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    From the New York Times: What happens after 8th grade that makes boys and girls more different? Puberty. The biggest male>female gap in math is in the small Montgomery Township, NJ. ... In the Montgomery Township district in New Jersey, for example, the median household income is $180,000 and the students are about 60 percent...
  • Check out this blog post:

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2018/06/ok-folks-here-is-a-rorschach-test-on-gender.html

    Why did the NYT flag the gap on math scores and ignore the bigger and perhaps more relevant gap on reading scores?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Alan Jacobs of The American Scene has a piece in The Wall Street Journal titled Too Much Faith in Faith (also see Ross Douthat). He starts:As they say, read the whole thing. Alan, as a Christian, place particular focus on the New Atheists who wish to leave at religion's feet all evil done it in...
  • B.B says:

    If you are interested in the intellectual contents of Nazism I urge you to go posthaste to your nearest library and pick up a copy of Hitler’s Table Talk, wherein you will find Mr. Hitler dissing Christianity, and in specific the Christian humanist tradition, on an uncannily regular basis. 
     
    The accuracy of the content in Hitler’s Table Talk is disputed. It should also be noted that Hitlers views aren’t the be all and end all of Nazism. Nazi intellectuals had varying views on issues related to religion, spiritualism, mysticism, occultism, etc. Some were very pro-Christian while others were very anti-Christian.

  • Inductivist looked into the General Social Survey and found that the mean IQs of white college graduates has been dropping: 1960s 113.72 1970s 110.59 1980s 108.04 1990s 104.42 2000s 105.12 Remember that the popualtion mean is around 100, with a standard deviation of 15. That means that since the 1960s the college graduate has gone...
  • I am more optimistic about the utility of IQ tests than some of the above posters. Nonetheless, haven’t IQ tests become significantly more methodologically refined over the years? Can the results of IQ tests from yesteryear really be compared to those of today in any meaningful way?

  • Public Acceptance of Evolution
  • By the way, almost nobody in the US really votes based on creationism, and no national candidate has ever even talked about it. 
     
    -John McCain has voiced support for teaching Intelligent Design in school.  
    -Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she supports the ToE
    -Barack Obama supports evolution as well.

  • John Derbyshire has a long column excoriating Ben Stein and the Discovery Institute titled A Blood Libel on Our Civilization: Via Talk Islam.
  • The Green movement is effectively dead in the United States. It was taken over by the social justice movement around the 1970s. This is evidenced by the now complete silence on issues like population growth and immigration reduction as a means of preventing environmental destruction, while they instead focus on issues such as the welfare state, homosexual rights, etc. The only environmental issue that gets any significant attention from these people is global warming, but whenever the issue is talked about, it is discussed in a completely dishonest manner. Al Gore would like to tell people that you can maintain responsible economic growth without damaging the environment, which is pure fantasy. Hybrid cars and green products that those in the Democratic and Green Party want you to buy aren’t going to be enough to prevent environmental destruction.
    As far as the idea of the green movement as a religious movement is concerned, that may be true for some people, but the same goes for every other political movement. The Gaia hypothesis sounds New Age bullshit to me, but that has zero to do with the utilitarian justification for environmental protection that I adhere too. Neither does it have anything to do with decent environmental activists such as Garrett Hardin, John Feeney, etc.

  • Unfortunately, there is no place in American politics for a pragmatist within the current liberal/conservative Democratic/Republican duopoly. I’d consider myself a socially liberal nationalist. The last decent candidate to run for president was Richard Lamm competing for the Reform Party ticket in ’96.

  • Public Acceptance of Evolution
  • Count me unsurprised that religious belief had the strongest correlation in the United States. Interesting how it doesn’t matter as much in Europe, especially if you look at the strongest evolution accepting nation, Iceland. 82% of the population belongs to the National Church and only some 2.6% do not consider themselves part of any religious group, yet disbelief in evolution is completely marginal. 
     
    I’m guessing that the state-churches of Europe do a good job at keeping the uneducated twits out of the priesthood, while within the United States secular legal tradition any idiot could start a church and wouldn’t be forced to compete with a state-funded institution.

  • Over @ Stranger Fruit John Lynch points a section from a paper which recounts the Christian assocation with eugenics: In Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America's Quest for Racial Purity the author makes the case that to a large extent this was an issue of class; the higher...
  • if you mean “German Christianity” (the Protestants who accepted race as a sacrament, etc.)
    It is of my understanding that Positive Christianity was construed as a theological position, rather than a specific sect. Hitler professed himself as a Roman Catholic and advocated Positive Christianity in Mein Kampf.
    my own last dive into that topic suggested that it was very much on the defensive vis-a-vis non-christian occult/pagan groups.
    I suspect there has been a greater focus on the more esoteric beliefs held by top Nazi officials which might skew perceptions. Outlandish occultist beliefs arouse more interest than another reinterpretation of Christianity.

