The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Twin Studies vs. Clone Studies in Testing Nature vs. Nurture
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

My default presumption on nature vs. nurture is that the environment counts for a lot. I usually start off assuming that nature and nurture each account for about half.

On the other hand, numerous intensive students of the scientific studies scoff at my baseline assumption that the environment is responsible for 50% of the variance, arguing for genetics being responsible for 60% to 80% of variation.

Am I just being cautious?


But I suspect that if you can look across history as well as geography, environmental changes can be substantial. For example, South Koreans today score dramatically higher than their grandparents on both IQ and height.

My rough guess, inspired by James Flynn’s discovery of the Flynn Effect, is that the environment often matters more across time than across space, which makes it harder to research because few researchers can wait around for a new historic era to see if that turned out to matter.

To take one example, we can study identical and fraternal twins raised apart in space. Usually, the results of twin studies suggest nature matters more than the conventional wisdom would suggest and nurture matters less.

But … until cloning comes along, we can’t study twins raised apart in time. My suspicion at this point is that it does matter what historical epoch you are nurtured in. But I don’t know how to test that.

Hide 57 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. songbird says:

    There will always be differences based on the mutations that come naturally through the process of cell division.

  2. vhrm says:

    My rough guess, inspired by James Flynn’s discovery of the Flynn Effect, is that the environment often matters more across time than across space, which makes it harder to research because few researchers can wait around for a new historic era to see if that turned out to matter.

    “turned out to matter” for what purpose or in what way?

    If you mean in terms of relative IQ based ranking perhaps, but on anything less controlled wouldn’t the differences between eras be yet another hard to control for confounding factor ?

    • Replies: @res
  3. yeah i think i explained this stuff before. if you make 100 clones of the same DNA instructions, and let them all be born and be raised at the same time, in the same environment, you’re going to get a spectrum of results.

    instead of 100 nearly identical humans who perform at nearly the same level, what you’ll actually get is like 10 of the clones will be great, 70 of them will be about average for what you expect, and 20 of them will be not so good. then you take the best ones and put those DNA instructions back into the machine. and so on, generation by generation. this is how plant agriculture works, generation by generation, where you have actual clones, but they still improve over a century of work.

    and like plants, human brains grow in a manner similar to big trees. like the trunk and branches of a 100 year old tree, the neurons in a brain grow, expand, and prune in a manner that results in each individual living thing being slightly different, even though they started out as clones.

    there isn’t enough space or data density in DNA to specify the location of every neuron in the brain. it’s not a blueprint, like a carpenter has for a house. it’s more of a guide. the nerve cells all start out at about the same place, then you’ll have 100 brains grow, expand, and branch out, like 100 clone trees all lined up next to each other, with some turning out awesome, a lot of average ones, and some suck. but all their branch patterns will be different.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    , @Anon
  4. as for the time traveling clone experiment, that might not even happen. i don’t think the agriculture guys do that – as soon as a new, better version of wheat or corn or soybeans is available, they stop using the previous one.

    in the plant world you might be able to measure that with wine – they may be using cloned grapes, and wine people are famous for talking about specific growing seasons being great, and others sucking. but grapes might improve every couple decades too, i don’t know.

    even grass gets updated in the lab every couple decades. there’s probably not much native grass left in the US. not sure if K-31 is the last original grass still used sometimes. but even cultivars from 50 years ago like Floratam are being replaced with more recent stuff. when you go outside and see grass, in suburbs, lawns, sports stadiums, fields, you aren’t seeing the grass that was here 200, 300 years ago. it’s all lab grass. even in the woods. the lab grass migrates out of the suburbs and golf courses and sports fields and slowly replaces the native grass. Steve should check what grass is actually used in his golf courses over time. it’s been replaced since Eisenhower.

    imagine in 2200 making human clones with tech from 2100 and forcing them to grow up and then testing them out, seeing how much they suck compared to the current generation of modified humans. we’re already into unethical experimentation.

  5. But … until cloning comes along, we can’t study twins raised apart in time.

    Not with people. Whiptail lizards are natural clones, through parthenogenesis. Then again, there’d be the frustration of having to develop a reptile IQ test.

    As Barbie would say, “Science is hard!”

    These Whiptails? No Males

  6. Anon7 says:

    Whether you agree with him or not, John Glubb has a quick and interesting analysis of empires (The Fate of Empires). He opines that a typical empire lasts about ten generations, or two hundred and fifty years (guess where that puts us!).

    The Age of Conquest is followed by Commerce, then Affluence, then Intellectualism, then Immigrants, then Welfare State, then Decadence and dissolution.

    The way that boys are educated in each of these Ages is described as being quite different.

