached) well understood? Is there a brain analog to lactic acid in muscles and its effect on performance?

    If there really is a correlation between intelligence (and perhaps even more so creativity) and mental health issues this seems like a worthwhile area to look for explanatory hypotheses.

    When Alan talks about toxic misfolded proteins is he speaking more of those proteins being incorporated in the structure of the brain (for how long?) or as temporary metabolic intermediaries which eventually disperse (e.g. neurotransmitters)? As is probably apparent, I have an interest in trying to understand temporary vs. "permanent" causes of brain dysfunction (and how those two aspects might relate, e.g. a certain structural problem worsening response to toxins).

    Your penultimate sentence is a great teaser.

    Large brains have a huge metabolic cost. People can have IQs in the normal range with chunks of their brain missing as well as having brains in the range of erectus.

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/03/14/brain-size-increased-for-expertise-capacity-not-iq/

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2017/05/17/traumatic-brain-injury-and-iq/

    http://www.human-existence.com/publications/Skoyles%20Human%20evolution%20expanded%20brains%20expertise%20not%20IQ.pdf

    So large brains aren’t needed for IQs in the modern range. Since large brains have a cost, re making it harder to give birth which also has implications for bipedalism, then large brains must have evolved for another reason other than IQ, which is expertise capacity.

    Indeed even taking the .5 correlation between brain size and IQ leaves 75 percent of the variation to be explained. And the capacity for expertise as well as needing a larger brain during our evolutionary history from TBI are part of the cause of our larger brains today.

    Read More
  3. “As I will explain later, the imaging work is closing in fast onto what makes brains differ in mental power.”

    May there be a chance to actually form a theory of individual intelligence differences?

    Dr. Thompson, question. What do you think about Ken Richardson’s research on intelligent systems?

    The rise of intelligence was vital to evolution; the ability to process and predict rapidly changing environments allowed increasingly complex organisms to survive and thrive. Intelligence remains a fundamental property of the system rather than a discretely heritable trait.

    http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3388793

    Read More
    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Looked at Ken Richardson, but the date of 2012 is against him, even if everything he has said is true, so I will bow out from looking at his work just for the moment. For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work.
    , @utu
    Thanks for bringing up Ken Richardson's books. Certainly I will look into it. I am curious about his critique and take on IQ obsessions.
    , @utu
    I found very interesting article by Ken Richardson

    http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=
    WISING UP ON THE HERITABILITY OF INTELLIGENCE

    Various discoveries now show how intense cross-talk between multitudes of gene-regulatory pathways provide complex non-linear dynamics. These dynamics can create novel developmental pathways, often proposing new targets for selection. They integrate the transcription of genes contextually, often "rewiring" the gene network in response to changing environments. In addition there are the vast regulatory functions of alternative splicing, messenger RNA, vast numbers of non-coding RNAs, and so on, all depending on cooperative interactions. These explain why many different phenotypes can develop from the same genotypes, or the same phenotype from different genotypes; and why a population of individuals of identical genes developing in identical (or closely similar) environments can exhibit a normal range of behavioral phenotypes.

    Even at this level, the "dumb" independent factors, and simple quantitative traits, of the behavior geneticist have disappeared into highly interactive intelligent systems. Metabolic networks evolved into nested hierarchies of still more intelligent systems: physiological systems; nervous systems and brains; cognitive systems; and, finally, the human socio-cognitive system. On "top" of this nested hierarchy the socio-cognitive system differentiates according to dominant cultural activities, making humans far more adaptable than any system of independent genes. IQ tests simply collapse this enormous diversity into a (pretend) scalar trait. What is allocated to the category "genetic variance" is, in reality, variation in the expression of nested dynamic systems. This is why a leading behavior geneticist of IQ, Eric Turkheimer, has had to admit, recently, that "The systematic causal effects of any of these inputs are lost in the developmental complexity of the network."10 It seems ironic that the current unfolding of the real nature of intelligent systems is leading to the eclipse of the Galton paradigm.
     
  4. @RaceRealist88
    "As I will explain later, the imaging work is closing in fast onto what makes brains differ in mental power."

    May there be a chance to actually form a theory of individual intelligence differences?

    Dr. Thompson, question. What do you think about Ken Richardson's research on intelligent systems?

    The rise of intelligence was vital to evolution; the ability to process and predict rapidly changing environments allowed increasingly complex organisms to survive and thrive. Intelligence remains a fundamental property of the system rather than a discretely heritable trait.

    http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3388793

    Looked at Ken Richardson, but the date of 2012 is against him, even if everything he has said is true, so I will bow out from looking at his work just for the moment. For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work."

    He has a new book out called Genes, Brains, and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence and he goes in depth there. He talks about intelligent cells and how intelligent physiology is a larger part of those smaller intelligent cells.

    I have a background in physiology and what he says makes logical sense, and his arguments are sound.

    He's also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.

    I'd love to see you review his book, Dr. Thompson. I don't agree with everything Richardson writes, but he's on the money with a lot of what he says, mainly in regards to intelligent physiology and the intelligent cell.

  5. @James Thompson
    Looked at Ken Richardson, but the date of 2012 is against him, even if everything he has said is true, so I will bow out from looking at his work just for the moment. For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work.

    “For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work.”

    He has a new book out called Genes, Brains, and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence and he goes in depth there. He talks about intelligent cells and how intelligent physiology is a larger part of those smaller intelligent cells.

    I have a background in physiology and what he says makes logical sense, and his arguments are sound.

    He’s also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.

    I’d love to see you review his book, Dr. Thompson. I don’t agree with everything Richardson writes, but he’s on the money with a lot of what he says, mainly in regards to intelligent physiology and the intelligent cell.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging.

    Based on this excerpt from the summary I think it might appeal to some folks here: "In Genes, Brains, and Human Potential, Ken Richardson illustrates how the ideology of human intelligence has infiltrated genetics, brain sciences, and psychology, flourishing in the vagueness of basic concepts, a shallow nature-versus-nurture debate, and the overhyped claims of reductionists."

    Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book? For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?


    He’s also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.
     
    What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation.
    , @James Thompson
    Thanks for the reference. I will work through the conference stuff first, whilst I can still remember it.
  6. res says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work."

    He has a new book out called Genes, Brains, and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence and he goes in depth there. He talks about intelligent cells and how intelligent physiology is a larger part of those smaller intelligent cells.

    I have a background in physiology and what he says makes logical sense, and his arguments are sound.

    He's also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.

    I'd love to see you review his book, Dr. Thompson. I don't agree with everything Richardson writes, but he's on the money with a lot of what he says, mainly in regards to intelligent physiology and the intelligent cell.

    The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging.

    Based on this excerpt from the summary I think it might appeal to some folks here: “In Genes, Brains, and Human Potential, Ken Richardson illustrates how the ideology of human intelligence has infiltrated genetics, brain sciences, and psychology, flourishing in the vagueness of basic concepts, a shallow nature-versus-nurture debate, and the overhyped claims of reductionists.”

    Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book? For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?

    He’s also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.

    What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging."

    Based on the review it seems that the 'reviewer' (if you even want to call it a review) only read part of the book:

    The 'review' is dishonest. He only literally bashes IQ gene studies in the first and second chapters (chapter 2 is on twin studies) and chapter 9 on human intelligence. The book doesn't repeat the same ideas over and over at all. Chapters 4 and 5 on intelligent bacteria and physiology are some good reading and really have you think about the nature of intelligent systems. I recommend the book.

    "Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book?"

    Here is a quote from chapter 9 (titled 'Human Intelligence'), page 258:

    I argue that the question ['How can humans be so biologically continuous with other species yet be so different, especially in their potential? ... And it leaves the field of human intelligence in a state of increasing confusion'] is a misleading one. It arises from attempting to impose a narrow "biological" model on human potential, without due regard to why or how the human species evolved. So the field is pervaded by tensions, doubts, and not a few myths, of which the nature-nurture debate is only the most prominent. And it has thwarted a deeper understanding of human intelligence.

    "For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?"

    Cells are intelligent because they can react to changes in their environment, communicate, perceive, process and integrate environmental cues.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMDAyOTQtMDE2LTA1NjktMw==/10.1007%40s00294-016-0569-3.pdf

    There is even a measure of 'bacterial IQ'.

    https://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2164-11-710

    Bacteria communicate and adopt different survival strategies to 'make their life comfortable'.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMTIwNzktMDE3LTAzOTQtNg==/10.1007%40s12079-017-0394-6.pdf

    In regards to intelligent physiology, think about how the cells react to the changing environment and then think about how cells are a smaller part of the overall physiological system. Genes don't guide development, per se, they are passive and don't do anything unless directed by the physiological system.

    Physiologist Denis Noble states that genes are "a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires." He also says that genes don't do anything unless directed by the system first. So it all goes back to the intelligent system at the end of the day.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/replace-the-modern-sythes_b_5284211.html

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/so-what-gene

    "What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation."

    He criticizes recent studies. I'll cite specific studies he criticizes tomorrow. Some quotes:

    More sensational has been a "Reproducibility Project" in psychology, in which investigators asked scientists to attempt to replicate published results of a hundred key projects. Some dispute these findings, but it is now generally accepted that many, if not most, findings about genes and brains are not as strong as originally thought (Richardson, 2017: 4).

    What also stands out is the self-confidence of this new wave of genetic determinists. In one paper, for example, Ian Dreary and colleagues reported results that "unequivocally confirm that a substantial proportion of individual differences in human intelligence is due to genetic variation." "Unequivocal" is a word rarely used in research papers, even in the advanced sciences. Since Dreary has already told us that there is no "grown-up theory of intelligence differences," we're entitled to ask: What exactly is being confirmed? (Richardson, 2017: 18)

    Trying to segregate those relatively few SNPs that supposedly make a difference from those that do not is difficult enough for a well-defined medical condition. But for traits as poorly defined as intelligence and using only statistical correlations as evidence, making firm conclusions already seems highly naive.

    An important part of the fog is that complex physiological and mental functions do not vary like eye or hair color, through a single gene or very few genes. Educational and cognitive "phenotypes" are not simple physical traits, like height and weight, milk yield in cows, or egg laying in hens. They involve thousands or tens of thousands of genes. And they are not utilized like electric charges being added together. Instead, individual genes are taken up as resources into complex biochemical networks that create variation out of intense interactions. (Richardson, 2017: 21)

    Again, I stress, it is not the genuine discovery and progress in these areas that worries me, but the hasty and reductionist interpretations that is forced on them (for example, that brains, or genes, are the basis of our potentials, rather than resources for them). (Richardson, 2017: 30)

    Largely, in chapter 1, he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is, and cites Dreary stating that there is no theory of individual intelligence differences. He also seems to really dislike behavioral genetics.

    All in all, I recommend the book. It's interesting and gives a lot to think about. The best parts are on the intelligent cell and intelligent physiology. He also states that physiologists wouldn't rank g like other traits, nor would they assume that environment and genetics can be untangled---which is a correct assessment. I think Richardson has a very unique approach in how he uses physiology and cells in his argument, and I don't agree with everything he writes but it's fun to argue the other side.

  7. @RaceRealist88
    "For intelligent systems theory development we need to incorporate most recent work."

    He has a new book out called Genes, Brains, and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence and he goes in depth there. He talks about intelligent cells and how intelligent physiology is a larger part of those smaller intelligent cells.

    I have a background in physiology and what he says makes logical sense, and his arguments are sound.

    He's also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.

    I'd love to see you review his book, Dr. Thompson. I don't agree with everything Richardson writes, but he's on the money with a lot of what he says, mainly in regards to intelligent physiology and the intelligent cell.

    Thanks for the reference. I will work through the conference stuff first, whilst I can still remember it.

    Read More
  8. @res
    The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging.

    Based on this excerpt from the summary I think it might appeal to some folks here: "In Genes, Brains, and Human Potential, Ken Richardson illustrates how the ideology of human intelligence has infiltrated genetics, brain sciences, and psychology, flourishing in the vagueness of basic concepts, a shallow nature-versus-nurture debate, and the overhyped claims of reductionists."

    Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book? For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?


    He’s also a huge critic of the studies that purport to find IQ genes. He says replicability is low to nonexistent.
     
    What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation.

    “The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging.”

    Based on the review it seems that the ‘reviewer’ (if you even want to call it a review) only read part of the book:

    The ‘review’ is dishonest. He only literally bashes IQ gene studies in the first and second chapters (chapter 2 is on twin studies) and chapter 9 on human intelligence. The book doesn’t repeat the same ideas over and over at all. Chapters 4 and 5 on intelligent bacteria and physiology are some good reading and really have you think about the nature of intelligent systems. I recommend the book.

    “Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book?”

    Here is a quote from chapter 9 (titled ‘Human Intelligence’), page 258:

    I argue that the question ['How can humans be so biologically continuous with other species yet be so different, especially in their potential? ... And it leaves the field of human intelligence in a state of increasing confusion'] is a misleading one. It arises from attempting to impose a narrow “biological” model on human potential, without due regard to why or how the human species evolved. So the field is pervaded by tensions, doubts, and not a few myths, of which the nature-nurture debate is only the most prominent. And it has thwarted a deeper understanding of human intelligence.