  • The leading Nazis were themselves anti-Christian personally
    Some Nazi intellectuals and political leaders were hostile to Christianity, most of which had an affinity for occultism, the pre-Christian religions of Germany and also to an extant some Eastern beliefs. Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hess, etc would fit into that category. There were a handful of atheists, such as Martin Bormann, Baldur von Schirach and Arthur Axmann. However, I’d wager that Positive Christianity was still the dominant theological world view amongst the Nazi officials, who viewed Jesus as an Aryan hero who fought against institutionalized Judaism.
    It is also often claimed that Hitler himself was hostile to Christianity. Apparently, the primary source for this claim is the English version of a book called “Hitlers Table Talk”, which is of disputed accuracy. Hitler also ridiculed the pre-Christian Germanic Pagan beliefs that was held be some Nazi officials:
    “The characteristic thing about these people [modern-day followers of the early Germanic religion] is that they rave about the old Germanic heroism, about dim prehistory, stone axes, spear and shield, but in reality are the greatest cowards that can be imagined. For the same people who brandish scholarly imitations of old German tin swords, and wear a dressed bearskin with bull’s horns over their heads, preach for the present nothing but struggle with spiritual weapons, and run away as fast as they can from every Communist blackjack.”–Aodlf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume II, Chapter 12

  • Some debate below about the various parameters which shape social pathologies. One of facts which we are well aware of is that the United States has a lot of homicide compared to other developed countries. But another fact which is also well known is that a disproportionate number of these murders are committed by racial...
  • Hey Razib, the homocide-rates in the wikipedia article you cite are per 100,000, not per 1,000 as your chart lists.

  • As far as the effects of libertine fire-arm policies are concerned, Switzerland is an interesting example. They are 4th on this homicide list, yet they have one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world.

  • I’d expect less developed countries like India to have a higher homicide rates than reported. I doubt that the news of many crimes that happen in rural areas of undeveloped would would always get back to the central government.

  • Religiousness and Infidelity: Attendance, but not Faith and Prayer, Predict Marital Fidelity: I wouldn't put that much weight on one study...but this speaks to the functional significance of religious phenomena. Secularists often make the critique that great evil has been acted upon in the name of religion, but the flip side of this is that...
  • One way of determining whether determining
    I really should make a habit out of proof-reading my posts.

  • Thursday – uh, where did Razib allude to “genetic differences” here?
    Razib didn’t in this post (or this blog in general), but Thursday was just offering a different variable. It is also a valid variable, because one of the other qualities that differentiates the United States from Europe is the level of ethnic diversity. One way of determining whether determining whether that is playing a significant role in the divergence in crime-rates would be to compare whether European-Americans are any more likely to commit crimes than European-Europeans. If the crime-rates are similar despite widely divergent religious values, then it would mean that religion isn’t a central factor.

  • Pajamas Media has a post up, Muslims Leaving Islam in Droves, which seems to be getting a bit of linkage. There's a lot of weird stuff in this post, so I figured I'd offer a little quick commentary on the assertions and data. I'm not going to do detailed citations at this point of why...
  • The article 
    The baptism of Allam also comes in the midst of papal “dialogue” with Muslims. The dialogue began unpromisingly with the catcalls from Islam and its secularist allies which greeted the now-famous September 20, 2006, papal address at the University of Regensburg. 
     
    According to the hyperlinked FrontPageMag article, these plural secular allies entirely consist of an un-named New York Times editorialist whose religious affiliation, commitment and views is not expanded on at all. 
     
    Who invented this fantasy of godless heathens teaming up with fundamentalist Islamists to beat up on the Christians? Being an occasional reader of non-religious discussion boards, the general impression I get is that the only religion they are more hostile to than Christianity is Islam. They may primarily fixate on Christianity, but that is only the result of most members living within Christian nations and as a result having to interact with Christians on a daily basis.

  • Chris at Mixing Memory has a post up, Respecting the Religious (or the A-Religious), pointing to a Simon Blackburn working paper, Respect and Religion. I enjoyed Blackburn's Think, but the chapter on God left me a bit cold. Blackburn is a philosopher, and his thoughts reflect that training. If I believed that religiosity was grounded...
  • concomitantly atheism is at the core simply a lack of belief in god. in reality there are other traits accreted to it, but i suspect that that is a function of non-comformism and deviation from social mores in general (as i noted before, a disproportionate number of white supremacists are atheists compared to the general public).
    Classifying the religious beliefs of racial separatist movements is somewhat complicated. Organizations like the Church of the Creator are atheistic, but still consider themselves religious and also panentheistic tendencies such as the Cosmotheism of William Luther Pierce, which generally don’t fit the traditional definition of what would be considered theism or atheism. Non-literalistic neo-paganism is also very common, whereby.
    I get the feeling that if you surveyed Creator, Cosmotheist and Neo-Pagan white separatists on whether they believe in God, you would probably would get mixed answers from all the groups.