    So, what if you cloned ten boys, and had them grow up in the different times in the life of an empire. Boys in the Age of Conquest were taught manly virtues of toughness and truthfulness. Within just a few generations, boys were taught that money was more important. Eventually, immigrants who wish to share in the wealth of Empire come in to do the work. Eventually, all are on welfare, dependent on the State and on the day’s entertainment.

    Would the cloned boys all take on the characteristics of their time? I’d guess that Glubb thinks so.

    • Thanks: Polistra
    • Replies: @res
    , @Bill
    , @Alden
  7. Anon[252] • Disclaimer says:

    Twin and adoption studies are largely obsolete in light of 1-million genome GWAS studies with built-in quarter-million genome instant replication sets. The only remaining problem is the limited number of traits and characteristics on the genome sample input questionnaires and tests.

    • Replies: @res
  8. Are nature/genes versus nurture/environment really such distinct categories? Assuming you are raised by you biological parents (I was adopted and so was not), the environment you grow up in is going to be influenced by your parents genes. Parents with genes that tend towards high intelligence will create an environment quite different than parents with genes tending towards middling intelligence. If you are raised by a schizophrenic mother, was it the crazy environment or her crazy genes that turn you mentally ill in your early 20’s. Were my father to create a violent and abusive household for his family, if I do the same to mine, was it nature or nurture?

    Identical twins studies who were separated do help polarize these ambiguities, at least as you say in terms of space. It is conceptually interesting for people from different epochs. Civilizations develop at different speeds, particularly when it comes to literacy. One pattern is that groups that descend from groups that have had widespread literacy longest, Jews, and Chinese, for example, tend to perform well on IQ tests. Perhaps at some point in the near future, scientists will be able to do a genetic scan and develop an expected IQ range, that would take into account environmental/diet impacts on the final IQ number. And then ancient bodies found under glaciers could be examined to see what IQ they would have had?

    • Agree: Some Guy
    • Replies: @ic1000
    , @res
  9. res says:

    “turned out to matter” for what purpose or in what way?

    I think a good example for this is obesity in the US. Notice how much it has changed over the last 50-100 years, even among similar groups (e.g. ignoring changes in demographics). As I see it we have the following observations.

    1. Twin studies indicate obesity has a heritability of 0.7-0.8

    This would seem to indicate genetics/nature is more important.

    2. The variation over time (presumably almost all environment) seems larger than the variation present in the older populations (but perhaps not larger than the variation in the current population? has anybody quantified this?).

    This would seem to indicate environment is more important. Which corresponds to Steve’s observation:

    the environment often matters more across time than across space

    The point I tend to be most interested in has to do with how genetic variation compares with controllable environmental variation. So if we have a population distribution (assume environments roughly average out so we are looking mostly at genetics, e.g. the 0.7-0.8 heritability of obesity) how much difference (expressed in population SD) can we expect for a given person with poor/average/excellent environments?

    • Replies: @Bill
  10. res says:

    Would the cloned boys all take on the characteristics of their time? I’d guess that Glubb thinks so.

    I wonder… My thought would be that the boys would tend towards the characteristics of their time, but still vary individually–in roughly the same way over time. That variation due to a combination of genetics and local environments. Thinking in terms of population statistical distributions, the mean changes but the other distribution characteristics remain similar.

    One interesting wrinkle here is this might mean different people and groups are most functional at different times. Say if there is an optimal level of being driven by money.

  11. Polistra says:

    My rough guess, inspired by James Flynn’s discovery of the Flynn Effect

    Can you just see him, at the very moment? “Wow, I’ve just discovered something big...and it’s named after me!”

    • Replies: @Some Guy
  12. res says:

    Twin and adoption studies are largely obsolete in light of 1-million genome GWAS studies with built-in quarter-million genome instant replication sets.

    I disagree. They answer different questions. As one example, consider how the effectiveness of height GWAS are evaluated by comparing the percent variance explained by the detected SNPs with the observed heritability. One particularly important point here is that current GWAS generally only look at the additive effects of SNPs. This ignores both non-additive genetic effects and non-SNP based genetic variation.

    • Agree: ic1000
  13. Environmental determinism is the dogma of the land. Near 100% of human behavior, IQ, crime is caused by environment. Career criminals can be fully rehabilitated when treated lovingly.
    As long as such long debunked lies about 0% heredity are spread in schools, movies, everywhere, what does it matter if heredity is 50%, 90%, 75%.
    What counts is to be intolerant of the Leftist lies and instituionalized gag orders, exercise #TrueSpeech, demand to be allowed to tell the truth about black IQ and crime. Once it is established that heredity is over 50%, then we can engage in nitpicking.

    Also there are issues like “the nature of nurture” and other issues about variability of environment.