    “For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?”

    Cells are intelligent because they can react to changes in their environment, communicate, perceive, process and integrate environmental cues.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMDAyOTQtMDE2LTA1NjktMw==/10.1007%40s00294-016-0569-3.pdf

    There is even a measure of ‘bacterial IQ’.

    https://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2164-11-710

    Bacteria communicate and adopt different survival strategies to ‘make their life comfortable’.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMTIwNzktMDE3LTAzOTQtNg==/10.1007%40s12079-017-0394-6.pdf

    In regards to intelligent physiology, think about how the cells react to the changing environment and then think about how cells are a smaller part of the overall physiological system. Genes don’t guide development, per se, they are passive and don’t do anything unless directed by the physiological system.

    Physiologist Denis Noble states that genes are “a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.” He also says that genes don’t do anything unless directed by the system first. So it all goes back to the intelligent system at the end of the day.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/replace-the-modern-sythes_b_5284211.html

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/so-what-gene

    “What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation.”

    He criticizes recent studies. I’ll cite specific studies he criticizes tomorrow. Some quotes:

    More sensational has been a “Reproducibility Project” in psychology, in which investigators asked scientists to attempt to replicate published results of a hundred key projects. Some dispute these findings, but it is now generally accepted that many, if not most, findings about genes and brains are not as strong as originally thought (Richardson, 2017: 4).

    What also stands out is the self-confidence of this new wave of genetic determinists. In one paper, for example, Ian Dreary and colleagues reported results that “unequivocally confirm that a substantial proportion of individual differences in human intelligence is due to genetic variation.” “Unequivocal” is a word rarely used in research papers, even in the advanced sciences. Since Dreary has already told us that there is no “grown-up theory of intelligence differences,” we’re entitled to ask: What exactly is being confirmed? (Richardson, 2017: 18)

    Trying to segregate those relatively few SNPs that supposedly make a difference from those that do not is difficult enough for a well-defined medical condition. But for traits as poorly defined as intelligence and using only statistical correlations as evidence, making firm conclusions already seems highly naive.

    An important part of the fog is that complex physiological and mental functions do not vary like eye or hair color, through a single gene or very few genes. Educational and cognitive “phenotypes” are not simple physical traits, like height and weight, milk yield in cows, or egg laying in hens. They involve thousands or tens of thousands of genes. And they are not utilized like electric charges being added together. Instead, individual genes are taken up as resources into complex biochemical networks that create variation out of intense interactions. (Richardson, 2017: 21)

    Again, I stress, it is not the genuine discovery and progress in these areas that worries me, but the hasty and reductionist interpretations that is forced on them (for example, that brains, or genes, are the basis of our potentials, rather than resources for them). (Richardson, 2017: 30)

    Largely, in chapter 1, he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is, and cites Dreary stating that there is no theory of individual intelligence differences. He also seems to really dislike behavioral genetics.

    All in all, I recommend the book. It’s interesting and gives a lot to think about. The best parts are on the intelligent cell and intelligent physiology. He also states that physiologists wouldn’t rank g like other traits, nor would they assume that environment and genetics can be untangled—which is a correct assessment. I think Richardson has a very unique approach in how he uses physiology and cells in his argument, and I don’t agree with everything he writes but it’s fun to argue the other side.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    it’s fun to argue the other side.
     
    I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle).

    he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is

     

    Just as there is no agreement on "race." I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer.

    The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I'm not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the "no agreement" comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior.

    Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis#Replication_rates_in_psychology

    Also see Steven Pinker's tweet here https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/645301814955388930
    and Emil's response.

    All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson's ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like "genetic determinism", a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book.

    I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school "half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don't know which half", I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history: http://staff.washington.edu/gray/misc/which-half.html ). One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil's tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics.
  9. res says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "The one review on Amazon (US) is not encouraging."

    Based on the review it seems that the 'reviewer' (if you even want to call it a review) only read part of the book:

    The 'review' is dishonest. He only literally bashes IQ gene studies in the first and second chapters (chapter 2 is on twin studies) and chapter 9 on human intelligence. The book doesn't repeat the same ideas over and over at all. Chapters 4 and 5 on intelligent bacteria and physiology are some good reading and really have you think about the nature of intelligent systems. I recommend the book.

    "Could you summarize one of his themes to give a flavor of the book?"

    Here is a quote from chapter 9 (titled 'Human Intelligence'), page 258:

    I argue that the question ['How can humans be so biologically continuous with other species yet be so different, especially in their potential? ... And it leaves the field of human intelligence in a state of increasing confusion'] is a misleading one. It arises from attempting to impose a narrow "biological" model on human potential, without due regard to why or how the human species evolved. So the field is pervaded by tensions, doubts, and not a few myths, of which the nature-nurture debate is only the most prominent. And it has thwarted a deeper understanding of human intelligence.

    "For example, how is a cell intelligent and how does that build into an intelligent physiology?"

    Cells are intelligent because they can react to changes in their environment, communicate, perceive, process and integrate environmental cues.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMDAyOTQtMDE2LTA1NjktMw==/10.1007%40s00294-016-0569-3.pdf

    There is even a measure of 'bacterial IQ'.

    https://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2164-11-710

    Bacteria communicate and adopt different survival strategies to 'make their life comfortable'.

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9zMTIwNzktMDE3LTAzOTQtNg==/10.1007%40s12079-017-0394-6.pdf

    In regards to intelligent physiology, think about how the cells react to the changing environment and then think about how cells are a smaller part of the overall physiological system. Genes don't guide development, per se, they are passive and don't do anything unless directed by the physiological system.

    Physiologist Denis Noble states that genes are "a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires." He also says that genes don't do anything unless directed by the system first. So it all goes back to the intelligent system at the end of the day.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-mazur/replace-the-modern-sythes_b_5284211.html

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/so-what-gene

    "What vintage of studies does he criticize? This was a problem, but proper use of multiple hypothesis testing corrections seems to have improved the situation."

    He criticizes recent studies. I'll cite specific studies he criticizes tomorrow. Some quotes:

    More sensational has been a "Reproducibility Project" in psychology, in which investigators asked scientists to attempt to replicate published results of a hundred key projects. Some dispute these findings, but it is now generally accepted that many, if not most, findings about genes and brains are not as strong as originally thought (Richardson, 2017: 4).

    What also stands out is the self-confidence of this new wave of genetic determinists. In one paper, for example, Ian Dreary and colleagues reported results that "unequivocally confirm that a substantial proportion of individual differences in human intelligence is due to genetic variation." "Unequivocal" is a word rarely used in research papers, even in the advanced sciences. Since Dreary has already told us that there is no "grown-up theory of intelligence differences," we're entitled to ask: What exactly is being confirmed? (Richardson, 2017: 18)

    Trying to segregate those relatively few SNPs that supposedly make a difference from those that do not is difficult enough for a well-defined medical condition. But for traits as poorly defined as intelligence and using only statistical correlations as evidence, making firm conclusions already seems highly naive.

    An important part of the fog is that complex physiological and mental functions do not vary like eye or hair color, through a single gene or very few genes. Educational and cognitive "phenotypes" are not simple physical traits, like height and weight, milk yield in cows, or egg laying in hens. They involve thousands or tens of thousands of genes. And they are not utilized like electric charges being added together. Instead, individual genes are taken up as resources into complex biochemical networks that create variation out of intense interactions. (Richardson, 2017: 21)

    Again, I stress, it is not the genuine discovery and progress in these areas that worries me, but the hasty and reductionist interpretations that is forced on them (for example, that brains, or genes, are the basis of our potentials, rather than resources for them). (Richardson, 2017: 30)

    Largely, in chapter 1, he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is, and cites Dreary stating that there is no theory of individual intelligence differences. He also seems to really dislike behavioral genetics.

    All in all, I recommend the book. It's interesting and gives a lot to think about. The best parts are on the intelligent cell and intelligent physiology. He also states that physiologists wouldn't rank g like other traits, nor would they assume that environment and genetics can be untangled---which is a correct assessment. I think Richardson has a very unique approach in how he uses physiology and cells in his argument, and I don't agree with everything he writes but it's fun to argue the other side.

    it’s fun to argue the other side.

    I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle).

    he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is

    Just as there is no agreement on “race.” I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer.

    The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I’m not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the “no agreement” comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior.

    Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis#Replication_rates_in_psychology

    Also see Steven Pinker’s tweet here https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/645301814955388930
    and Emil’s response.

    All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson’s ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like “genetic determinism”, a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book.

    I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school “half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don’t know which half”, I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history: http://staff.washington.edu/gray/misc/which-half.html ). One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil’s tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle)."

    True. Richardson's arguments are much better than Turkheimer et al's however.

    "Just as there is no agreement on “race.” I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer."

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

    "The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I’m not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the “no agreement” comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior."

    It really is. It shows that reductionist 'theories' are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it's not intelligence because (I'm assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a 'be-all-end-all', all biological organisms show intelligence.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00379/full

    "Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology"

    I agree with this.

    He says: 'Only 39 percent of them were successful' citing this

    http://www.psykologforbundet.se/Documents/Psykologtidningen/Aktuellt%20Pdf/Science%20aug%202015.pdf

    and ref for 'some dispute these findings' is:

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/replication-glass-half-full-half-empty-or-irrelevant

    I'm becoming critical of 'genes for' studies. Beginning to believe that most people don't understand what genes do---and this goes back to Dawkins' selfish gene theory, which he says that he can't imagine a testable experiment to prove.

    "All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson’s ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like “genetic determinism”, a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book."

    Well he only said 'genetic determinists' because that's what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that, but I do see where you're coming from. Nevertheless, the quote is true that there is no individual theory of why individuals differ in intelligence which I think is a huge hurdle, correlations with this or that be damned.

    I think there is something to some of his ideas as well, intelligent cells/physiology makes a ton of sense and as I read evolutionary physiology articles on the matter it is making more and more sense.

    For instance, heritable morphologic change can occur without a change in genes since physiology responds to what occurs in the environment.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262151448_Form_and_function_remixed_Developmental_physiology_in_the_evolution_of_vertebrate_body_plans

    I also strongly recommend you read this. A critique of selfish genes from a physiologist's point of view.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Genes don't 'do' anything unless directed/guided by the physiologic system.

    I think you should read the book, it's worth it for chapters 4 and 5.

    "I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school “half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don’t know which half”, I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history"

    What kind do you look at? I'm into 'fringe' nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don't know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes

    "One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil’s tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics."

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.

    I'm only being a contrarian and looking for debate, that's why I took the opposite position.

    What is SNR?
  10. utu says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "As I will explain later, the imaging work is closing in fast onto what makes brains differ in mental power."

    May there be a chance to actually form a theory of individual intelligence differences?

    Dr. Thompson, question. What do you think about Ken Richardson's research on intelligent systems?

    The rise of intelligence was vital to evolution; the ability to process and predict rapidly changing environments allowed increasingly complex organisms to survive and thrive. Intelligence remains a fundamental property of the system rather than a discretely heritable trait.

    http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3388793

    Thanks for bringing up Ken Richardson’s books. Certainly I will look into it. I am curious about his critique and take on IQ obsessions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    No problem. I think he makes a lot of sense, he certainly quells the 'genes for' thing very well, in my opinion.

    You should also pick up 'DNA Is Not Destiny' by Stephen J. Heine. That's another good read.

    Here's a review on one of Richardson's books:

    Here is a review of his book The Origins of Human Potential which talks a bit more about the intelligent physiology/embryonic development.

    http://clogic.eserver.org/2003/mackenzie.html

    This is also strongly recommended.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Richardson also criticizes 'abnormally high levels of heritability' for IQ:

    He shows heritabilities for traits of the house martin: wing length, 0.156; tarsus length, 0.079; body mass, 0.000; immunoglobulin, 0.051; T-cell response, 0.007; Leukocyte number, 0.059:

    Source:

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTA0Ni9qLjEzNjUtMjU0MC4yMDAwLjAwNzMyLng=/10.1046%40j.1365-2540.2000.00732.x.pdf

    As you can see, these estimates are minuscule compared with those (0.5-0.8) typically reported for human potential derived from twin studies. Little wonder that Peter Schonemann sarcastically warned that heritability estimates for IQ "surpass anything found in the animal kingdom." (http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAyMy9hOjEwMTgzNTg1MDQzNzM=/10.1023%40a%3A1018358504373.pdf) Any objective observer would surely reach the conclusion that human potential is unlikely to be so unsual. Rather it is the method by which it is estimated that it is anomalous [twin studies].

    As I emphasize further in chapter 4, such low heritabilites do not necessarily mean little genetic variation; they simply mean that, for a variety of reasons, there is little association (corrlation) between genetic variation and phenotypic variation. Why make intelligence an exception? We could, after all, apply the same logic in many subjective ways. Perhaps we could establish from twin studies that behavioral geneticists have a surfeit of genes for "belief in heritbaility." And perhaps critics have genes for "skepticism." In such a gene-determined world, of course, objective science would no longer be possible, because everyone's appraisal of data is hopelessly biased by their genes! (Richardson, 2017: 65)

    I find the last part funny.