  • Received this email:I didn't have the same problem. I'm in a hurry, but I assume this is a client side issue? There isn't an SSL certificate for this website.Update: See this.
  • I wrote the aforementioned email to Razib. So, how is it that standard default settings for authentication certificates got labeled as a trojan created by Israeli hackers?

  • In my post below I wanted to emphasize that religion has several distinct and independent dimensions. Too often in our modern era religion is reduced purely to the dimension of confession or belief because of its relative accessibility to outsiders. Here is some of that complexity on display, from page 371 of The Pursuit of...
  • “The Christian religion is a human invention like the faith of the Jews and the Arabs”–Benedetto Caetani, Pope Boniface VIII

  • Interesting piece which chronicles the decline in the DVD driven profits of porn companies due to "user generated porn." Porn is in some ways sui generis, so this is an interesting trend. Check out the traffic of YouPorn vs. Facebook.
  • I doubt the decline in sales has anything to do with user-generated porn, so much as it does with piracy.

  • Couldn't find a thread on this yet: Actor/Politico/Author Ben Stein has apparently become a "You can't handle the truth"er. He appears in a documentary on the persecution of the intelligent design movement *yawn* but here's his key claim:So it's not that he doesn't believe in evolution, it's (partially) that he doesn't trust the masses with...
  • The Expelled website gives a pretty good idea of what direction this “documentary” is going to go in. They are claiming that Intelligent Design supporters are being persecuted, however their examples are disputable.  
     
    They have physics professor Guillermo Gonzales, who claimed he was denied tenure because of his support for Intelligent Design. But I would also say that having gotten no major grants, having not published a significant amount of peer-reviewed research and only having had one graduate student finish a dissertation during his entire seven year of employment at Iowa State University may have also played a roll in the universities refusal. 
     
    Then there is Richard Sternberg, who was the editor of Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. He published an article advocating Intelligent Design that didn’t go through the proper peer-review process. 
     
    And finally there is Caroline Crocker, a molecular biologist who who was released from her position at George Mason University after her contract expired. Not surprising since she propagated numerous falsehoods such as the false distinction between micro and macro-evolution, the myth that Bernard Kettlewell’s peppered moth study was fraudulent and misrepresenting the Miller-Urey experiment.

  • I don't follow the non-science news very closely. I'm curious about what's going on in Myanmar/Burma, if you have an interesting link, drop it in the comment box. Thanks.
  • Google Video has a number of documentaries on the situation in Burma. You won’t get much on the current protests, but there is a lot of information on the history, the pro-democracy movement and human rights.

  • Note: For those who need no explanation: Survey here, enter 55004 in Take A Survey box. Current results here.Every now and then I do a "survey" on this website. Usually we get on the order of 300-500 responses. Generally we don't learn anything new (i.e., a disproportionate number of the readers tend to be young...
  • I don’t get the libertarian sympathies of this blogs contributers and audience. Isn’t most of the research in regards to genetics, biology, anthropology, etc. highly dependent on government funding?

  • I am planning some posts which will use a few mathematical symbols, but I suspect that some browsers will not be able to read them, and show them as nonsense symbols, blank spaces, or empty rectangles. Please let me know if you cannot read any or all of the following properly. (In each case the...
  • They are all readable for me.

  • An interesting article here on American penal policy.
  • The head of that UFO cult, Raelianism had the idea of a democratic system which only counted the voted of those that scored well on IQ tests. He called a Geniocracy. The concept strikes me as naive.

  • Here is an article by Steve Jones in today's Daily Telegraph (the most 'conservative' of the quality daily newspapers in the UK). It is mainly about the application of evolutionary theory in engineering and medicine. Nothing very new, but may be useful as a reference.
  • B.B says:

    Steve Sailer 
    Steve Jones? I didn’t know Jonesy, the old Sex Pistols guitarist turned LA DJ, was into all that genetics stuff. Oh, well, I guess somebody named “Steve” just can’t resist. 
     
    If Greg Graffin of Bad Religion can become an evolutionary paleontologist, I don’t see why Steve Jones couldn’t become a geneticist. 
     
    It’s a fairly common name so a lot of famous people share it.

  • Michael Shermer's Skeptic Society has an interesting article up based on And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs Religion In Russia, 1917-1929, which chronicles the futile attempt by the Communists to exterminate religion. One must make a distinction here between religion and a specific religious system and organization.In The Rise of Western Christendom by Peter Brown...
  • B.B says:

    Slobodan Milosevic never disavowed his atheism, but during the late 1980s he built up his power within what was then Yugoslavia by aligning himself with the Eastern Orthodox religion, even attending ceremonies presided over by clerics. 
     
    I was not aware that Slobodan Milosevic avowed himself an atheist in the first place.