  14. This is why the ecological fallacy is a fallacy. Differences exist for different reasons depending on where we see them, there are even more obvious examples for this than IQ. For example, height differences between healthy adults living roughly in the same place and age mostly exist for genetic reasons, but height differences exist for different reasons between 3 and 10 year olds (maturation), men and women (sex and all the biochemistry that comes with it) or North and South Koreans or modern and 19th century Americans (various environmental effects), even if they have identical or nearly identical genes. The high heritability of traits mean that differences WITHIN STUDY SAMPLES exist for mostly genetic reasons, not that these traits are genetically fixed. I guess we could breed people for various traits pretty effectively so I’m not going to say that “environmental effects have a greater potential to cause differences than genetics”, but within reasonable or even observed conditions (e.g. over the past 100 years or across the total pool of modern countries) this is certainly the case.
    We are constraining a lot of environmental variance by generally only including people living in the same place and age in genetic studies. We had strong hypotheses even about the remaining variance, for example that social class or childhood experiences which obviously differ even here matter a lot. These hypotheses are mostly bunk by now. But between-era and between-country differences in environment (culture, morals, nutrition, widespread habits, trends in education which affect everybody in the same place and age) probably do matter a lot for IQ (maybe even g), height, health and income. It is quite crazy how little people study these.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @Anon
  15. ic1000 says:
    @Torn and Frayed

    You’ve identified questions that social scientists have been working on for many decades. E.g. the Minnesota Twin Study and Terman’s Termites. Better answers are enabled by better technology, e.g. Galton-era genetics -> low-density GWAS -> high-density GWAS -> nextgen sequencing.

    However, the Replication Crisis illustrates that improved tech and increased computation power are not sufficient.

  16. Arclight says:

    Environment/culture matters insofar as certain traits and behavior are rewarded with more offspring.

    Unfortunately for us, while we have made major advances in medical care and material well-being, the result is the most impulsive and lowest human capital segments of our society have kids at well above replacement level whereas the more circumspect and high ability tend to have kids well below replacement.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  17. iffen says:

    My suspicion at this point is that it does matter what historical epoch you are nurtured in. But I don’t know how to test that.

    Consider nurture as a continuous process, albeit front loaded, and just do an objective comparison of yourself today with the self that you were 35-50 years ago.

  18. jill says:

    What civilization would deliberately off-shore it’s industrial base and dumb down it’s own population?

    “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

    ― Carl Sagan, 1995 novel: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

    James Goldsmith, author of The Trap

    In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

  19. Implant twinned embryos during different generations?

  20. Bill says:

    Yes. This is a real problem for twin studies and especially for the thoughtless way most HBD fans interpret them. Obesity is what soured me on twin studies, or at least on their usual interpretation hereabouts. There are virtually no interesting direct policy implications of twin studies since policy, by its nature, is a polity-wide intervention.

    Actually, I think it’s as much dishonesty as thoughtlessness. Under pressure, they admit that twins studies can’t really tell you much of anything about the effects of policy (or about any broad social forces), but when the pressure is off they go right back to “intervention is hopeless because it’s all genetics.” That feels more like lying than making mistakes.

    • Replies: @bomag
  21. Doc Bob says:

    This is wise. A problem with these measures of genetic vs environment (ie heritability) is that their dependent on how variable the environment and genetic being sampled is.

    Having worked with corn breeders, they say they can give you any heritability you want by choosing the genetic populations carefully. All heritability statements are conditional on the details of the experimental design, but they’re generally talked about as if their absolutes.

    It’s possible to well sample all the genetic variation in human population, but it’s hard to
    impossible to sample all the variation in human environment. That will lead to persistent underestimates of the potential effect of environment.

    • Thanks: ic1000
  22. Bill says:

    Would the cloned boys all take on the characteristics of their time?

    Probably depends. If the clone started out with good genes for IQ and conscientiousness, the answer is probably yes.

  23. Some Guy says:

    Actually I think he discovered the Flynn effect and then changed his name to match it.

    Originally his name was “James Secular Trend in Intelligence”.

    • LOL: Cortes
  24. How “heritable” something is depends on the environment–the level of variation in the environment.

    Someone “raised by wolves” is going to suck at an IQ test. (But might be pretty good–or not?–at catching game.)

    I think the bottom line is the obvious one:
    — big environmental improvements are in fact *big*; adequate nutrition, lifting disease burden (sewards, clean water, vaccinations), learning to read, basic schooling, not having abusive parents.

    — once there isn’t a big environmental barrier … well fed kids trooping off to public schoolhouse, genetics just absolutely dominates;
    — and furthermore our ability of parents or “society” to engineer “beneficial” out of the remaining environment variation–“Head Start”, “Baby Mozart”, etc.–is basically trivial. The environmental piece that remains is very random.