  11. utu says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "As I will explain later, the imaging work is closing in fast onto what makes brains differ in mental power."

    May there be a chance to actually form a theory of individual intelligence differences?

    Dr. Thompson, question. What do you think about Ken Richardson's research on intelligent systems?

    The rise of intelligence was vital to evolution; the ability to process and predict rapidly changing environments allowed increasingly complex organisms to survive and thrive. Intelligence remains a fundamental property of the system rather than a discretely heritable trait.

    http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3388793

    I found very interesting article by Ken Richardson

    http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=

    WISING UP ON THE HERITABILITY OF INTELLIGENCE

    Various discoveries now show how intense cross-talk between multitudes of gene-regulatory pathways provide complex non-linear dynamics. These dynamics can create novel developmental pathways, often proposing new targets for selection. They integrate the transcription of genes contextually, often “rewiring” the gene network in response to changing environments. In addition there are the vast regulatory functions of alternative splicing, messenger RNA, vast numbers of non-coding RNAs, and so on, all depending on cooperative interactions. These explain why many different phenotypes can develop from the same genotypes, or the same phenotype from different genotypes; and why a population of individuals of identical genes developing in identical (or closely similar) environments can exhibit a normal range of behavioral phenotypes.

    Even at this level, the “dumb” independent factors, and simple quantitative traits, of the behavior geneticist have disappeared into highly interactive intelligent systems. Metabolic networks evolved into nested hierarchies of still more intelligent systems: physiological systems; nervous systems and brains; cognitive systems; and, finally, the human socio-cognitive system. On “top” of this nested hierarchy the socio-cognitive system differentiates according to dominant cultural activities, making humans far more adaptable than any system of independent genes. IQ tests simply collapse this enormous diversity into a (pretend) scalar trait. What is allocated to the category “genetic variance” is, in reality, variation in the expression of nested dynamic systems. This is why a leading behavior geneticist of IQ, Eric Turkheimer, has had to admit, recently, that “The systematic causal effects of any of these inputs are lost in the developmental complexity of the network.”10 It seems ironic that the current unfolding of the real nature of intelligent systems is leading to the eclipse of the Galton paradigm.

    Read More
  12. @res

    it’s fun to argue the other side.
     
    I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle).

    he constantly brings up and gives examples that there is no set definition or agreement on what intelligence is

     

    Just as there is no agreement on "race." I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer.

    The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I'm not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the "no agreement" comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior.

    Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis#Replication_rates_in_psychology

    Also see Steven Pinker's tweet here https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/645301814955388930
    and Emil's response.

    All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson's ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like "genetic determinism", a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book.

    I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school "half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don't know which half", I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history: http://staff.washington.edu/gray/misc/which-half.html ). One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil's tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics.

    “I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle).”

    True. Richardson’s arguments are much better than Turkheimer et al’s however.

    “Just as there is no agreement on “race.” I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer.”

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

    “The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I’m not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the “no agreement” comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior.”

    It really is. It shows that reductionist ‘theories’ are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it’s not intelligence because (I’m assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a ‘be-all-end-all’, all biological organisms show intelligence.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00379/full

    “Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology”

    I agree with this.

    He says: ‘Only 39 percent of them were successful’ citing this

    http://www.psykologforbundet.se/Documents/Psykologtidningen/Aktuellt%20Pdf/Science%20aug%202015.pdf

    and ref for ‘some dispute these findings’ is:

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/replication-glass-half-full-half-empty-or-irrelevant

    I’m becoming critical of ‘genes for’ studies. Beginning to believe that most people don’t understand what genes do—and this goes back to Dawkins’ selfish gene theory, which he says that he can’t imagine a testable experiment to prove.

    “All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson’s ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like “genetic determinism”, a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book.”

    Well he only said ‘genetic determinists’ because that’s what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that, but I do see where you’re coming from. Nevertheless, the quote is true that there is no individual theory of why individuals differ in intelligence which I think is a huge hurdle, correlations with this or that be damned.

    I think there is something to some of his ideas as well, intelligent cells/physiology makes a ton of sense and as I read evolutionary physiology articles on the matter it is making more and more sense.

    For instance, heritable morphologic change can occur without a change in genes since physiology responds to what occurs in the environment.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262151448_Form_and_function_remixed_Developmental_physiology_in_the_evolution_of_vertebrate_body_plans

    I also strongly recommend you read this. A critique of selfish genes from a physiologist’s point of view.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Genes don’t ‘do’ anything unless directed/guided by the physiologic system.

    I think you should read the book, it’s worth it for chapters 4 and 5.

    “I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school “half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don’t know which half”, I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history”

    What kind do you look at? I’m into ‘fringe’ nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don’t know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes

    “One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil’s tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics.”

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.

    I’m only being a contrarian and looking for debate, that’s why I took the opposite position.

    What is SNR?

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

     

    Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence.

    When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation. The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good). I think there are a number of theories of what underlies differences (though someone more conversant with the field could back this up better). You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.

    For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_thermodynamics

    It really is. It shows that reductionist ‘theories’ are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it’s not intelligence because (I’m assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a ‘be-all-end-all’, all biological organisms show intelligence.
     
    Do you think a Jacquard loom is intelligent? How about a centrifugal governor? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_(device)

    Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from "intelligence" can be hard (both in animals and people ; ).

    An automatic dismissal of "reductionist" is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems.

    If someone tried to analyze a brain from first principles (say at the fundamental particle level) they would immediately get lost in complexity. It is necessary to abstract and introduce hierarchy to make things understandable. This simplification loses information. The question is whether that loss matters to the model/theory. Reductionist theories aren't so much dumb as incomplete. The problem comes in when people confuse their model with reality and don't recognize the shortcomings of their model and try to improve it.

    Well he only said ‘genetic determinists’ because that’s what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that
     
    Although most people might call it that (?), I don't see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?

    One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!). My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable.

    What kind do you look at? I’m into ‘fringe’ nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don’t know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes
     
    A variety. I don't want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page).

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.
     
    I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can't easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys.

    What is SNR?
     
    Sorry. Signal to Noise Ratio. See third paragraph of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio

    Thanks for the conversation.
  13. @utu
    Thanks for bringing up Ken Richardson's books. Certainly I will look into it. I am curious about his critique and take on IQ obsessions.

    No problem. I think he makes a lot of sense, he certainly quells the ‘genes for’ thing very well, in my opinion.

    You should also pick up ‘DNA Is Not Destiny’ by Stephen J. Heine. That’s another good read.

    Here’s a review on one of Richardson’s books:

    Here is a review of his book The Origins of Human Potential which talks a bit more about the intelligent physiology/embryonic development.

    http://clogic.eserver.org/2003/mackenzie.html

    This is also strongly recommended.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Richardson also criticizes ‘abnormally high levels of heritability’ for IQ:

    He shows heritabilities for traits of the house martin: wing length, 0.156; tarsus length, 0.079; body mass, 0.000; immunoglobulin, 0.051; T-cell response, 0.007; Leukocyte number, 0.059:

    Source:

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTA0Ni9qLjEzNjUtMjU0MC4yMDAwLjAwNzMyLng=/10.1046%40j.1365-2540.2000.00732.x.pdf

    As you can see, these estimates are minuscule compared with those (0.5-0.8) typically reported for human potential derived from twin studies. Little wonder that Peter Schonemann sarcastically warned that heritability estimates for IQ “surpass anything found in the animal kingdom.” (http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAyMy9hOjEwMTgzNTg1MDQzNzM=/10.1023%40a%3A1018358504373.pdf) Any objective observer would surely reach the conclusion that human potential is unlikely to be so unsual. Rather it is the method by which it is estimated that it is anomalous [twin studies].

    As I emphasize further in chapter 4, such low heritabilites do not necessarily mean little genetic variation; they simply mean that, for a variety of reasons, there is little association (corrlation) between genetic variation and phenotypic variation. Why make intelligence an exception? We could, after all, apply the same logic in many subjective ways. Perhaps we could establish from twin studies that behavioral geneticists have a surfeit of genes for “belief in heritbaility.” And perhaps critics have genes for “skepticism.” In such a gene-determined world, of course, objective science would no longer be possible, because everyone’s appraisal of data is hopelessly biased by their genes! (Richardson, 2017: 65)

    I find the last part funny.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Thanks again for links and references.

    I am struggling with heritability as I have started learning about it quite recently. At first glance the formula H^2=2(r_mz-r_dz) is sound and the only argument against it is that MZ twin actually evoke different environments than DZ twins and thus there is no true cancellation of environment factor as suppose to happen in order to make the formula valid. The only remedy would be the studies of twin separated at birth. The problem is that there is not many data particularly more recent ones as there are policies of not separating twins.

    Certainly genome studies so far did not pan out and can't reproduce the high value of heritability obtained in twin studies. Even in such simple and straightforward traits like height where there is no controversy or skepticism about its definition or measure as it is in the case of IQ.

    The IQists like to cite studies that claim that heritability of IQ is 20-30% for clung children and in adult age it is 70%-80%. They do not have a reasonable explanation for it but they love the results because people of Charles Murray ilk can shut down arguments in favor of programs like Head Start. It really comes to that. And the same time Thompson and others do not question whether heritability change from 20% to 80% is possible if at the same time they claim that IQ remains constant and children-adult correlation is about 70-80%. It does not occur to them that you can't have both results valid at the same time. But they do not care and plough through because they are maniacs blinded by their ideology.

    I like what Richardson wrote about genes for "belief in heritability". Perhaps it can be found . After all they found that divorce is 40% heritable. Nature apparently is very generous to pseudoscientists. It lets them prove their ridiculous hypotheses.
  14. res says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "I get that. It is also fun to take pokes at fields that seem overly self assured. And then there is the pleasure of arguing with people who appear to be disingenuous (e.g. the recent Charles Murray kerfuffle)."

    True. Richardson's arguments are much better than Turkheimer et al's however.

    "Just as there is no agreement on “race.” I think both of those are false dichotomies (full agreement vs. nothing useful to say) and result in ignoring significant useful knowledge and resulting possible inferences. This kind of argument goes a long way towards biasing me against the writer."

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

    "The intelligent cells/physiology idea is interesting. There are many feedback/control mechanisms at the various biological levels which I think we barely understand in a holistic sense (e.g. how they combine to form more complicated behavior). I’m not so sure about calling this intelligence. It does explain the “no agreement” comment earlier though. As an example, I recall doing ant exploration behavior simulations (IIRC in AI classes) and surprisingly simple rules can produce complex looking behavior."

    It really is. It shows that reductionist 'theories' are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it's not intelligence because (I'm assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a 'be-all-end-all', all biological organisms show intelligence.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00379/full

    "Regarding the replication crisis. Yes, that is a real problem, but I am intrigued at the effort spent calling out intelligence research when AFAICT that is one of the better replicating areas of psychology"

    I agree with this.

    He says: 'Only 39 percent of them were successful' citing this

    http://www.psykologforbundet.se/Documents/Psykologtidningen/Aktuellt%20Pdf/Science%20aug%202015.pdf

    and ref for 'some dispute these findings' is:

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/replication-glass-half-full-half-empty-or-irrelevant

    I'm becoming critical of 'genes for' studies. Beginning to believe that most people don't understand what genes do---and this goes back to Dawkins' selfish gene theory, which he says that he can't imagine a testable experiment to prove.

    "All of that said, although I think there may be something to some of Richardson’s ideas, the presentation I see in your excerpts and the book summary scream bias (e.g. phrases like “genetic determinism”, a favorite strawman) and pseudoscience to me. I could certainly be wrong about that, but it affects my eagerness to read a 400 page book."

    Well he only said 'genetic determinists' because that's what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that, but I do see where you're coming from. Nevertheless, the quote is true that there is no individual theory of why individuals differ in intelligence which I think is a huge hurdle, correlations with this or that be damned.

    I think there is something to some of his ideas as well, intelligent cells/physiology makes a ton of sense and as I read evolutionary physiology articles on the matter it is making more and more sense.

    For instance, heritable morphologic change can occur without a change in genes since physiology responds to what occurs in the environment.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262151448_Form_and_function_remixed_Developmental_physiology_in_the_evolution_of_vertebrate_body_plans

    I also strongly recommend you read this. A critique of selfish genes from a physiologist's point of view.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Genes don't 'do' anything unless directed/guided by the physiologic system.

    I think you should read the book, it's worth it for chapters 4 and 5.