    It’s this later piece that makes this so politically contentious. “Progressives” did good work when they were building sewers and schools. But their schoolmarming everyone and all their “social work” is useless. But it’s their jobs and their self-image as world savers so it can’t be let go.

    And, of course, when environments are improved, then genetic differences are at the fore–including big group differences–and this debunks the whole minoritarian narrative.

    • Agree: res
    • Thanks: Calvin Hobbes
    • Replies: @res
  25. People who sell nurture short often don’t think enough about apoptosis and how early experience physically shapes the brain. People who sell nature short often don’t think enough about how difficult it is to re-shape a brain after childhood.

    It is often left out of discussions of Harry Harlow’s experiments raising monkeys with surrogate mothers that the brains of the deprived monkeys were visibly different on dissection. IMO this is partly due to the fact that it was unreported in the popular literature (the media have been trying to shape our opinions for a long time).

    The fact that we don’t know where the percentage lies is compounded by the fact that a lot of people for a long time have not wanted us to know.

  26. @Arclight

    The solution would be to have brothels where low IQ women will be impregnated by philanthropically inclined high IQ male horndog volunteers like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and the offspring raised on foster farms where access to mass media is not allowed and the children are dressed in Amish clothing and wooden clogs and taught by teachers armed with tasers.

    The best young women will be preserved for further cross-breeding with high IQ males, while the remaining young women will be sent with the men to work in bitcoin mines.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @Alden
  27. @Jonathan Mason

    This has been done for decades, in the study of ageing. Researchers noted that older people had lower cognitive abilities, and attributed it to age. Other researchers pointed out that educational opportunities were rare in the 1920s. The solution was to use a mixed design. Test two or three age cohorts at the same time: for example, when testing the next lot of elderly 60 year olds, also test 40 year olds and 20 year olds. Ten years later, test them all again, plus some new 20 year olds. In that way you can distinguish between ageing effects and cohort effects.


    Given just a little time, I will find the relevant names and papers.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  28. The solution would be to have brothels where low IQ women will be impregnated by philanthropically inclined high IQ male horndog volunteers like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and the offspring raised on foster farms where access to mass media is not allowed and the children are dressed in Amish clothing and wooden clogs and taught by teachers armed with tasers.

    Netflix would pony up big bucks for that pilot.

    • Replies: @Arclight
  29. @prime noticer

    “a spectrum of results”

    Sidney Gottlieb proved your point with his Nine Steves experiment: Steves 2 and 7, who run this blog, are practically of one mind, Steve 3 is a former commercial actor turned gigolo servicing the Palm Springs octogenarian set, Steve 1 is rotting away in a Las Vegas penthouse suite, Steve 8 discovered the underground hive of giant bees whose queen controls humanity through telepathy, Steve 5 waits tables at a Compton IHOP (he’s the unhappiest Steve), Steve 4, the most financially successful Steve, started a cult of grumpy middle age men, Steves 6 and 9 disappeared when the carnival left town.

    • LOL: prime noticer
  30. @James Thompson

    Schaie, K. W., & Hofer, S. M. (2001). Longitudinal studies in aging research. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging (p. 53–77). Academic Press.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @res
  31. Arclight says:

    And then get attacked for the neo-colonialist vibe of rich and powerful whites exerting dominion over black bodies and erasing their existence through mating.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  32. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:
    @prime noticer

    Yes, embryonic, fetal, and neonatal development are really important, and for the first two you have the additional fact that the two fetuses, even together in the womb, don’t have exactly the same environment.

    The developmental aspect is described very well in Kevin Mitchell’s “Innate.”

  33. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:
    @East Hunter

    Even the North and South Korean height example isn’t bulletproof. For instance, you might find that lots of Koreans fled to another location during the war, or during an earlier period, related to something the Chinese or Japanese were doing, and perhaps the most genetically fit were more likely to go South.

    This was the problem with the Dutch famine epigenetic theory: the researchers assumed that people who starved and those who more well fed were in effect two random populations, when in fact people who in a famine don’t starve on average are more resourceful and more on the ball in many ways.

  34. res says:
    @Torn and Frayed

    Are nature/genes versus nurture/environment really such distinct categories? Assuming you are raised by you biological parents (I was adopted and so was not), the environment you grow up in is going to be influenced by your parents genes.

    You raise a good point, but the most common study designs attempt to address this (by removing or canceling out the common environmental influence).

    Adoption studies obviously address this by eliminating the common environment.

    Twin studies address it by comparing fraternal and identical twins and using the differences to estimate the genetic contribution. Canceling out the common environmental contribution.
    Note the equal environment assumption as a possible issue here.