    "I spend a fair amount of time looking at fringe nutritional research (I suspect you might as well) and making my wheat vs. chaff judgments there is hard (and I am sure I am wrong about some of them, the problem is knowing which ones. this is like the old joke about medical school “half of what we teach is likely to be wrong, but we don’t know which half”, I cite that as medical school because that context was my first exposure, but it seems to have a long history"

    What kind do you look at? I'm into 'fringe' nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don't know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes

    "One of the reasons I react so strongly to the IQ skeptics here is that IMHO the IQ researchers (the ones who actually follow the data, not those meant by Emil’s tweet mentioned above) are so much much better than mainstream nutritional researchers (as potent as the Narrative is it has nothing on the financial incentives of food companies). This makes the SNR of the IQ skeptics seem much lower than the already poor SNR of the conventional nutrition skeptics."

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.

    I'm only being a contrarian and looking for debate, that's why I took the opposite position.

    What is SNR?

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

    Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence.

    When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation. The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good). I think there are a number of theories of what underlies differences (though someone more conversant with the field could back this up better). You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.

    For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_thermodynamics

    It really is. It shows that reductionist ‘theories’ are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it’s not intelligence because (I’m assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a ‘be-all-end-all’, all biological organisms show intelligence.

    Do you think a Jacquard loom is intelligent? How about a centrifugal governor? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_(device)

    Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from “intelligence” can be hard (both in animals and people ; ).

    An automatic dismissal of “reductionist” is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems.

    If someone tried to analyze a brain from first principles (say at the fundamental particle level) they would immediately get lost in complexity. It is necessary to abstract and introduce hierarchy to make things understandable. This simplification loses information. The question is whether that loss matters to the model/theory. Reductionist theories aren’t so much dumb as incomplete. The problem comes in when people confuse their model with reality and don’t recognize the shortcomings of their model and try to improve it.

    Well he only said ‘genetic determinists’ because that’s what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that

    Although most people might call it that (?), I don’t see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?

    One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!). My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable.

    What kind do you look at? I’m into ‘fringe’ nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don’t know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes

    A variety. I don’t want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page).

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.

    I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can’t easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys.

    What is SNR?

    Sorry. Signal to Noise Ratio. See third paragraph of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio

    Thanks for the conversation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
    "Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence."

    I get that, however, I'm talking about a theory, like physics and chemistry and physiology have theories. Look up sliding filament theory---a physiological theory of how muscles contract. That's what I'm talking about with IQ differences between individuals---what is the explanatory theory? You know, like how Rushton (wrongly) applied r/K selection theory to human races and attempted to explain behavior etc through it?

    And I think reaction time is a bad indicator. Chewing gum raises reaction time. You know my thoughts on g, physiology and reaction time by now.

    "When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation"

    I'm not really expecting a largely complete explanation, just at least a framework for how and why this occurs. Ian Dreary wrote that there was no theory of individual intelligence differences back in 2001. Sixteen years later and still no theory...

    "The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good)."

    You know that I don't deny empirical data. Of course, the brain is extremely complex and that's why attempting to reduce things down to X and Y is, in my opinion, dumb. I don't look for perfection, only theories that attempt to explain observed phenomena, which I've not seen from IQ researchers.

    The best I can do off the top of my head is think about something to do with glucose consumption in the brain. However, things need to be tested, etc.

    "You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity."

    This is what I really wanted to discuss.

    Well since microcephalics can have IQs in the modern range, and people with the brain size of erectus can have IQs in the modern range and do not show any abnormalities, then this shows that brain size must have increased for another reason. That people can have half their brains missing/have moderate-to-severe TBI and can still have IQs in the modern range shows that large brains aren't needed for an IQ in the modern range.

    Large heads need large birth canals which lead to birth complications for the mother and babe. So if all of the above is true (and it is), then our brains must have increased in size for another reason.

    This is completely disregarding the fact that the so-called increase in brain size is actually true...

    Skim these papers when you get a chance.

    Rethinking Mammalian Brain Evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMjMwNy8zODgzNTUy/10.2307%403883552.pdf

    Fallacies of progression in theories of brain-size evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9iZjAyMTkyODY5/10.1007%40bf02192869.pdf

    ^^ Especially read fallacy number 3, the "Numerology Fallacy", and fallacy number 2 "The Bigger-is-smarter Fallacy".

    Confusing size-correlated differences with phylogenetic "progression" in brain evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAxNy9zMDE0MDUyNXgwMDA3ODI1MA==/10.1017%40s0140525x00078250.pdf

    In regards to connectivity, that's better, but I still await a falsifiable theory of individual intelligence differences.

    "For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked"

    Are you implying that the laws of thermodynamics apply to human physiology?

    "Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from “intelligence” can be hard (both in animals and people ; )."

    But how do you define intelligence?

    I think it's simple. If biological systems show X and do Y when Z happens, then all biological systems are intelligent.

    Your questions on if those machines are intelligent is interesting, and I'm sure what's coming next will be AI, but I did specify biological systems. One can then say why stop there? Machines/AI can show what some would define as 'intelligence', but they were designed to be that way.

    Let me think on that note.

    "An automatic dismissal of “reductionist” is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems."

    But there is a problem with reducing and dividing larger complex systems into smaller 'more manageable' parts.

    Reductionism---in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body---is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn't the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won't be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one's personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

    Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system---and not the sum of its parts---should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.

    So we must look at the whole of the system and not reduce things into a sum of smaller parts. Aristotle was hugely important to our understanding of the human body, but in regards to physiology and anatomy, holism makes more sense. I'm not informed on holism in regards to psychology, however. Here is a good article.

    I contend that physiologic systems are too complex to be reduced to a sum of smaller parts, and the whole physiologic system and organism must be studied to understand Y.

    "Although most people might call it that (?), I don’t see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?"

    As a committed believer in behavioral genetics and biological determinism. . .

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2014/10/28/psychopathy-nature-or-nurture/

    Seems like a religion to him...

    He's said it a lot more recently, too lazy to find the comments. But he's probably low-hanging fruit (came across a Santoculto comment saying it too):

    I believe in genetic determinism to predispose us to behave like that but social contract or cohersion can do enormous influence specially for those who are extrinsically or socially motivated.

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/06/21/racism-antisemitism-iq/#comment-13682

    Here is a good discussion on that:

    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Examples_please_of_biological_or_genetic_determinism

    "One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!)."

    Examples?

    "My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable."

    You should read the Pubmed article by Denis Noble on evolutionary physiology if any.

    That's the crux of it.

    Genes are guided by the system; genes don't 'do' anything without that guidance. The system is also homeodynamic and responds to cues from the environment.

    "A variety. I don’t want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page)."

    I love Taubes. Have you read his new book The Case Against Sugar? That's next on my list.

    Speaking of nutrition, here is a good article on that:

    Nutriton science isn't broken, it's just extremely hard

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/07/21/nutrition-science-isnt-broken-its-just-wicked-hard/

    I've read some of Price's book. It's good. Thought the Weston A. Price Foundation is kinda kooky (and I say this as an adherent of low-carb, high-fat diets). Dr. Mercoloa has gotten cease-and-desist letters from the FDA.

    "I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can’t easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys."

    Ancel Keys was proven right on obesity and metabolic slow down (see the Biggest Loser Study):

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwMi9vYnkuMjE1Mzg=/10.1002%40oby.21538.pdf

    But he was horribly wrong on the primary causes of heart disease (it's not fat consumption!).

    Kevin Hall is a snake. Read these.

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-kevin-hall-tried-to-kill-insulin-hypothesis-pure-spin

    https://medium.com/@davidludwigmd/defense-of-the-insulin-carbohydrate-model-redux-a-response-to-kevin-hall-37ea64907257

    "Thanks for the conversation."

    Likewise.

    One more thing, in regards to brain size and IQ, there seems to be a plateau and a sharp decrease in brain size after IQ 120.

    See Fig. 4a.

    Reiss, A. L., Abrams, M. T., Singer, H. S., Ross, J. L. & Denckla, M. B. (1996). Brain
    development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study. Brain, 119, 1763-1774.

  15. @res

    I disagree. If there is no full-on agreement of what intelligence is, then what is being studied? That there is no theory of individual intelligence differences is very telling.

     

    Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence.

    When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation. The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good). I think there are a number of theories of what underlies differences (though someone more conversant with the field could back this up better). You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.

    For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_thermodynamics

    It really is. It shows that reductionist ‘theories’ are dumb when it comes to physiologic systems. I would call that intelligence. What is described above is intelligence. You only say that it’s not intelligence because (I’m assuming) you have an anthropocentric view of evolution. But not using humans or our brains as measuring sticks or a ‘be-all-end-all’, all biological organisms show intelligence.
     
    Do you think a Jacquard loom is intelligent? How about a centrifugal governor? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_(device)

    Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from "intelligence" can be hard (both in animals and people ; ).

    An automatic dismissal of "reductionist" is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems.

    If someone tried to analyze a brain from first principles (say at the fundamental particle level) they would immediately get lost in complexity. It is necessary to abstract and introduce hierarchy to make things understandable. This simplification loses information. The question is whether that loss matters to the model/theory. Reductionist theories aren't so much dumb as incomplete. The problem comes in when people confuse their model with reality and don't recognize the shortcomings of their model and try to improve it.

    Well he only said ‘genetic determinists’ because that’s what most people phrase it as, and some people do call themselves that
     
    Although most people might call it that (?), I don't see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?

    One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!). My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable.

    What kind do you look at? I’m into ‘fringe’ nutritional theories, re the insulin theory of obesity (Jason Fung and Gary Taubes). MDs don’t know shit about nutrition, obesity or diabetes
     
    A variety. I don't want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page).

    You think that mainstream nutrition researchers push ideology/their beliefs before the data? Would you say this holds for Kevin Hall? I would.
     
    I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can't easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys.

    What is SNR?
     
    Sorry. Signal to Noise Ratio. See third paragraph of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio

    Thanks for the conversation.

    “Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence.”

    I get that, however, I’m talking about a theory, like physics and chemistry and physiology have theories. Look up sliding filament theory—a physiological theory of how muscles contract. That’s what I’m talking about with IQ differences between individuals—what is the explanatory theory? You know, like how Rushton (wrongly) applied r/K selection theory to human races and attempted to explain behavior etc through it?

    And I think reaction time is a bad indicator. Chewing gum raises reaction time. You know my thoughts on g, physiology and reaction time by now.

    “When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation”

    I’m not really expecting a largely complete explanation, just at least a framework for how and why this occurs. Ian Dreary wrote that there was no theory of individual intelligence differences back in 2001. Sixteen years later and still no theory…

    “The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good).”

    You know that I don’t deny empirical data. Of course, the brain is extremely complex and that’s why attempting to reduce things down to X and Y is, in my opinion, dumb. I don’t look for perfection, only theories that attempt to explain observed phenomena, which I’ve not seen from IQ researchers.

    The best I can do off the top of my head is think about something to do with glucose consumption in the brain. However, things need to be tested, etc.

    “You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.”

    This is what I really wanted to discuss.

    Well since microcephalics can have IQs in the modern range, and people with the brain size of erectus can have IQs in the modern range and do not show any abnormalities, then this shows that brain size must have increased for another reason. That people can have half their brains missing/have moderate-to-severe TBI and can still have IQs in the modern range shows that large brains aren’t needed for an IQ in the modern range.

    Large heads need large birth canals which lead to birth complications for the mother and babe. So if all of the above is true (and it is), then our brains must have increased in size for another reason.

    This is completely disregarding the fact that the so-called increase in brain size is actually true…

    Skim these papers when you get a chance.

    Rethinking Mammalian Brain Evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMjMwNy8zODgzNTUy/10.2307%403883552.pdf

    Fallacies of progression in theories of brain-size evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9iZjAyMTkyODY5/10.1007%40bf02192869.pdf

    ^^ Especially read fallacy number 3, the “Numerology Fallacy”, and fallacy number 2 “The Bigger-is-smarter Fallacy”.

    Confusing size-correlated differences with phylogenetic “progression” in brain evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAxNy9zMDE0MDUyNXgwMDA3ODI1MA==/10.1017%40s0140525x00078250.pdf

    In regards to connectivity, that’s better, but I still await a falsifiable theory of individual intelligence differences.

    “For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked”

    Are you implying that the laws of thermodynamics apply to human physiology?

    “Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from “intelligence” can be hard (both in animals and people ; ).”

    But how do you define intelligence?

    I think it’s simple. If biological systems show X and do Y when Z happens, then all biological systems are intelligent.

    Your questions on if those machines are intelligent is interesting, and I’m sure what’s coming next will be AI, but I did specify biological systems. One can then say why stop there? Machines/AI can show what some would define as ‘intelligence’, but they were designed to be that way.

    Let me think on that note.

    “An automatic dismissal of “reductionist” is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems.”

    But there is a problem with reducing and dividing larger complex systems into smaller ‘more manageable’ parts.

    Reductionism—in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body—is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn’t the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won’t be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one’s personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

    Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system—and not the sum of its parts—should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.

    So we must look at the whole of the system and not reduce things into a sum of smaller parts. Aristotle was hugely important to our understanding of the human body, but in regards to physiology and anatomy, holism makes more sense. I’m not informed on holism in regards to psychology, however. Here is a good article.