    That said, the reality most people experience has the genetic and environmental contribution from our parents lumped together.

  35. Flynn must have been one of the last serious intelligence researchers to discover the ‘Flynn’ effect, since all the genius level guys who made the tests obviously noticed it almost immediately, as they were the ones who began to renorm the tests.

    test design and improvement would have shown that effect sticking out like a sore thumb. likewise for sex differences.

    also i figured this topic was about measured performance, not about personality or attitudes. of course the annoying social justice warrior people today, would have been completely different people 300 years ago with regards to their attitudes and behaviors. some of them might even have been useful, productive citizens. 300 years ago mark zuckerberg is a loser dork chump forever, is never rich, and really, really needs his religion to get him a wife and kids. that was the allure of many of these religions in the past. that’s the allure of islam and mormon and other religions today.

    put the clone in a different country in a different time and he’s a different religion and speaks a different language and is probably a conscripted soldier using hand to hand weapons. we’ll never know if he would have been a good F-15 pilot. yeah, of course. is that the trivial insight we’re gaining here with this thought experiment? new technology levels introduce the discovery of new human talents and abilities?

  36. res says:

    Excellent comment overall, but I think this part can not be emphasized enough.

    And, of course, when environments are improved, then genetic differences are at the fore–including big group differences–and this debunks the whole minoritarian narrative.

    I think the idea that genetic differences matter more as environments become more similar (i.e. as “equality” is achieved) is Kryptonite to the minoritarian narrative.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  37. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks. This page for the first author has a host of references and links (unfortunately, the paper link for your reference is broken).

    This 2006 paper of his seems useful and has full text online.

    The principal advantage of longitudinal studies is their ability to furnish information on intraindividual change in contrast to cross-sectional studies that provide information only on interindividual differences. Five distinct rationales for longitudinal studies have been suggested by Baltes and Nesselroade (1979; also see Schaie, 1983). They include the direct identification of intraindividual change, the identification of interindividual variability in intraindividual change, the interrelationships among intraindividual changes, the analysis of determinants of intraindividual change, and the analysis of intraindividual variability in the determinants of intraindividual change.

  38. @res

    I think the idea that genetic differences matter more as environments become more similar (i.e. as “equality” is achieved) is Kryptonite to the minoritarian narrative.

    Thanks. And agree–well said.

    The more you improve and improve … the more that what is left is genetics.

    You right this needs to be emphasized more–more and more.

    Basically wokeness is the big minoritarian hissy fit against this truth. The minoritarians outright torqued our Constitution out of shape to make everything ridiculous comfortable and beneficial to minorities … and it has simply revealed fundamental, immovable HBD reality. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

  39. It appears to me that nature is much more important than nurture because nature contains intelligence, character and temperament. The nurturing qualities of a race stem from the nature of a race, just as its racial characteristics and culture do.
    And in any case all we have to do is look at the history of the achievements of the various races for the past, say, thousand years. For that matter, all you have to do is observe and trust your own personal experience about the situation as it exists now.

    Whites: Intellectual giants, innovators, individualists, inventors, conquerors, navigators, explorers, a moral but somewhat merciful religion.
    (Jews are not by any stretch included in the White race. They are central Asians who are the parasitic enemies of Whites. Not impressive except as a sort of high-IQ gang of Gypsies.)

    East Asians: An entire history of unrelieved brutal tyranny, rigid, no history of innovation, superstitious, hive-mind conformity, inability to adapt to changing circumstances by changing their behavior (i.e. the blithe indifference to extremes of over-population), religions without a God; without a moral code.

    West Asians: An entire history of unrelieved brutal tyranny, rigid, no history of innovation, superstitious, clannish inability to cooperate within the larger culture, inability to adapt to changing circumstances by changing their behavior (i.e. the blithe indifference to extremes of over-population), religions that reinforce their rigid natures in the extreme.

    Blacks: Unintelligent, uncivilized, essentially illiterate, highly superstitious, impulsively violent, not empathetic, highly imprudent, (Also extremely loud and ugly, ha ha).

    All of these racial character traits are from the basic natures of these racial groups. These traits have held true for centuries and are reflected in their relative levels of achievement even now.
    For instance Blacks have been the most easily enslaved because of their basic racial traits. Whites still take care of Blacks both domestically and in Africa even though their status of slaves was lifted long, long ago. Now they are just parasites.
    Also for instance, reflect on the East Asians’ status as essentially still living in the middle ages until well into the 20th Century. In spite of their high IQs (some of which is a function of their culture of cheating), they had to learn everything about modern industrial, scientific and technical civilization from Whites. And they STILL need to steal from us, and they STILL are extremely rigid and have innovated and invented almost nothing of basic importance.

    So is nurture important? Yes it is, but nurture is not of equivalent importance to nature. Nurture is not even in the same category as Nature. Nurturing is simply another racial quality that emerges from the basic nature of a race just like intelligence, character and temperament. And in any case, please notice that whenever nice, decent, prosperous White people raise Blacks, the Blacks generally revert to their inferior racial characteristics. President Obonzo is a good example. He was nothing but a stuttering, smacking, corrupt, affirmative-action parasite who hated his White family. That’s his nature. Except for our imposed religion of Negro Worship, we would never have even heard of Obonzo.

  40. Alden says:

    Glubb Pasha confused dynasties with empires. America isn’t an empire. We’re just an exploited and abused colony of the Israel Rothschild Soros Empire.

  41. Studies of identical twins separated at birth (aka MZRA – monozygotic reared apart) are ideal because then you can account for non-additive effects, or interactions between genes (as opposed to only accounting for additive genetic effects). Suddenly many things prove to be much more heritable than if you only look at regular adoption studies, siblings, DZRA et al. I trust the higher estimates from MZRA for the true heritability of IQ and other behavioral traits.

    Yes, genotype by environment interaction is important. We know that variation in height in the US is almost entirely genetic and we know the Dutch are naturally taller than Mestizos. But we also have to remember that Mestizos that grow up in the US are taller than the pre-industrial Dutch. That’s why large scale trans-racial adoption studies – like Scarr Weinberg – are important to establish Black-White differences.

    Here’s a good contrarian take on the Flynn Effect and IQ changes over time. (Imagine if our height genes actually decreased slightly over the past 200 years, but it went unnoticed because it was overcome by huge changes in nutrition).

    • Replies: @prime noticer
  42. Alden says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    What about high IQ women and low IQ men? What will you do about them? You’ll have to factor in female high verbal lower math and make higher math lower verbal too.

    I believe we should breed for beauty. Get rid of all those ugly people. And bring back true blondes and redheads. A world of Amy Adam’s Katrine Denuves’s and Brad Pitt’s before he got old. Or that Theranos woman she’s a beauty.

  43. @Alden

    One word: Ana de Armas

    • Replies: @Alden
  44. Alden says:
    @James Speaks

    Your Ana’s attractive. I’m more into drop dead head turners like Spanish actress Amaia Salamanca . Or Turkish German raised and lives in Germany Merym Uzerly .

    • Replies: @James Speaks
  45. On the subject of clones, has anyone ever seen Gretchen and Caitlyn in the same room?

    • LOL: Anonymous Jew
  46. @Arclight

    No doubt. Life in Wokeworld has turned into Chad Gadya (for you fellow tribesmen).

  47. @Alden

    Your Ana’s …

    One can only hope.

  48. Steve’s intuition about the relative contributions of nature versus nurture is pretty much right on the money. In a survey of virtually every twin study conducted over the last 50 years – covering 17,804 different traits and 14.5 million twin pairs – investigators found an average heritability* of 49%. Every single trait showed at least some degree of heritability and no trait showed complete heritability. In other words, all human traits are influenced by both genes (nature) and the environment (nurture).

    For the twin study and heritability aficionados out there, the results are made accessible via a web app:

    *Technical note: Heritability is the percent of phenotypic variability for a trait explained by genetic variability, ie a measure of the relative influence of genes (nature) on a given trait in a given population. In the strict sense, heritability doesn’t tell us anything about group differences, as it is a within population parameter, although it may be considered to serve as a prior on expectations that group differences in a trait are also influenced by genes.

  49. bomag says:

    You have a point, but too harsh.

    We’re up against people who claim everyone will be equal with the proper intervention; and if equality is not forthcoming, then we have to try even harder. In this context, we are reduced to shouting, “genetics matter”; so the other side smugly offers a few counter examples while leading us off to internment camps.

    • Agree: Bill
    • Replies: @anon
  50. Bannon says:

    As Charles Murray so often points out, a big problem we have now is how much of the “environment” overlaps with genetics when one or both of the caregivers is the parent. I tend to think the vocabulary and speech syntax of the caregivers in the first 4-6 years of life ends up mattering a lot towards the ordering of the brain cells as the brain develops. The spoken language a toddler overhears, or has spoken to it (plus the confirmation back when it talks) is like software being fed in to make sense of the world.

    We can study children raised by non-genetic caregivers, and look at the intelligence of the caregivers. But there is a huge amount of data filling every crevice from situations where the primary caregiver is a parent. It’s very hard to separate out, I think.

    The net effect is that genetics and environment contribute significantly, but genetics ends up affecting the environment an awful lot in most populations.