    I contend that physiologic systems are too complex to be reduced to a sum of smaller parts, and the whole physiologic system and organism must be studied to understand Y.

    “Although most people might call it that (?), I don’t see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?”

    As a committed believer in behavioral genetics and biological determinism. . .

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2014/10/28/psychopathy-nature-or-nurture/

    Seems like a religion to him…

    He’s said it a lot more recently, too lazy to find the comments. But he’s probably low-hanging fruit (came across a Santoculto comment saying it too):

    I believe in genetic determinism to predispose us to behave like that but social contract or cohersion can do enormous influence specially for those who are extrinsically or socially motivated.

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/06/21/racism-antisemitism-iq/#comment-13682

    Here is a good discussion on that:

    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Examples_please_of_biological_or_genetic_determinism

    “One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!).”

    Examples?

    “My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable.”

    You should read the Pubmed article by Denis Noble on evolutionary physiology if any.

    That’s the crux of it.

    Genes are guided by the system; genes don’t ‘do’ anything without that guidance. The system is also homeodynamic and responds to cues from the environment.

    “A variety. I don’t want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page).”

    I love Taubes. Have you read his new book The Case Against Sugar? That’s next on my list.

    Speaking of nutrition, here is a good article on that:

    Nutriton science isn’t broken, it’s just extremely hard

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/07/21/nutrition-science-isnt-broken-its-just-wicked-hard/

    I’ve read some of Price’s book. It’s good. Thought the Weston A. Price Foundation is kinda kooky (and I say this as an adherent of low-carb, high-fat diets). Dr. Mercoloa has gotten cease-and-desist letters from the FDA.

    “I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can’t easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys.”

    Ancel Keys was proven right on obesity and metabolic slow down (see the Biggest Loser Study):

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwMi9vYnkuMjE1Mzg=/10.1002%40oby.21538.pdf

    But he was horribly wrong on the primary causes of heart disease (it’s not fat consumption!).

    Kevin Hall is a snake. Read these.

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-kevin-hall-tried-to-kill-insulin-hypothesis-pure-spin

    https://medium.com/@davidludwigmd/defense-of-the-insulin-carbohydrate-model-redux-a-response-to-kevin-hall-37ea64907257

    “Thanks for the conversation.”

    Likewise.

    One more thing, in regards to brain size and IQ, there seems to be a plateau and a sharp decrease in brain size after IQ 120.

    See Fig. 4a.

    Reiss, A. L., Abrams, M. T., Singer, H. S., Ross, J. L. & Denckla, M. B. (1996). Brain
    development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study. Brain, 119, 1763-1774.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Just read this comment. Lots here so I'll just cherry pick some things to respond to now and see if I have time to dig in more later.

    Look up sliding filament theory—a physiological theory of how muscles contract. That’s what I’m talking about with IQ differences between individuals—what is the explanatory theory?
     
    Well, in my first comment above I talked about myelin, ion concentrations, and membrane permeability. The effect of those on action potential propagation speed and integrity seem to provide a decent hypothesis. I am far from aware of the whole literature, but I think that has been understudied. This is an area where I think there has been a tendency to gloss over individual differences in favor of using typical numbers to calculate things like impedance which are then used in higher level models (and I grumble about that as being excessively reductionist).

    As a committed believer in behavioral genetics and biological determinism. . .

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2014/10/28/psychopathy-nature-or-nurture/

    Seems like a religion to him…

     

    I looked at the PP link and he (?) seemed to be using those words to criticize James Fallon, not himself. PP does tend to say some extreme things though so perhaps you can find something, but I think PP is somewhat anti-genetic determinism overall (e.g. search for the phrase on his site). Jayman may be even closer to genetic determinism, but even he backs away from the phrase. Look at comments in this thread: https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/beware-armchair-psychoanalysis/

    The Santoculto comment you quoted was interesting. I don't think he would agree with the unqualified phrase though. If you want to check with him, feel free, but I have have been having too much trouble trying to have nuanced conversations with him to engage on something like that.

    Reductionism—in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body—is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn’t the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won’t be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one’s personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

    Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system—and not the sum of its parts—should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.
     
    My main issue in this conversation is that many people see Holism as an alternative to Reductionism rather than being complimentary (e.g. see your "dumb" statement in comment 12). I'll add that I understand how rhetoric can become excessive and specific instances of reductionism which are problematic conflated with the overall idea.

    The automobile makes an interesting example. As a manmade artifact the reductionist interpretation tends to be more accurate and effective (IMHO one of the defining characteristics of engineering is its use of reductionism and one of the great challenges is knowing what can be ignored). However, even there you see instances of holism being required to really understand things. An example I like is cars with the engine in front and the battery in the trunk (for weight distribution and the effects on handling). A design trade-off because it requires large (relatively expensive) battery cables from back to front. But try capturing that design decision in a hierarchical decomposition of car components and their functionality.

    "...This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.”

    This is what I really wanted to discuss.
     
    I would also enjoy some more discussion of that, but I don't know the literature. My sense is that was a fairly new conclusion, but I think it has been speculated about before.

    Examples?
     
    When I wrote that I had in mind one of your links that talked about "nonlinear ..." and something else similar (dynamic something?) but did not really justify why they mattered (I have done control theory coursework). Did not find the specific passage in a quick recheck. If it is important to you I can try digging out more specific examples when I have time. A classic example of this is popular use of "quantum."

    I’ve read some of Price’s book. It’s good. Thought the Weston A. Price Foundation is kinda kooky (and I say this as an adherent of low-carb, high-fat diets). Dr. Mercoloa has gotten cease-and-desist letters from the FDA.
     
    I highly recommend Price's book. IMHO the photos alone are compelling. The WAPF can be hardcore and combative. They are a bit doctrinaire for my taste, but I think Mary Enig does solid work (e.g. her books on fats, she was among the first to call out trans fats as a problem).

    Mercola is a very successful popularizer (with all that often implies). I have mixed feelings about him. Especially since the grapevine indicates he is occasionally ethically challenged (hard to be sure how much of that is real and how much jealousy of his success).

    But he was horribly wrong on the primary causes of heart disease (it’s not fat consumption!).
     
    My big gripe about Ancel Keys is he cherry picked 7 out of 22 countries for his seminal study. And then became famous and renowned for that. This seems like a fairly balanced account of what he did and did not do: https://deniseminger.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong/
    so I might be being overly harsh.

    One more thing, in regards to brain size and IQ, there seems to be a plateau and a sharp decrease in brain size after IQ 120.

    See Fig. 4a.

    Reiss, A. L., Abrams, M. T., Singer, H. S., Ross, J. L. & Denckla, M. B. (1996). Brain
    development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study. Brain, 119, 1763-1774.
     
    First, that paper is over 20 years old. Imaging studies are much more common (and better, I think) now. Has anyone followed up?

    In figure 4a I see 3 data points that I think are driving the decline (2 at the far right and the girl at the bottom right). That concerns me and overall it is a small sample size to be drawing broad conclusions. One thing that struck me as odd is there is only one boy with IQ > 120 but many (a dozen or more) girls. What is going on with that sample?
  16. res says:
    @RaceRealist88
    "Largely what IQ tests measure IMHO. And some other areas (e.g. brain scans, reaction times) which I think people are trying to connect both to IQ and more subjective ideas of intelligence."

    I get that, however, I'm talking about a theory, like physics and chemistry and physiology have theories. Look up sliding filament theory---a physiological theory of how muscles contract. That's what I'm talking about with IQ differences between individuals---what is the explanatory theory? You know, like how Rushton (wrongly) applied r/K selection theory to human races and attempted to explain behavior etc through it?

    And I think reaction time is a bad indicator. Chewing gum raises reaction time. You know my thoughts on g, physiology and reaction time by now.

    "When you talk about there being no theory it comes across as expecting a largely complete explanation"

    I'm not really expecting a largely complete explanation, just at least a framework for how and why this occurs. Ian Dreary wrote that there was no theory of individual intelligence differences back in 2001. Sixteen years later and still no theory...

    "The brain is complex enough that I think that is asking too much and is often done to dismiss what knowledge there is (the perfect is the enemy of the good)."

    You know that I don't deny empirical data. Of course, the brain is extremely complex and that's why attempting to reduce things down to X and Y is, in my opinion, dumb. I don't look for perfection, only theories that attempt to explain observed phenomena, which I've not seen from IQ researchers.

    The best I can do off the top of my head is think about something to do with glucose consumption in the brain. However, things need to be tested, etc.

    "You talk about brain size a fair bit. Despite the exceptions you note, it does seem to matter for intelligence (which seems sensible, why else pay such a large metabolic cost?). This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity."

    This is what I really wanted to discuss.

    Well since microcephalics can have IQs in the modern range, and people with the brain size of erectus can have IQs in the modern range and do not show any abnormalities, then this shows that brain size must have increased for another reason. That people can have half their brains missing/have moderate-to-severe TBI and can still have IQs in the modern range shows that large brains aren't needed for an IQ in the modern range.

    Large heads need large birth canals which lead to birth complications for the mother and babe. So if all of the above is true (and it is), then our brains must have increased in size for another reason.

    This is completely disregarding the fact that the so-called increase in brain size is actually true...

    Skim these papers when you get a chance.

    Rethinking Mammalian Brain Evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMjMwNy8zODgzNTUy/10.2307%403883552.pdf

    Fallacies of progression in theories of brain-size evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwNy9iZjAyMTkyODY5/10.1007%40bf02192869.pdf

    ^^ Especially read fallacy number 3, the "Numerology Fallacy", and fallacy number 2 "The Bigger-is-smarter Fallacy".

    Confusing size-correlated differences with phylogenetic "progression" in brain evolution

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAxNy9zMDE0MDUyNXgwMDA3ODI1MA==/10.1017%40s0140525x00078250.pdf

    In regards to connectivity, that's better, but I still await a falsifiable theory of individual intelligence differences.

    "For an analogy, remember that the practical steam engine preceded the science of thermodynamics which rigorously explained why it worked"

    Are you implying that the laws of thermodynamics apply to human physiology?

    "Distinguishing a simple algorithm (e.g. moving towards an increasing concentration of food and away from toxins) from “intelligence” can be hard (both in animals and people ; )."

    But how do you define intelligence?

    I think it's simple. If biological systems show X and do Y when Z happens, then all biological systems are intelligent.

    Your questions on if those machines are intelligent is interesting, and I'm sure what's coming next will be AI, but I did specify biological systems. One can then say why stop there? Machines/AI can show what some would define as 'intelligence', but they were designed to be that way.

    Let me think on that note.

    "An automatic dismissal of “reductionist” is another red flag for me. Analyzing complex systems is difficult. Reductionist division into parts and interfaces has been a remarkably successful way of both analyzing and conveying an understanding of complex systems."

    But there is a problem with reducing and dividing larger complex systems into smaller 'more manageable' parts.

    Reductionism---in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body---is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn't the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won't be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one's personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

    Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system---and not the sum of its parts---should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.

    So we must look at the whole of the system and not reduce things into a sum of smaller parts. Aristotle was hugely important to our understanding of the human body, but in regards to physiology and anatomy, holism makes more sense. I'm not informed on holism in regards to psychology, however. Here is a good article.

    I contend that physiologic systems are too complex to be reduced to a sum of smaller parts, and the whole physiologic system and organism must be studied to understand Y.

    "Although most people might call it that (?), I don’t see people calling themselves that. Perhaps you could show me some examples?"

    As a committed believer in behavioral genetics and biological determinism. . .

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2014/10/28/psychopathy-nature-or-nurture/

    Seems like a religion to him...

    He's said it a lot more recently, too lazy to find the comments. But he's probably low-hanging fruit (came across a Santoculto comment saying it too):

    I believe in genetic determinism to predispose us to behave like that but social contract or cohersion can do enormous influence specially for those who are extrinsically or socially motivated.

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2015/06/21/racism-antisemitism-iq/#comment-13682

    Here is a good discussion on that:

    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Examples_please_of_biological_or_genetic_determinism

    "One of the problems I have with some of your references I looked at is that my background is engineering (and science). I am seeing a great deal of language which seems buzzword filled without corresponding content to back it up (show me the data and analysis!)."

    Examples?

    "My BS detector is going off overtime and I have trouble finding the patience to read through that when I am not getting any payoff of evidence I find believable."

    You should read the Pubmed article by Denis Noble on evolutionary physiology if any.

    That's the crux of it.

    Genes are guided by the system; genes don't 'do' anything without that guidance. The system is also homeodynamic and responds to cues from the environment.

    "A variety. I don’t want to go into too much detail because my interests are idiosyncratic and that does not help anonymity, but Taubes interests me. Agreed (mostly) about MDs. One particular annoyance is that their confidence/assertiveness vs. knowledge ratio tends to be absurdly high when it comes to nutrition. I have been struck by the work of some dentists (e.g. Weston A. Price and Melvin Page)."

    I love Taubes. Have you read his new book The Case Against Sugar? That's next on my list.

    Speaking of nutrition, here is a good article on that:

    Nutriton science isn't broken, it's just extremely hard

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/07/21/nutrition-science-isnt-broken-its-just-wicked-hard/

    I've read some of Price's book. It's good. Thought the Weston A. Price Foundation is kinda kooky (and I say this as an adherent of low-carb, high-fat diets). Dr. Mercoloa has gotten cease-and-desist letters from the FDA.

    "I was unfamiliar with Kevin Hall, but a quick search makes me say yes. Though I can’t easily tell what his agenda is. Some older examples (IMO) would be Frederick Stare and Ancel Keys."

    Ancel Keys was proven right on obesity and metabolic slow down (see the Biggest Loser Study):

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAwMi9vYnkuMjE1Mzg=/10.1002%40oby.21538.pdf

    But he was horribly wrong on the primary causes of heart disease (it's not fat consumption!).

    Kevin Hall is a snake. Read these.

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-kevin-hall-tried-to-kill-insulin-hypothesis-pure-spin

    https://medium.com/@davidludwigmd/defense-of-the-insulin-carbohydrate-model-redux-a-response-to-kevin-hall-37ea64907257

    "Thanks for the conversation."

    Likewise.

    One more thing, in regards to brain size and IQ, there seems to be a plateau and a sharp decrease in brain size after IQ 120.

    See Fig. 4a.

    Reiss, A. L., Abrams, M. T., Singer, H. S., Ross, J. L. & Denckla, M. B. (1996). Brain
    development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study. Brain, 119, 1763-1774.

    Just read this comment. Lots here so I’ll just cherry pick some things to respond to now and see if I have time to dig in more later.

    Look up sliding filament theory—a physiological theory of how muscles contract. That’s what I’m talking about with IQ differences between individuals—what is the explanatory theory?

    Well, in my first comment above I talked about myelin, ion concentrations, and membrane permeability. The effect of those on action potential propagation speed and integrity seem to provide a decent hypothesis. I am far from aware of the whole literature, but I think that has been understudied. This is an area where I think there has been a tendency to gloss over individual differences in favor of using typical numbers to calculate things like impedance which are then used in higher level models (and I grumble about that as being excessively reductionist).

    As a committed believer in behavioral genetics and biological determinism. . .

    https://pumpkinperson.com/2014/10/28/psychopathy-nature-or-nurture/

    Seems like a religion to him…

    I looked at the PP link and he (?) seemed to be using those words to criticize James Fallon, not himself. PP does tend to say some extreme things though so perhaps you can find something, but I think PP is somewhat anti-genetic determinism overall (e.g. search for the phrase on his site). Jayman may be even closer to genetic determinism, but even he backs away from the phrase. Look at comments in this thread: https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/beware-armchair-psychoanalysis/

    The Santoculto comment you quoted was interesting. I don’t think he would agree with the unqualified phrase though. If you want to check with him, feel free, but I have have been having too much trouble trying to have nuanced conversations with him to engage on something like that.

    Reductionism—in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body—is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn’t the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won’t be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one’s personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

    Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system—and not the sum of its parts—should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.

    My main issue in this conversation is that many people see Holism as an alternative to Reductionism rather than being complimentary (e.g. see your “dumb” statement in comment 12). I’ll add that I understand how rhetoric can become excessive and specific instances of reductionism which are problematic conflated with the overall idea.

    The automobile makes an interesting example. As a manmade artifact the reductionist interpretation tends to be more accurate and effective (IMHO one of the defining characteristics of engineering is its use of reductionism and one of the great challenges is knowing what can be ignored). However, even there you see instances of holism being required to really understand things. An example I like is cars with the engine in front and the battery in the trunk (for weight distribution and the effects on handling). A design trade-off because it requires large (relatively expensive) battery cables from back to front. But try capturing that design decision in a hierarchical decomposition of car components and their functionality.

    “…This particular blog post discusses the importance of connectivity.”

    This is what I really wanted to discuss.

    I would also enjoy some more discussion of that, but I don’t know the literature. My sense is that was a fairly new conclusion, but I think it has been speculated about before.

    Examples?

    When I wrote that I had in mind one of your links that talked about “nonlinear …” and something else similar (dynamic something?) but did not really justify why they mattered (I have done control theory coursework). Did not find the specific passage in a quick recheck. If it is important to you I can try digging out more specific examples when I have time. A classic example of this is popular use of “quantum.”

    I’ve read some of Price’s book. It’s good. Thought the Weston A. Price Foundation is kinda kooky (and I say this as an adherent of low-carb, high-fat diets). Dr. Mercoloa has gotten cease-and-desist letters from the FDA.

    I highly recommend Price’s book. IMHO the photos alone are compelling. The WAPF can be hardcore and combative. They are a bit doctrinaire for my taste, but I think Mary Enig does solid work (e.g. her books on fats, she was among the first to call out trans fats as a problem).

    Mercola is a very successful popularizer (with all that often implies). I have mixed feelings about him. Especially since the grapevine indicates he is occasionally ethically challenged (hard to be sure how much of that is real and how much jealousy of his success).

    But he was horribly wrong on the primary causes of heart disease (it’s not fat consumption!).

    My big gripe about Ancel Keys is he cherry picked 7 out of 22 countries for his seminal study. And then became famous and renowned for that. This seems like a fairly balanced account of what he did and did not do: https://deniseminger.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong/
    so I might be being overly harsh.

    One more thing, in regards to brain size and IQ, there seems to be a plateau and a sharp decrease in brain size after IQ 120.

    See Fig. 4a.

    Reiss, A. L., Abrams, M. T., Singer, H. S., Ross, J. L. & Denckla, M. B. (1996). Brain
    development, gender and IQ in children: A volumetric imaging study. Brain, 119, 1763-1774.

    First, that paper is over 20 years old. Imaging studies are much more common (and better, I think) now. Has anyone followed up?

    In figure 4a I see 3 data points that I think are driving the decline (2 at the far right and the girl at the bottom right). That concerns me and overall it is a small sample size to be drawing broad conclusions. One thing that struck me as odd is there is only one boy with IQ > 120 but many (a dozen or more) girls. What is going on with that sample?

    Read More
  17. utu says:
    @RaceRealist88
    No problem. I think he makes a lot of sense, he certainly quells the 'genes for' thing very well, in my opinion.

    You should also pick up 'DNA Is Not Destiny' by Stephen J. Heine. That's another good read.

    Here's a review on one of Richardson's books:

    Here is a review of his book The Origins of Human Potential which talks a bit more about the intelligent physiology/embryonic development.

    http://clogic.eserver.org/2003/mackenzie.html

    This is also strongly recommended.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060581/

    Richardson also criticizes 'abnormally high levels of heritability' for IQ:

    He shows heritabilities for traits of the house martin: wing length, 0.156; tarsus length, 0.079; body mass, 0.000; immunoglobulin, 0.051; T-cell response, 0.007; Leukocyte number, 0.059:

    Source:

    http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTA0Ni9qLjEzNjUtMjU0MC4yMDAwLjAwNzMyLng=/10.1046%40j.1365-2540.2000.00732.x.pdf

    As you can see, these estimates are minuscule compared with those (0.5-0.8) typically reported for human potential derived from twin studies. Little wonder that Peter Schonemann sarcastically warned that heritability estimates for IQ "surpass anything found in the animal kingdom." (http://cyber.sci-hub.bz/MTAuMTAyMy9hOjEwMTgzNTg1MDQzNzM=/10.1023%40a%3A1018358504373.pdf) Any objective observer would surely reach the conclusion that human potential is unlikely to be so unsual. Rather it is the method by which it is estimated that it is anomalous [twin studies].

    As I emphasize further in chapter 4, such low heritabilites do not necessarily mean little genetic variation; they simply mean that, for a variety of reasons, there is little association (corrlation) between genetic variation and phenotypic variation. Why make intelligence an exception? We could, after all, apply the same logic in many subjective ways. Perhaps we could establish from twin studies that behavioral geneticists have a surfeit of genes for "belief in heritbaility." And perhaps critics have genes for "skepticism." In such a gene-determined world, of course, objective science would no longer be possible, because everyone's appraisal of data is hopelessly biased by their genes! (Richardson, 2017: 65)

    I find the last part funny.

    Thanks again for links and references.

    I am struggling with heritability as I have started learning about it quite recently. At first glance the formula H^2=2(r_mz-r_dz) is sound and the only argument against it is that MZ twin actually evoke different environments than DZ twins and thus there is no true cancellation of environment factor as suppose to happen in order to make the formula valid. The only remedy would be the studies of twin separated at birth. The problem is that there is not many data particularly more recent ones as there are policies of not separating twins.

    Certainly genome studies so far did not pan out and can’t reproduce the high value of heritability obtained in twin studies. Even in such simple and straightforward traits like height where there is no controversy or skepticism about its definition or measure as it is in the case of IQ.

    The IQists like to cite studies that claim that heritability of IQ is 20-30% for clung children and in adult age it is 70%-80%. They do not have a reasonable explanation for it but they love the results because people of Charles Murray ilk can shut down arguments in favor of programs like Head Start. It really comes to that. And the same time Thompson and others do not question whether heritability change from 20% to 80% is possible if at the same time they claim that IQ remains constant and children-adult correlation is about 70-80%. It does not occur to them that you can’t have both results valid at the same time. But they do not care and plough through because they are maniacs blinded by their ideology.

    I like what Richardson wrote about genes for “belief in heritability”. Perhaps it can be found . After all they found that divorce is 40% heritable. Nature apparently is very generous to pseudoscientists. It lets them prove their ridiculous hypotheses.

    Read More
  18. Ron Unz says:

    The IQists like to cite studies that claim that heritability of IQ is 20-30% for clung children and in adult age it is 70%-80%. They do not have a reasonable explanation for it…

    I’d be curious about whether there’s any correspondingly variable heritability time-curve for something like height, which would obviously make an excellent control, given that it’s so overwhelmingly genetic (modulo reasonable nutrition).

    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend to mostly net-out by about 20 or so, just like growth has probably reached its final stage by then.

    Anyway, that’s just my casual speculation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    The results are as you expected. Though the height heritability varies less by age (~0.5-0.75 from ages 5 to 19).

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496

    The proportion of height variation explained by shared environmental factors was greatest in early childhood, but these effects remained present until early adulthood. Accordingly, the relative genetic contribution increased with age and was greatest in adolescence (up to 0.83 in boys and 0.76 in girls).
     
    Graphically: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496#f1

    While we are casually speculating, I think the other explanation commonly given--that individuals control their own environment more as they become older--helps explain the greater change by age in heritability for IQ.

    Regarding "random short-term environmental/developmental factors", one that is clearly relevant is rate of maturation. This is especially relevant in race and IQ gap discussions because blacks tend to mature faster than whites.
    , @utu
    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend


    The problem with the function IQ=IQ(t) is that it would be very hard to construct. Keep in mind that IQ tests for different age groups are different and/or scaled differently. There is no absolute scale. For each age groups the scale is separately imposed by forcing the distribution to have Mean=100 and St.Dev=15 for each age group. This procedure forces the statistics to be stable with age, however individual scores of IQ can do lot of wandering around. which is not surprising because they re not the same tests. However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    In all IQ tests there is problem of reproducibility error. How to estimate it when repeating the same test is not really a good measure of repeatability because subjects learn by repeating tests. Still it is claimed (wiki) that repeat tests correlate on level of 0.9-0.95. I suspect that the correlation at young age might be much lower as children may have bigger problems with attention, concentration and thus would be prone to making more mistakes. This may explain why identical twin studies produce very low heritability among children. However, if this is the case how can it be claimed that child's IQ is a good predictor of its future accomplishments. Which IQ result? Of the twin who scored high or the twin who scored low? Down the road their outcome should be similar as their scores are supposed to merge to each other when they are old, right?
  19. res says:
    @Ron Unz

    The IQists like to cite studies that claim that heritability of IQ is 20-30% for clung children and in adult age it is 70%-80%. They do not have a reasonable explanation for it...
     
    I'd be curious about whether there's any correspondingly variable heritability time-curve for something like height, which would obviously make an excellent control, given that it's so overwhelmingly genetic (modulo reasonable nutrition).

    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend to mostly net-out by about 20 or so, just like growth has probably reached its final stage by then.

    Anyway, that's just my casual speculation.

    The results are as you expected. Though the height heritability varies less by age (~0.5-0.75 from ages 5 to 19).

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496

    The proportion of height variation explained by shared environmental factors was greatest in early childhood, but these effects remained present until early adulthood. Accordingly, the relative genetic contribution increased with age and was greatest in adolescence (up to 0.83 in boys and 0.76 in girls).

    Graphically: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496#f1

    While we are casually speculating, I think the other explanation commonly given–that individuals control their own environment more as they become older–helps explain the greater change by age in heritability for IQ.

    Regarding “random short-term environmental/developmental factors”, one that is clearly relevant is rate of maturation. This is especially relevant in race and IQ gap discussions because blacks tend to mature faster than whites.

    Read More
  20. utu says:
    @Ron Unz

    The IQists like to cite studies that claim that heritability of IQ is 20-30% for clung children and in adult age it is 70%-80%. They do not have a reasonable explanation for it...
     
    I'd be curious about whether there's any correspondingly variable heritability time-curve for something like height, which would obviously make an excellent control, given that it's so overwhelmingly genetic (modulo reasonable nutrition).

    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend to mostly net-out by about 20 or so, just like growth has probably reached its final stage by then.

    Anyway, that's just my casual speculation.

    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend

    The problem with the function IQ=IQ(t) is that it would be very hard to construct. Keep in mind that IQ tests for different age groups are different and/or scaled differently. There is no absolute scale. For each age groups the scale is separately imposed by forcing the distribution to have Mean=100 and St.Dev=15 for each age group. This procedure forces the statistics to be stable with age, however individual scores of IQ can do lot of wandering around. which is not surprising because they re not the same tests. However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    In all IQ tests there is problem of reproducibility error. How to estimate it when repeating the same test is not really a good measure of repeatability because subjects learn by repeating tests. Still it is claimed (wiki) that repeat tests correlate on level of 0.9-0.95. I suspect that the correlation at young age might be much lower as children may have bigger problems with attention, concentration and thus would be prone to making more mistakes. This may explain why identical twin studies produce very low heritability among children. However, if this is the case how can it be claimed that child’s IQ is a good predictor of its future accomplishments. Which IQ result? Of the twin who scored high or the twin who scored low? Down the road their outcome should be similar as their scores are supposed to merge to each other when they are old, right?

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.
     
    When you have two "facts" that appear to be inconsistent it is good to check both of them before proceeding. This 2013 paper gives genetic and shared environment influences by age in figure 2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23919982
    At age 11 they show an estimate of heritability of 0.70 from, guess what, your Scottish studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16184482
    Table III on page 529 gives the 0.70 heritability estimate for "Combined SMS1932 & SMS1947 MHT Score"
    It also has breakdowns by sex and 1947 based age 11 heritability estimates for height (0.80), weight (0.73), and BMI (0.84).

    Note that the 0.70 estimate at age 11 is an outlier on the figure 2 curve. The age 10 heritability estimate and data point are more like 0.55 and the smoothed curve indicates about 0.63 at age 11.

    When I look at page 2 of the latter paper I see:

    It [Moray House Test No. 12, aka MHT] was validated against the Stanford revision of the Binet test (r  0.8) (Scottish Council for Research in Education, 1933). The MHT has high stability of individual differences over more than 60 years, with a correlation coefficient between MHT score between age 11 and almost 80 of 0.66 (Deary et al., 2000, 2004).
     
    So it looks to me like your "60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8" was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for "claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%."

    So in this case it looks like both of your "facts" were wrong and there is no inconsistency. It is frustrating to examine unsubstantiated assertions and find that they don't hold up to inspection. It also undermines confidence in the asserter.

    The FUD thing really gets tiresome, utu. Arguments that go beyond "this would be hard" or "I do not find this credible" accompanied by actual references would be nice.

    P.S. Hopefully the occasional rebuttal like this is enough for credulous readers to estimate your reliability. I have neither the time nor the inclination to fact check your entire oeuvre.
  21. res says:
    @utu
    I could see an IQ time-curve being caused by random short-term environmental/developmental factors that generally tend


    The problem with the function IQ=IQ(t) is that it would be very hard to construct. Keep in mind that IQ tests for different age groups are different and/or scaled differently. There is no absolute scale. For each age groups the scale is separately imposed by forcing the distribution to have Mean=100 and St.Dev=15 for each age group. This procedure forces the statistics to be stable with age, however individual scores of IQ can do lot of wandering around. which is not surprising because they re not the same tests. However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    In all IQ tests there is problem of reproducibility error. How to estimate it when repeating the same test is not really a good measure of repeatability because subjects learn by repeating tests. Still it is claimed (wiki) that repeat tests correlate on level of 0.9-0.95. I suspect that the correlation at young age might be much lower as children may have bigger problems with attention, concentration and thus would be prone to making more mistakes. This may explain why identical twin studies produce very low heritability among children. However, if this is the case how can it be claimed that child's IQ is a good predictor of its future accomplishments. Which IQ result? Of the twin who scored high or the twin who scored low? Down the road their outcome should be similar as their scores are supposed to merge to each other when they are old, right?

    I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    When you have two “facts” that appear to be inconsistent it is good to check both of them before proceeding. This 2013 paper gives genetic and shared environment influences by age in figure 2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23919982
    At age 11 they show an estimate of heritability of 0.70 from, guess what, your Scottish studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16184482
    Table III on page 529 gives the 0.70 heritability estimate for “Combined SMS1932 & SMS1947 MHT Score”
    It also has breakdowns by sex and 1947 based age 11 heritability estimates for height (0.80), weight (0.73), and BMI (0.84).

    Note that the 0.70 estimate at age 11 is an outlier on the figure 2 curve. The age 10 heritability estimate and data point are more like 0.55 and the smoothed curve indicates about 0.63 at age 11.

    When I look at page 2 of the latter paper I see:

    It [Moray House Test No. 12, aka MHT] was validated against the Stanford revision of the Binet test (r  0.8) (Scottish Council for Research in Education, 1933). The MHT has high stability of individual differences over more than 60 years, with a correlation coefficient between MHT score between age 11 and almost 80 of 0.66 (Deary et al., 2000, 2004).

    So it looks to me like your “60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8″ was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for “claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.”

    So in this case it looks like both of your “facts” were wrong and there is no inconsistency. It is frustrating to examine unsubstantiated assertions and find that they don’t hold up to inspection. It also undermines confidence in the asserter.

    The FUD thing really gets tiresome, utu. Arguments that go beyond “this would be hard” or “I do not find this credible” accompanied by actual references would be nice.

    P.S. Hopefully the occasional rebuttal like this is enough for credulous readers to estimate your reliability. I have neither the time nor the inclination to fact check your entire oeuvre.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Hi Mr. Rebuttal,

    So it looks to me like your “60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8″ was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for “claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.”
     
    I haven't heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children. Look up the Wilson effect and I am sure you will find publications claiming low heritability for children. Here is one:

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Bouchard2/publication/255692897_The_Wilson_Effect_The_Increase_in_Heritability_of_IQ_With_Age/links/545b97120cf2f1dbcbcafb26.pdf

    As far as the 0.8 number here it is:

    The Impact of Childhood Intelligence on Later Life: Following Up the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947, Deary, et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2004

    They are based on the assumption that the reliable variance in Moray House Test scores is 1.0. Instead, a better estimate of the reliable variance would be the short-term test–retest correlation of the Moray House Test scores. Assuming a short-term test–retest correlation of about .9, the true stability of the Moray House Test scores from age 11 to age 80 might be as high as .8.
     
    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.
  22. utu says:
    @res

    I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.
     
    When you have two "facts" that appear to be inconsistent it is good to check both of them before proceeding. This 2013 paper gives genetic and shared environment influences by age in figure 2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23919982
    At age 11 they show an estimate of heritability of 0.70 from, guess what, your Scottish studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16184482
    Table III on page 529 gives the 0.70 heritability estimate for "Combined SMS1932 & SMS1947 MHT Score"
    It also has breakdowns by sex and 1947 based age 11 heritability estimates for height (0.80), weight (0.73), and BMI (0.84).

    Note that the 0.70 estimate at age 11 is an outlier on the figure 2 curve. The age 10 heritability estimate and data point are more like 0.55 and the smoothed curve indicates about 0.63 at age 11.

    When I look at page 2 of the latter paper I see:

    It [Moray House Test No. 12, aka MHT] was validated against the Stanford revision of the Binet test (r  0.8) (Scottish Council for Research in Education, 1933). The MHT has high stability of individual differences over more than 60 years, with a correlation coefficient between MHT score between age 11 and almost 80 of 0.66 (Deary et al., 2000, 2004).
     
    So it looks to me like your "60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8" was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for "claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%."

    So in this case it looks like both of your "facts" were wrong and there is no inconsistency. It is frustrating to examine unsubstantiated assertions and find that they don't hold up to inspection. It also undermines confidence in the asserter.

    The FUD thing really gets tiresome, utu. Arguments that go beyond "this would be hard" or "I do not find this credible" accompanied by actual references would be nice.

    P.S. Hopefully the occasional rebuttal like this is enough for credulous readers to estimate your reliability. I have neither the time nor the inclination to fact check your entire oeuvre.

    Hi Mr. Rebuttal,

    So it looks to me like your “60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8″ was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for “claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.”

    I haven’t heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children. Look up the Wilson effect and I am sure you will find publications claiming low heritability for children. Here is one:

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Bouchard2/publication/255692897_The_Wilson_Effect_The_Increase_in_Heritability_of_IQ_With_Age/links/545b97120cf2f1dbcbcafb26.pdf

    As far as the 0.8 number here it is:

    The Impact of Childhood Intelligence on Later Life: Following Up the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947, Deary, et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2004

    They are based on the assumption that the reliable variance in Moray House Test scores is 1.0. Instead, a better estimate of the reliable variance would be the short-term test–retest correlation of the Moray House Test scores. Assuming a short-term test–retest correlation of about .9, the true stability of the Moray House Test scores from age 11 to age 80 might be as high as .8.

    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    I haven’t heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children.
     
    You made a very specific and incorrect statement: "in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%." I don't recall Dr. Thompson making an assertion like that. Perhaps you could point me to one? Note that saying "lower than in adults" is not the same as saying "low" or saying "about 30% at age 11."

    I don't think you are interpreting the graphics in your link correctly. Perhaps you could explain to me how that reference justifies your 30% heritability at age 11 claim?

    And as far as your 0.8 quote, that is an ad hoc corrected number (thank you for at least including enough context so we could see that easily) not a correlation. If you go back and look at page 6 of Deary 2004 (the source of your quote) you will see the correlation was 0.66 (range restriction corrected to 0.73, so perhaps you could argue that is almost 0.8, see I even give you usable arguments since you need the help) for the LBC1921 population in question. Perhaps you can go argue with CanSpeccy who is arguing for a lower correlation than that in the current thread?

    If I am "Mr. Rebuttal" I think I will name you "Mr. Wrong." That seems just as appropriate.

    Not only wrong here, but it seems stupid of you to argue points where you are so clearly wrong.


    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.
     
    I don't know if I have ever seen a better example of projection than this. Thanks for the chuckle!
  23. res says:
    @utu
    Hi Mr. Rebuttal,

    So it looks to me like your “60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8″ was a misinterpretation. Perhaps you could clarify and give a citation for that number? And also a citation for “claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.”
     
    I haven't heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children. Look up the Wilson effect and I am sure you will find publications claiming low heritability for children. Here is one:

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Bouchard2/publication/255692897_The_Wilson_Effect_The_Increase_in_Heritability_of_IQ_With_Age/links/545b97120cf2f1dbcbcafb26.pdf

    As far as the 0.8 number here it is:

    The Impact of Childhood Intelligence on Later Life: Following Up the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947, Deary, et al. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2004

    They are based on the assumption that the reliable variance in Moray House Test scores is 1.0. Instead, a better estimate of the reliable variance would be the short-term test–retest correlation of the Moray House Test scores. Assuming a short-term test–retest correlation of about .9, the true stability of the Moray House Test scores from age 11 to age 80 might be as high as .8.
     
    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.

    I haven’t heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children.

    You made a very specific and incorrect statement: “in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.” I don’t recall Dr. Thompson making an assertion like that. Perhaps you could point me to one? Note that saying “lower than in adults” is not the same as saying “low” or saying “about 30% at age 11.”

    I don’t think you are interpreting the graphics in your link correctly. Perhaps you could explain to me how that reference justifies your 30% heritability at age 11 claim?

    And as far as your 0.8 quote, that is an ad hoc corrected number (thank you for at least including enough context so we could see that easily) not a correlation. If you go back and look at page 6 of Deary 2004 (the source of your quote) you will see the correlation was 0.66 (range restriction corrected to 0.73, so perhaps you could argue that is almost 0.8, see I even give you usable arguments since you need the help) for the LBC1921 population in question. Perhaps you can go argue with CanSpeccy who is arguing for a lower correlation than that in the current thread?

    If I am “Mr. Rebuttal” I think I will name you “Mr. Wrong.” That seems just as appropriate.

    Not only wrong here, but it seems stupid of you to argue points where you are so clearly wrong.

    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.

    I don’t know if I have ever seen a better example of projection than this. Thanks for the chuckle!

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    It seems that you are nitpicking. Something must have upset you. For some reason you do not show any curiosity whether varying heritability with age is congruent with reported IQ stability. You do not like 0.8 because it is corrected. You would like a lower number, right? There are other studies that report high correlations as well between young children and adults:

    Intellectual development from early childhood to early adulthood: The impact of early IQ differences on stability and change over time, Schneider et al. Learning and Individual Differences

    the average correlation of intelligence measures at the age of school enrolment (6 years of age) with intelligence at age 17 was quite strong (r = .67) and even increased (r = .77) for the time interval between 8 and 17 years

    test–retest correlations were already substantial for the 10-year interval between preschool and adolescence (r = .65), and remained almost identical thereafter, yielding a correlation of .64 between preschool and adult age

     


    IQ stability: The relation between child and young adult intelligence test scores in low-birthweight samples, MORTENSEN et al. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,

    For the Wechsler Verbal, Performance and Full-Scale IQs, the stability quotients were 0.86, 0.86, and 0.89 in the WAIS sample, and the retest correlations for the three IQs with the BPP score were 0.66, 0.65, and 0.74.
     
    So even between age of 8 and adulthood the stability is very hight. But somehow you do no like it. You want it to be low, right?

    Now about heritability. How to read Fig. 2 (in Bouchard)? On Y axis is heritability and on X axis is time but the ticks are ambiguous. But say it is 30% between ages 5 and 7 and 45% between ages 7 and 10. And yes you got me. Hip hip hurrah for res. utu was wrong. At age 11 heritability in this figure is not 30% as utu stated. Case closed for the incurious and not too honest nitpicker.

    So let say that at age 8 it is 40%. And correlation between age 8 and adulthood suppose to (pick a number) be 0.65, 0.70 or 0.75.

    I am curious person I am asking a question whether the two numbers, say 40% and 0.70 can coexist in the same universe. I know the answer, btw. Do you know what are the mutual bounds on these two numbers?

    I am kind of surprised that you, instead of getting curious, just wanted to undermine my insight which never occurred to you, btw, but you realized its consequences and right away you wanted the heritability to be higher and correlation to be lower to avoid admitting that there are cracks in the facade built by the iq-cool-aid drinkers that I happened to discover.
  24. utu says:
    @res

    I haven’t heard you ever making a peep under numerous notes of Thompson when he cited low heritability among children.
     
    You made a very specific and incorrect statement: "in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%." I don't recall Dr. Thompson making an assertion like that. Perhaps you could point me to one? Note that saying "lower than in adults" is not the same as saying "low" or saying "about 30% at age 11."

    I don't think you are interpreting the graphics in your link correctly. Perhaps you could explain to me how that reference justifies your 30% heritability at age 11 claim?

    And as far as your 0.8 quote, that is an ad hoc corrected number (thank you for at least including enough context so we could see that easily) not a correlation. If you go back and look at page 6 of Deary 2004 (the source of your quote) you will see the correlation was 0.66 (range restriction corrected to 0.73, so perhaps you could argue that is almost 0.8, see I even give you usable arguments since you need the help) for the LBC1921 population in question. Perhaps you can go argue with CanSpeccy who is arguing for a lower correlation than that in the current thread?

    If I am "Mr. Rebuttal" I think I will name you "Mr. Wrong." That seems just as appropriate.

    Not only wrong here, but it seems stupid of you to argue points where you are so clearly wrong.


    As, far as a reliability is concerned I have to admit that among the IQ-cool-aid drinkers that frequent this site you are one of very few who actually read some source articles though too often with one eye only. But I understand, after all most of the time humans look for confirmations of their biases and prejudices. One may hope that interactions among humans biased differently will produce a progress in knowledge because an isolated individual with few exceptions just keeps chasing his own tail.
     
    I don't know if I have ever seen a better example of projection than this. Thanks for the chuckle!

    It seems that you are nitpicking. Something must have upset you. For some reason you do not show any curiosity whether varying heritability with age is congruent with reported IQ stability. You do not like 0.8 because it is corrected. You would like a lower number, right? There are other studies that report high correlations as well between young children and adults:

    Intellectual development from early childhood to early adulthood: The impact of early IQ differences on stability and change over time, Schneider et al. Learning and Individual Differences

    the average correlation of intelligence measures at the age of school enrolment (6 years of age) with intelligence at age 17 was quite strong (r = .67) and even increased (r = .77) for the time interval between 8 and 17 years

    test–retest correlations were already substantial for the 10-year interval between preschool and adolescence (r = .65), and remained almost identical thereafter, yielding a correlation of .64 between preschool and adult age

    IQ stability: The relation between child and young adult intelligence test scores in low-birthweight samples, MORTENSEN et al. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,

    For the Wechsler Verbal, Performance and Full-Scale IQs, the stability quotients were 0.86, 0.86, and 0.89 in the WAIS sample, and the retest correlations for the three IQs with the BPP score were 0.66, 0.65, and 0.74.

    So even between age of 8 and adulthood the stability is very hight. But somehow you do no like it. You want it to be low, right?

    Now about heritability. How to read Fig. 2 (in Bouchard)? On Y axis is heritability and on X axis is time but the ticks are ambiguous. But say it is 30% between ages 5 and 7 and 45% between ages 7 and 10. And yes you got me. Hip hip hurrah for res. utu was wrong. At age 11 heritability in this figure is not 30% as utu stated. Case closed for the incurious and not too honest nitpicker.

    So let say that at age 8 it is 40%. And correlation between age 8 and adulthood suppose to (pick a number) be 0.65, 0.70 or 0.75.

    I am curious person I am asking a question whether the two numbers, say 40% and 0.70 can coexist in the same universe. I know the answer, btw. Do you know what are the mutual bounds on these two numbers?

    I am kind of surprised that you, instead of getting curious, just wanted to undermine my insight which never occurred to you, btw, but you realized its consequences and right away you wanted the heritability to be higher and correlation to be lower to avoid admitting that there are cracks in the facade built by the iq-cool-aid drinkers that I happened to discover.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    That reply was laughable. Face it, you are not as good at this kind of rhetoric as CanSpeccy is.

    Let's return to your original assertion in comment 20 (which was what I originally objected to):


    However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.
     
    As we have established after a protracted discussion, we see that the actual numbers per figure 2 in Bouchard (which you cited as evidence in your favor for some inexplicable reason) and Deary 2004 (i.e. the Scottish study you mentioned but did not have a citation for) were 0.63 (heritability at age 11) and 0.66 (correlation between age 11 and age ~80). Note in particular that your heritability at age 11 estimate was off by a factor of 2, 0.63 vs. o.3.

    So rather than a not credible discrepancy of 0.8 - 0.3 = 0.5 we see an actual difference of 0.66 - 0.63 = 0.05. Seems pretty credible to me.

    Call it nitpicking if you want, but I consider that a major misrepresentation on your part. And the manner in which you attempted to defend it was absurd. At least you finally admitted you were wrong (after doubling down in comment 22, what were you thinking?!). As for your insults, if that's all you've got I think it says a great deal about the substance of what you are saying.


    I am curious person I am asking a question whether the two numbers, say 40% and 0.70 can coexist in the same universe. I know the answer, btw.
     
    Please share. And remember that those two numbers are 0.63 and 0.66. Stop trying to make your position sound better than it really is.

    P.S. And while we're at it, the correct spelling is Kool-Aid. You can't even do insults right.

  25. res says:
    @utu
    It seems that you are nitpicking. Something must have upset you. For some reason you do not show any curiosity whether varying heritability with age is congruent with reported IQ stability. You do not like 0.8 because it is corrected. You would like a lower number, right? There are other studies that report high correlations as well between young children and adults:

    Intellectual development from early childhood to early adulthood: The impact of early IQ differences on stability and change over time, Schneider et al. Learning and Individual Differences

    the average correlation of intelligence measures at the age of school enrolment (6 years of age) with intelligence at age 17 was quite strong (r = .67) and even increased (r = .77) for the time interval between 8 and 17 years

    test–retest correlations were already substantial for the 10-year interval between preschool and adolescence (r = .65), and remained almost identical thereafter, yielding a correlation of .64 between preschool and adult age

     


    IQ stability: The relation between child and young adult intelligence test scores in low-birthweight samples, MORTENSEN et al. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,

    For the Wechsler Verbal, Performance and Full-Scale IQs, the stability quotients were 0.86, 0.86, and 0.89 in the WAIS sample, and the retest correlations for the three IQs with the BPP score were 0.66, 0.65, and 0.74.
     
    So even between age of 8 and adulthood the stability is very hight. But somehow you do no like it. You want it to be low, right?

    Now about heritability. How to read Fig. 2 (in Bouchard)? On Y axis is heritability and on X axis is time but the ticks are ambiguous. But say it is 30% between ages 5 and 7 and 45% between ages 7 and 10. And yes you got me. Hip hip hurrah for res. utu was wrong. At age 11 heritability in this figure is not 30% as utu stated. Case closed for the incurious and not too honest nitpicker.

    So let say that at age 8 it is 40%. And correlation between age 8 and adulthood suppose to (pick a number) be 0.65, 0.70 or 0.75.

    I am curious person I am asking a question whether the two numbers, say 40% and 0.70 can coexist in the same universe. I know the answer, btw. Do you know what are the mutual bounds on these two numbers?

    I am kind of surprised that you, instead of getting curious, just wanted to undermine my insight which never occurred to you, btw, but you realized its consequences and right away you wanted the heritability to be higher and correlation to be lower to avoid admitting that there are cracks in the facade built by the iq-cool-aid drinkers that I happened to discover.

    That reply was laughable. Face it, you are not as good at this kind of rhetoric as CanSpeccy is.

    Let’s return to your original assertion in comment 20 (which was what I originally objected to):

    However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    As we have established after a protracted discussion, we see that the actual numbers per figure 2 in Bouchard (which you cited as evidence in your favor for some inexplicable reason) and Deary 2004 (i.e. the Scottish study you mentioned but did not have a citation for) were 0.63 (heritability at age 11) and 0.66 (correlation between age 11 and age ~80). Note in particular that your heritability at age 11 estimate was off by a factor of 2, 0.63 vs. o.3.

    So rather than a not credible discrepancy of 0.8 – 0.3 = 0.5 we see an actual difference of 0.66 – 0.63 = 0.05. Seems pretty credible to me.

    Call it nitpicking if you want, but I consider that a major misrepresentation on your part. And the manner in which you attempted to defend it was absurd. At least you finally admitted you were wrong (after doubling down in comment 22, what were you thinking?!). As for your insults, if that’s all you’ve got I think it says a great deal about the substance of what you are saying.

    I am curious person I am asking a question whether the two numbers, say 40% and 0.70 can coexist in the same universe. I know the answer, btw.

    Please share. And remember that those two numbers are 0.63 and 0.66. Stop trying to make your position sound better than it really is.

    P.S. And while we’re at it, the correct spelling is Kool-Aid. You can’t even do insults right.

    Read More
  26. utu says:

    Where did you get the idea that this is about subtracting heritability from correlation (0.8 – 0.3 = 0.5 or 0.66 – 0.63 = 0.05) ?

    Anyway I can settle, from limited literature search I did, for 0.7-0.75 correlation between age=8 and adulthood and for heritability at age 8 to be around 40%.

    I did not try to insult you. I just said what I thought.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    Where did you get the idea that this is about subtracting heritability from correlation (0.8 – 0.3 = 0.5 or 0.66 – 0.63 = 0.05) ?
     
    From your comment 20 statement that I quoted:

    However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.
     
    When someone complains about one number being high relative to another number being low it seems like the difference between them is an appropriate metric to consider. This conclusion is supported by observing that every time you try to tilt the numbers it is in the direction of increasing the difference between them. Perhaps you could explain what your meaning was if this is not true.

    Anyway I can settle, from limited literature search I did, for 0.7-0.75 correlation between age=8 and adulthood and for heritability at age 8 to be around 40%.
     
    If you are trying to have a serious conversation about this, references to your data sources are very helpful. Pulling numbers out of (nowhere) works better if you haven't already gotten it wrong once in the same thread.
  27. res says:
    @utu
    Where did you get the idea that this is about subtracting heritability from correlation (0.8 – 0.3 = 0.5 or 0.66 – 0.63 = 0.05) ?

    Anyway I can settle, from limited literature search I did, for 0.7-0.75 correlation between age=8 and adulthood and for heritability at age 8 to be around 40%.

    I did not try to insult you. I just said what I thought.

    Where did you get the idea that this is about subtracting heritability from correlation (0.8 – 0.3 = 0.5 or 0.66 – 0.63 = 0.05) ?

    From your comment 20 statement that I quoted:

    However I saw some study result (based on children tested at age 11 in 1932 in Scotland) that 60 years later IQ correlation was close to 0.8. I do not find this result credible in the context of the claim that heritability of IQ at age 11 is low, say about 30%.

    When someone complains about one number being high relative to another number being low it seems like the difference between them is an appropriate metric to consider. This conclusion is supported by observing that every time you try to tilt the numbers it is in the direction of increasing the difference between them. Perhaps you could explain what your meaning was if this is not true.

    Anyway I can settle, from limited literature search I did, for 0.7-0.75 correlation between age=8 and adulthood and for heritability at age 8 to be around 40%.

    If you are trying to have a serious conversation about this, references to your data sources are very helpful. Pulling numbers out of (nowhere) works better if you haven’t already gotten it wrong once in the same thread.

    Read More
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