  51. @Alden

    I don’t think Brad Pitt is a true blonde.

  52. @Anonymous Jew

    i’m still waiting for the video where one of these researchers explains that, actually, athletes are getting smaller, slower, weaker, and it’s just an illusion what your eyes are seeing, the difference between athletes today and 100 years ago. their genotypic athletic ability was miles ahead of any athlete today.

    since that kind of thing is self evidently obvious nonsense, and any person with zero training can see it’s obvious nonsense, they don’t make those videos though. they have to stick to videos explaining that genotypic intelligence is decreasing despite the observable evidence of significantly increasing intelligence. one of their favorite dumb arguments is the Concorde and mach speed air travel being ‘lost’. but all that shows is that they don’t understand aircraft.

    i’m definitely amenable to serious deep dive research into GWAS, genotype investigations, and the idea that smart people have less kids now and dumb people have more. it’s certainly one of the great conundrums of psychology, like trying to reconcile quantum mechanics in physics with plainly observable contradictions in measured velocities of astronomical objects which do not match up with prediction. but these guys need to chill with the ‘”We’re getting dumber!” stuff, then listing technological situations as evidence – technology situations which they clearly don’t understand.

  53. anon[299] • Disclaimer says:

    We’re up against people who claim everyone will be equal with the proper intervention; and if equality is not forthcoming, then we have to try even harder.

    Not a new concept.

  54. BADmejr says:

    My suspicion at this point is that it does matter what historical epoch you are nurtured in. But I don’t know how to test that.

    Perhaps this isn’t extremely relevant to what was mentioned by Sailer, but I am reminded of some facts.

    In looking at black/white differences in the US, one could look to the levels of illegitimate children (families without a father in the home) between the groups in two very different time periods. (Note: I am going off of memory here, so the percentages that follow are not meant to be exact, but they are close).


    In 1950, whites had an illegitimacy rate of around 3-5%, while blacks had a rate around 20-25%. In 2010, whites had a rate of around 25%, while for blacks it was around 70%+. What are the implications?

    Those arguing 100% environment as the cause for mean differences between blacks and whites in measured levels of certain human traits or life outcomes might claim this is evidence IN SUPPORT of their ridiculous beliefs. After all, how can one say the illegitimacy rate between blacks and whites is largely based on genetics when it has fluctuated so much between the relatively short time period of 60 years? In fact, the black rate in 1950 is approximately the same as the white rate in 2010. Therefore, equality and “equity” can be found with the proper manipulation of the environment.

    However, this is consistent with the “hereditarian” perspective that variation in genes is responsible for 60-80% of the variation in certain human traits, such as height or intelligence, while variation in environment is responsible for about 20-40% of the difference in the mean levels between the black and white populations in the US. In 1950, society was largely governed by the rules and standards of the white population (when left on its own), and in 2010, society was largely governed by the rules and standards the “chosenites” would have for us. We can call the 1950 environment “E1” and the 2010 environment “E2.”

    Then, blacks living in environment E1 have the same illegitimacy rate as whites living in environment E2. The problem with achieving an equitable outcome is that even though there are some differences, whites and blacks, overall, share the same overall environment. If we could manage to hold blacks to the E1 standard while putting whites in the E2 standard (or standards that lionize degeneracy), then we would achieve equity between the groups. So all we have to do is have outrageously different standards and treatment for different groups in order to achieve “equality.”

    What has played out is that the variation in the relevant trait (proportion of single parent homes) between the mean for blacks versus whites is largely genetic, so in E1 (with high moral standards) black illegitimacy is relatively low, and white illegitimacy is virtually non-existent. In the permissive, degenerate environment of E2, blacks have a high rate versus whites also having a relatively high rate (versus whites in E1) of illegitimate children.

    We see the same thing play out in so many areas in looking at statistics in the social sciences. Let’s take intelligence between groups as an example. When two groups differ to a large extent in a given trait, the instrument measuring this trait is most effective when it does so in a manner that provides the most discrimination between those with less of the trait versus those with more of the trait. For example, valid intelligence testing has shown consistently that in the US, the mean level of intelligence in blacks is about one standard deviation (15 IQ points) lower than in whites (black mean 85 IQ / white mean 100 IQ). We could make performance between these groups equal by either making the tests outrageously easy, so ANYONE can get the maximum score, or we could make it extremely hard in which NO ONE can score at all. Of course, in doing so, we would have made the test no longer valid in measuring the trait. After all, how accurate is a scale that shows morbidly obese people versus skinny people having the same average weight?

    Still, this is what we have done to bring about equality, the removing of “standards.” Such actions shrink the performance gap between men and women in physical capabilities (military) or blacks and whites in intelligence. Here is a bit to consider regarding our efforts to bring about equality in testing:

    In order to achieve diversity in employment and at the nation’s universities, various forms of “gerrymandering” of the tests have been under way for quite some time. A comprehensive review of these sorts of techniques appeared in the Human Resource Management Review (McDaniel, 2009). Although many others exist, the most important methods for eliminating disparate impact while still using valid tests are the use of banding, race norming, and allowing low cutoff scores. In banding, scores are divided into “bands” in which all scores are considered equal in each band. For example, a band could span the equivalent of 15 IQ points. Given lower mean scores, African Americans will tend to cluster on the lower end of the band, but they will appear as equal to higher scorers, allowing more of them to be selected. In race norming, applicant scores are reviewed separately by race. In this manner, the highest applicants from each race will be chosen. This will allow, say, the top 5% for each race to be considered, while their scores considered together will be quite different. However, while race norming was endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences for being the most efficient method of maintaining standards while achieving diversity (Gottfredson, 2000), it was banned by Congress in 1991. Finally, allowing low cutoff scores allows additional lower-scoring minorities to qualify for selection.
    A method that simply provides the appearance of closer scores between groups with different mean scores is a “recentering” of the test, which is a form of compression of the scores. The SAT was “recentered” in 1995, and the effect was to close the gap between white and black test takers without actually changing their performance (Levin, 1997). The following is how this worked. The SAT was originally scored between 200 and 800 with a mean of 500. However, by the 1990’s the mean SAT-V score for all taking the test was 424, and the mean SAT-M was 478. The revised calculation set the actual performance indicated by these mean scores at a “recentered” mean score of 500 without allowing the top score of 800 to rise. In essence, this allowed the 1990 Black mean SAT-M score of 352 to be rescored as a 402 while allowing the Asian mean SAT-M score of 535 to climb only to a 555 (Levin, 1997), decreasing the gap between the groups from 183 points to 153 points, a reduction of 16.4% without any real change in actual performance from either group. In addition, while the previous top score of 800 points could only be achieved by getting every question correct, the new 800 allows students to miss a few questions, “compressing” the higher scores much more than the lower scores.
    By far, the most blatant and outrageous destruction of the quality of a cognitive test is displayed by a case study (Gottfredson, 1997) involving collusion between the U.S. Justice Department and HRStrategies (a test developing firm) to remove all cognitive content from its entrance test for the Nassau County Police Officer Examination in order to decrease or eliminate disparate impact. The final product removed all cognitive content with the exception of a short reading test on which the applicants only had to read at the level of the bottom 1% of incumbent police officers, while the weight of this particular portion of the test battery was lowered to make it virtually insignificant in the selection process. The testing firm even blatantly skewed its data and hid information required by law to evaluate the test. The Justice Department proceeded to try to force this selection test on other jurisdictions in order for them to avoid costly litigation in the future regarding their hiring practices. Gottfredson maintained that this new selection test had little more predictive value than the flip of a coin.

    Obviously, I have said enough here.

  55. Dissident says:

    One highly particular and perhaps unique metric/criteria is the degree to which an individual raised in an insular community with strict, rigorous demands and standards of behavior remains committed to that lifestyle and concomitant set of beliefs into his adulthood. Might this be an area for which nurture trumps nature to an inordinate, even exceptional degree?

    (It would seem axiomatic that the ratio between nature and nurture varies, perhaps even wildly, between different traits.)

    On the topic of raising a child within the strictly Orthodox Judaic religious tradition,

    a certain highly influential rabbi of the 20th century is reported to have said as follows. (Not an exact quote.)

    In 10% of cases, a child will turn-out “good” irrespective of his upbringing. In another 10% of cases, “bad” irrespective of his upbringing. For the remaining 80%, the upbringing a child receives will determine how he turns-out.

    Now, before dismissing this rabbi as simply being ignorant and clueless, consider that he was speaking within the highly limited context that I outlined above; both his “good” and “bad” were based almost exclusively upon the highly specific criteria of adherence and loyalty to a particular set of religious beliefs and accompanying behaviors. Also consider that the rabbi was surely speaking from his personal experience of having observed and dealt directly with thousands of families and cases. Given that context, might the rabbi’s view possibly be reconcilable with Mr. Sailer’s or at least fall within the realm of views that Mr. Sailer considers credible?

  56. MEH 0910 says:

    The Boys From Brazil – Lieberman Solves The Puzzle

    ‘The Boys From Brazil’ (1978)
    Starring: Lord Olivier, Gregory Peck & James Mason.

    the boys from brazil – hitler tailor made

    Mengele talks about creating Hitler clones

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS