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Genetics: Blueprint (Plomin) or Lottery (Harden)?
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Books have titles so that readers are tempted to buy them. Such titles are a general indication, and the text will give the further explanations. Neither Plomin nor Harden need be taken literally, but their choice of analogy reveals a general attitude: Plomin sees genetics as being more causal than does Harden. His reference to a blueprint may seem out of place, but genes do unfold in a predictable manner most of the time. How appropriate is the analogy of a lottery?

Here we have to assume that the lottery is an honest one, where every ticket holder has the same chance of winning as any other ticket holder. The chance of a win is winners divided by the number of lottery tickets, and the return on the lottery is the cost of a ticket compared with the probability of getting a particular prize. For example, in the UK there is a lottery (Premium Bonds) in which you keep your stake, but share with others the interest due on your stake. There are £1 million prizes, which tend to attract investor’s attention, and far more common far smaller prizes. How lovely to have a monthly chance of winning a million pounds for a one-pound stake! Yet, however many tickets you buy, the overall return is 1%, so it is not even compensation for inflation. All lotteries are a snare for the gullible.

Is genetics a true lottery? Of course not. Simple examination reveals the analogy to be misleading. Not all outcomes are equi-probable. Intelligence and other characteristics are heritable, and lotteries do not show any effects of inheritance. You pay for a ticket with a fair chance of winning, you do not roll up to claim a prize for privilege. Nor are you rewarded for being a frequent gambler, merely fleeced because of your foolishness. Even your identical twin has no higher chance than you do of winning a real lottery.

Also, people do not mate at random. They make choices. You can only regard your birth as random if you were conceived as a result of a vast masked orgy.

However, some chance is involved in genetic transmission, and that is why the analogy flourishes.

Two bright parents have a higher-than-average chance of getting a bright child, but it is not guaranteed. Birth injuries are one reason, rare mutations another. The other important reason, apparently difficult for some to accept, is that a high correlation is not a perfect correlation. There will be some surprises and disappointments, all as part of the genetic package. Eggs and sperm fuse, and although each parent as a result contributes exactly half of the DNA, the additive genetic inheritance of each child will vary somewhat around the average of the two parents as a result of Mendelian segregation. Kids vary somewhat, though less in families than in the general population.

All parents will have children of similar ability to them because intelligence is 0.8 heritable. Furthermore, instead of a mean absolute difference of 17 IQ points which would obtain if there was zero correlation between parent and child intelligence, their children will have a 12-point mean absolute difference. (I assume a sibling correlation of 0.5 for intlligence, which is the best-supported estimate).

As a rule of thumb, any family will show about two thirds of the variation found between unrelated persons. Children will have different outcomes (and the brighter ones in each family will earn more).

As to regression to the mean, most of the regression will tend to be to their own ancestral family mean. Think of it as a weighted mean of your ancestors, with more recent relatives having greater weight.

If everyone always regressed to the population mean, no differences would ever be found as a result of selective marriages. No family would have a tradition of scholarship nor a particular capacity for banking, or sporting prowess. No bloodline of race horses would matter very much.

To the contrary, endogamous marriage traditions follow the breeder’s equation (which applies to all species), and so long as the characteristic is heritable and confers a slight advantage, it will spread in the descendants, giving them propensities which make them differ from other groups. This is a response to selection, and the more severe the selection over the generations, the greater will be the effect.

Some will hold their breath and dive deeply for pearls, others will calculate their business deals carefully so as to buy those pearls and keep them in their bank vaults.

India has been doing this since at least 300 BC and the differentiation of jatis shows up in genetic studies. The prevalence of rare diseases in India is a testament to the longevity of this practice in the subcontinent. Razib Kahn has explained this in detail.

https://razib.substack.com/p/the-character-of-caste

Thousands of years later the upper stratum of Indian society has a noticeable overrepresentation of ancestry from the Sintashta horse lords of the Bronze Age, an aristocracy that has somehow maintained itself for 4,000 years. This is true in every corner of the subcontinent with Brahmins in particular, and genetics indicates that many of the Brahmin groups have had a coherency that dates back thousands of years. They monopolized elite positions in a primitive agro-pastoral Iron-Age society, and they remain overrepresented in elite positions in a world where India is slouching towards its destiny as an advanced technological society. This is a miracle of continuity and stability which the British could never have invented. Some things about India are truly eternal.

So, is having children a gamble? Not really. It is not a true gamble in the sense that everyone has equi-probable outcomes. For example, if every newborn was sequestered and then put up as a lottery prize for the general public, then that would be a real gamble. Horrible, but a gamble. (Sometimes I fear that only a policy as severe as this will ever satisfy social engineers).

In the real world, your children will be very much like you and your partner, with abilities very much like yours. Your children will vary around the parental mean with somewhat smaller variation than that observed in the general population. They are children, not clones, so somewhat different but very like you, and more like each other than the general population.

So, not a guarantee, but a strong likelihood.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Genetics, Heredity 
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  1. Harden is proud of her book’s title:

    “A lottery is a perfect metaphor for describing genetic inheritance: the genome of every person is the outcome of nature’s Powerball.”

    But, except for the potential big payoff, lotteries are boring. In contrast, how a particular baby gets made is fascinating on multiple levels: scientific, sociological, romantic, and erotic. A less bad metaphor for how humans are conceived would be poker, a game that combines luck, strategy, and psychology.

    https://www.takimag.com/article/hardens-folly/

  2. Pac says:

    Is genetics a “true lottery”? Of course not, indeed. The point of analogies is not to say that things are exactly equal, but to say that they are… well, *analogous* in some important sense. In this case, the analogy is not meant to suggest that p(genes of children|genes of parents) = 1/(# of all possible combinations of genes), this is ridiculous. The point is rather that *you* don’t choose your parents’ genes. Sure, your parents and their parents (etc) make choices and that’s what makes who you are, but that’s totally outside of your control.

    Imagine evil scientists start genetically engineering some babies to have cancer (but not at random: let’s say they use some deterministic algorithm to decide that). The baby grows up, learns why he has cancer, and says, “I’m so unlucky :(“. The scientists reply, “Unlucky? Ha! There was nothing ‘random’ about my choice to make you, the algorithm was deterministic!”. I hope we all agree that the scientist is either dumb or making a bad joke.

    • Agree: Brás Cubas
    • Replies: @James Thompson
  3. Realist says:

    Offspring genetics is the combination of two blueprints…with some misreading or misinterpretation of the combination.

    • Replies: @Bert
  4. @Steve Sailer

    Yes, thanks! My point, as you know, is that nature’s powerball would be cancelled once it was revealed that the dice were very heavily loaded.

    After your review of Harden, I saw no reason to review it myself, though I will keep reading her journal publications.

    • Replies: @niteranger
  5. dearieme says:

    we have to assume that the lottery is an honest one, where every ticket holder has the same chance of winning as any other ticket holder.

    On the contrary, the expression “genetic lottery” requires that you don’t impose that assumption. The use of “lottery” is just a way of saying that there’s an element of chance in your genetic inheritance from your parents. The “genetic lottery” explains – or, if you prefer, alludes to – the fact that bright parents can have dim children and dim bright. Whereas “environmental” or “nurture” arguments don’t explain those mismatches, indeed pretty much forbid them, being essentially deterministic.

    We are agreed on the facts, doc, but not on your rhetoric. Contrasting a “lottery” with a deterministic approach seems to me to capture an important intellectual point without any need for quasi-technical chatter about probability, chaos, noise, stochastic, or whatnot. Mind you, I’d like to find a good rhetorical metaphor for “deterministic”. What sort of institution imposes unbending rules? An institution nobody expects, perhaps?

    • Replies: @schnellandine
  6. Anon[783] • Disclaimer says:

    Can someone tell me, even approximately, what the chances are of a son having an IQ of 124, when the father and mother had IQs of 127 and 90?

    • Replies: @Ed Case
  7. jb says:

    James — I think you are misunderstanding the lottery analogy. What is being suggested is not that every child has an equal chance to win or lose, but that, from your perspective, being born with good or bad genes is something that you have no control over, any more than you have control over the outcome of a lottery. The fact that you were dealt a bad hand because your parents were also dealt bad hands doesn’t change anything — from your point of view it’s still just the luck of the draw that you were born to that particular family rather than one that was more favored.

    BTW, I could imagine a lottery with a different payout structure that would more closely mimic the distribution of genetic outcomes. You might pay according to a bell curve, with most ticket holders receiving a payout and either winning or losing small amounts, while progressively smaller portions either win big or get back very little. (Probably wouldn’t be very popular though…).

  8. dearieme says:

    The Premium Bonds might be a useful analogy for Britons. Some holders win nowt, some a pittance, a few – a very few – win lots. You can improve your chances by buying more bonds, just as you can improve your chances on any inheritable trait by suitablel choice of your parents. But you still have no guarantees.

  9. @Pac

    The point is rather that *you* don’t choose your parents’ genes.

    No. The point is that “you” don’t exist, so the concept of choice is void for lack of reference.

    Choices are made by living persons.

    • Replies: @Pac
  10. A child of whatever genetics raised in ideal surroundings, instead of penury, ignorance, and filth, will have the intelligence and the skills and the manners of someone raised in ideal surroundings.

    So much for genetics.

    • LOL: Stan d Mute
    • Troll: Marcion
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    , @Technite78
  11. Patriot says:

    Hahaha! Leftists are soooooo stupid.

    When you buy a house, it’s a complete lottery. Some people are lucky and when they go to move in, they find that they bought a 30 room stone mansion in Manhattan or Beverly Hills. Others are suprised to find that the house they bought is a one room shack in a Louisiana swamp.

    It’s totally random! It’s not like house buyers compare house quality and buy the best house that they can afford. House buyers never pay for house inspections before buying.

    In reality, young people use dating to compare potential mates, and pair with the highest quality (looks, health, intelligence, education, personality, career, wealth, family background, etc.) that they can get.

    Dating is a serious and cruel assessment of the genetic quality of potential mates. People with high-quality genes as indicated by the above traits, can attract and marry mates with similar good genes.

    People who possess low quality genes achieve opposite results.

    It’s called assortative mating, and beautiful, smart, high achieving parents tend to have similar children. Ugly stupid people not so much. Life is unfair.

    Dating and marriage represent eugenics.

    If you seek a beautiful, young, smart, charasmatic mate, you are practicing eugenics. You are no better than Hitler, you evil HATER!!!

    • Thanks: Stan d Mute
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  12. Pac says:
    @James Thompson

    You’re attacking a strawman. Your argument is: “If you think you’re genetically unlucky, then you must think that each outcome had equal chance given your parents’ choices. But that’s false, some outcomes were much more likely than others.” Well, yeah, if that’s what “unlucky” means, then you’re right, it’s an absurd idea. But that’s not what anybody means when they say somebody with a rare genetic disease is “unlucky”. This is clearer if you use the words “fortunate”/”unfortunate” instead of “lucky”/”unlucky”.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @dearieme
  13. @dearieme

    On the contrary, the expression “genetic lottery” requires that you don’t impose that assumption. The use of “lottery” is just a way of saying that there’s an element of chance in your genetic inheritance from your parents.

    Sure, until one reverses into the question of how one ends up inside one parent or another, in which case ‘lottery’ is as good as another term.

    Let no one pretend he understands that bit.

  14. Right_On says:

    The lottery analogy is a dangerous one to use – a last refuge of egalitarians, when they’re finally forced to admit the realities of genetics.

    A chimpanzee is no more lucky than a gorilla when it’s born. They’re both products of distinct and different evolutionary paths, and each tends to its distinct character, means, and territory. The same is true of the members of sub-species, which is what races are.

    • Agree: Patriot
  15. Factorize says:

    What is the IQ distribution for children of a set of parents? “12 point mean difference between children”. In a family of 10 (simulated family of 100.. etc) children what would be the expected highest IQ? What are the parameters of such a distribution? 12 point difference suggests a large potential for IQ enhancement might be possible.

  16. @obwandiyag

    A child of whatever genetics raised in ideal surroundings, instead of penury, ignorance, and filth, will have the intelligence and the skills and the manners of someone raised in ideal surroundings.

    That’s unlikely.

    A donkey raised as if it’s a thoroughbred is not going to exhibit ‘thoroughbred’ characteristics. Not ever. It will also almost certainly underperform at donkey-oriented tasks too.

    The inverse is also true: a thoroughbred trained as a donkey will be pretty shit at being a donkey; it will also be worse at being a thoroughbred.

    Environment can advance or retard outcomes relative to genetic potential. As far as we can tell, it can’t change genetic potential.

    That said: it would be lovely if all donkeys and thoroughbreds had the choice of being someone’s pampered pet, but that’s a long way off yet.

    Prospects at birth for both donkeys and horses are much better than they were at the start of the 20th century – especially in the West. They have fuck-all to complain about, really.

    • Agree: Miro23
  17. Kathryn Paige Harden’s book title The Genetic Lottery – Why DNA Matters For Social Equality eradicates history, traditions, customs, and even parent’s intentions, choices, tastes (…) from the perspective, in which she looks at a child as a geneticist.

    Thus she eradicates culture in the name of science and ends up in a very well-known old trap: That of naturalism (see Jürgen Habermas: Between Naturalism and Religion).

    Or see JWv Goethe’s Maxims and Reflections. In No. 772 Goethe sums up Harden’s dilemma of an a-historical genetic theory of justice, that she is trying to achieve:

    The greatest difficulties are lying where we don’t look for them.

    Die größten Schwierigkeiten liegen da, wo wir sie nicht suchen.

    (You could read this No. 772 as the nucleus of Freud’s theory of the neurotic defense mechanisms (he was a lifelong Goethe reader/admirer).

    • Replies: @3g4me
  18. @Pac

    Read again.

    However, some chance is involved in genetic transmission, and that is why the analogy flourishes.

    Two bright parents have a higher-than-average chance of getting a bright child, but it is not guaranteed. Birth injuries are one reason, rare mutations another.

  19. Bert says:
    @Realist

    with some misreading or misinterpretation of the combination.

    A knowledgeable fellow is off-put when his uncle calls him “Sport.”

  20. @Patriot

    As Steve Sailer has pointed out in his Taki’s Mag article about KP Harden’s book, she avoids the problem of mating. – She is a historical/scociological/psychological blank-slater.

    Her somehow puritan idea is: Let’s look at the world from the perspective of the innocent toddler – and never think about the fact that children grow up and all that follows from this simple observation.

    Her Genetic Lottery metaphor is meant to eradicate everything human in human history. The counting sciences do that in order to advance. That’s rigth. But at the same moment they do that, they can’t talk about human affairs any longer. Unless they do even though. And that’s what she does.

    Her book is about genetics too – and in this regard a good effort.

    For all those who think, that genetics help to argue against the social-state – not necesarily so – that’s the John Rawls (= Social Democratic) part of her book that is indeed provocative.

  21. dearieme says:
    @Pac

    This is clearer if you use the words “fortunate”/”unfortunate” instead of “lucky”/”unlucky”

    I don’t see how replacing a Germanic English word by a Latinate English word advances the argument.

  22. barnabus says:

    Genetics IS a lottery: for every gene (there are about 27k, about 40% of them expressed in the developing or adult brain), one maternal and one paternal copy is selected, out of two maternal and two paternal copies. So there are 4 different possibilities FOR EVERY F-CKING GENE.

    Does it mean that the lottery is 4^27k in total? Nope, it is smaller. First, genes from each parent are inherited not totally randomly but over a chromosomal slate, with non-crossing-over being more probable than not over distances less than 50 centi-Morgans.

    Second, there may be a correlation for each parent that for every gene both copies are – even if not identical, than similar. For example, in a white person, both both gene copies of genes encoding skin color usually facilitate white skin color. And finally, there is assortative mating, so maternal gene copies may be similar to paternal gene copies.

    Still – there is extensive gene lottery possible. Because there is plenty of space between 1.00 and 4^27k. But that is not the end of it. After genetics come random, post-genetic events. From monozygotic twins, these contribute to 20% of total variance – which by itself translates to 45% relative deviation, since variance is deviation squared.

  23. @Steve Sailer

    To be fair to Ms Harden, having one child who’s in the expected range for two bright academics and then one who’s “special” does bring home the lottery idea pretty powerfully. She and her child have been unfortunate.

    But more generally, if being born is a lottery*, then it’s one where some children only have one ticket, others have ten, and others (like Ms Harden’s children) have a hundred or more. No prizes are guaranteed – the tickets may be lost, put though the wash or just unlucky – but the odds are much better for the cognitive elite. As I’ve said elsewhere, no one is surprised if the child of two doctors gets an Oxbridge place, but we are surprised (and I hope pleased) when the dustman’s child gets in.

    * there is the other lottery-like aspect. Being born British may no longer be first prize in the lottery of life, but a Congolese child born in London or New York has much greater life chances than a Congolese child born in Goma or Kisangani.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  24. dearieme says:

    we are surprised (and I hope pleased) when the dustman’s child gets in

    I’d be pleased because it would mean that the dustman’s child had had the backbone to ignore all the schoolteachers who said “Oh it’s not for the likes of you” and “They won’t admit people like you” and generally dripped socialist poison into children’s ears.

    Of course, if the system were to be changed so that the dustman’s child was admitted not on merit but on grounds of engineering a new privileged class I wouldn’t be pleased. Not that anyone would seek my opinion.

  25. @James Thompson

    Dr. Thompson good article but you failed to mention the Jews who practice Endogamy and Assortative Mating. This throws a “monkey wrench” into your argument. According to Israeli scientists Ashkenazi Jews are all related within fifth cousins. Does this make for more intelligence of Jews in certain disciplines (banking, finance, math etc.)? But at what cost including many mutations which cause a host of genetic problems (many Jews use genetic counselling which really is a form of selective breeding…Eugenics ). According to their own studies Jews have the highest rates of mental disorders including Schizophrenia. It may be an obnoxious thing to say but it doesn’t do well for looks of the men either.

  26. @YetAnotherAnon

    I agree that Dr Harden will have personal reasons to feel that having children has some randomness in terms of outcomes. That is a great misfortune. It is also true of my extended family. However, in discusing the likelihood of outcomes for everyone, it should not have any influence at all on either of us. We have to go with the overall findings, not the personal ones.

    Now, as to the lottery-like aspect of being a Congolese child born in London, I find the argument weak. It is precisely because inheritance is not lottery-like that the nation British people have built is different from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @iffen
  27. Ed Case says:
    @Anon

    No, but my guess would be that the Father’s positive characteristics would prevail over the Mothers, all other things being equal.

  28. dearieme says:

    Now, doc, would “sweepstake” be a better word than “lottery”? When we each buy a ticket in a Grand National Sweepstake, we satisfy your requirement that outcomes are equi-probable because we each hand over our pound and we each get a ticket. But thereafter our odds are different because, say, your ticket carries the name of the favourite, mine of an outsider. How’s that?

    I quite like “The Genetic Sweepstake”.

  29. @James Thompson

    “as to the lottery-like aspect of being a Congolese child born in London, I find the argument weak. It is precisely because inheritance is not lottery-like that the nation British people have built is different from the Democratic Republic of the Congo”

    Agreed, but it is still true that children of identical qualities will live better lives in London than in Goma (whether their neighbours will live better lives might be more debatable).

    Didn’t you ever as a child wonder why you were born where you were and not somewhere else?

    • Replies: @3g4me
  30. @niteranger

    The middle and upper classes generally go in for assortative mating, it’s not just a Jewish thing.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20210613082617/https://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/29/opinion/karls-new-manifesto.html

    The educated class has torn away from the family its sentimental veil and reduced it to a mere factory for the production of little meritocrats. Members of the educated elites are more and more likely to marry each other, which the experts call assortative mating, but which is really a ceaseless effort to refortify class solidarity and magnify social isolation. Children are turned into workaholic knowledge workers — trained, tutored, tested and prepped to strengthen class dominance.

    The educated elites are the first elites in all of history to work longer hours per year than the exploited masses, so voracious is their greed for second homes. They congregate in exclusive communities walled in by the invisible fence of real estate prices, then congratulate themselves for sending their children to public schools. They parade their enlightened racial attitudes by supporting immigration policies that guarantee inexpensive lawn care. They send their children off to Penn, Wisconsin and Berkeley, bastions of privilege for the children of the professional class, where they are given the social and other skills to extend class hegemony.

    The information society is the only society in which false consciousness is at the top. For it is an iron rule of any university that the higher the tuition and more exclusive the admissions, the more loudly the denizens profess their solidarity with the oppressed. The more they objectively serve the right, the more they articulate the views of the left.

    • Replies: @niteranger
  31. Patriot says:

    As the 2011 book, Jewish Eugenics by John Glad, details, 19th and early 20th Century Jews were publicly enthusiastic about improving humans via eugenics. Then something happened in Central Europe in the early 1940’s that changed all that.

    Today, Jews attack eugenics publicly as the worst thing on earth, and anyone who favors eugenics as being worse than Satan to the 10th power. But privately they are still obsessed with it and continue to apply it in their lives.

    So strange. Why would the smartest people on Earth want eugenics for themselves, but not for anyone else?

  32. barnabus says:
    @niteranger

    Am not that aware that schizophrenia is rampant in Israel. Usually, studies on schizophrenia have shown its common presence across every culture studied. That Ashkenazis are related to the tune of 5th cousins is simply a reflection of the founder effect: the Jewish communities started on the Rhine and its tributaries in Karolingean times go back to maybe 500 or less founders.

    About those recessive disorders like Tay-Sachs or Gaucher: They’ve lost most of their terror since one can test if oneself and one’s potential mate are heterozygous for the same recessive disease. The Dor Yeshorim project has been doing that for the last 40 years.

  33. I’m so sick of the elites. I say let’s bring them down.

    How?

    Match the highest with the lowest to even things out.

    So, if you’re a smart globo-lib, you MUST marry someone really dumb.

    If you’re really pretty, you must marry someone really ugly.

    If you’re really tall, you must marry a midget(or dwarf).

    I know this sounds crazy, BUT why not give the elites a taste of their own medicine?

    It’s like this. I don’t mind the rich being rich but do mind when the rich preach about equality. They got everything but blame OTHERS for greed.

    It’s the smarty pant elites in high places who are always lecturing the hoi polloi about equality.

    Okay, this Harden whore is a rather pretty and smart. And she’s probably married to some decent looking guy who is smart. I say we force her to divorce him and marry some ugly dumb guy. That’s more fair. And her smart/pretty genes will be equalized with ugliness and dumbery.

    Make high IQ Jews marry the dumbest blacks.

    Make all those ‘woke’ fashion models and glam star have kids with the ugliest and grossest looking people.

    Hey, it’s genetic re-distribution or gene-taxation or genetic integration.

    I’m sick of being lectured by people who got all the money, privilege, and advantages of life.

    Harden’s new hubby should be someone like crackhead bob.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @A Half Naked Fakir
  34. iffen says:
    @James Thompson

    I agree that Dr Harden will have personal reasons to feel that having children has some randomness in terms of outcomes.

    I haven’t read the book, but have read informative reviews. I agree with the thrust of Pac’s argument and I think that you are misreading the lottery angle. I think that she knows quite well that her children are not in the “lottery” at an equitable basis with others. Taken at the whole of the world population, it is indeed a lottery for the individual.

    I was blessed to be born a Southern working class white male in 1950 America. What do you count as your blessings of birth? Being born British?

    The Congolese child born in Britain is lucky in view of the fate of Congolese born in the Congo. Further, it is likely that his parent’s were above average bears so his lottery ticket is eligible for the cash option.

    Excellent post as always!

  35. Patriot says:
    @barnabus

    So, you tell us that Jews approve of the evil, racist and non-scientific practice of eugenics — i.e., they demand genetic testing of their potential mates.

    As I asked previously, Why would the smartest people on Earth want eugenics for themselves, but not for anyone else?

    • Replies: @barnabus
  36. @YetAnotherAnon

    I disagree. Jews practice it more than anyone. It’s obvious that certain classes practice it but not any way like the Jews. Try this: https://slides.com/kittycooper/challenges-of-endogamy-jewish-dna-testing. (https://blog.kittycooper.com/2017/02/endogamy-and-dna/) The other classes that do this are in no way as closely related as the Jews are. There is a reason why so many Jews are having problems with the virus and the vaccine in Israel and that’s most likely because they are so closely related. Evolutionary genetics responds to different stressors often in the same way with similar groups whether it’s fish, wombats etc. or humans. By the way many Jews will tell you they practice endogamy and assortative mating and are proud of it and believe that they are superior in many ways because of it.

  37. Factorize says:

    Many on thread are speculating about the nature of genomic architecture without actually having first hand knowledge of genomes. I would love to have you all around the table for a round of genome reveal poker. To see the expressions on your faces when I took the pot — it would be worth at least a million. The look of complete surprise as I revealed a counterintuitive truth would be priceless. From my analysis of my full genome I found that I did win the Powerball, though there is a catch involved. Posters on thread are unaware of what lurks behind the genomic curtain. When one does see this new view, one could imagine an entirely new possibility for assortative mating that has not been possible before; yet would completely overturn our existing social structure. Ante up all!

    • Replies: @res
  38. barnabus says:
    @Patriot

    It’s perfectly OK to ask for genetic testing of themselves and their potential mates. You are constructing a strawman argument. Orthodox Jews are not responsible for secular, self-hating Jews because they lack the means to police those. The reasons those self-hating Jews are around is because antisemitic gentiles encourage them. For antisemitic gentiles, only self-hating Jews are good Jews. Like, if you play with fire, you get burned.

  39. barnabus says:
    @niteranger

    It is a very rare defect – partial chromosome deletions like 3q29 are rare, so it doesn’t have a major effect on the TOTAL frequency of schizophrenia. In the study, it occurred in 6 out of 7545 scizophrenics, like less than in 1:1000. https://www.cell.com/ajhg/fulltext/S0002-9297(10)00369-1
    The reason the study was done in Ashkenazi population was simply it is genetically very well defined, and this ethnic has a positive attitude to genetic studies (there are others, where the attitude is much more guarded).

  40. MEH 0910 says:

    https://merionwest.com/2021/10/07/review-the-genetic-lottery-why-dna-matters-for-social-equality/

  41. @Steve Sailer

    ‘…“A lottery is a perfect metaphor for describing genetic inheritance: the genome of every person is the outcome of nature’s Powerball.”…’

    The idiocy and point-blank refusal to acknowledge reality contained in Harden’s statement is truly breathtaking.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  42. @MEH 0910

    Thanks for this. Read the review. Much to say about it, but the philosophy of science approach, though interesting, doesn’t get very far, in my view.

    By paragraph four we get eugenics and genocide, which rather sets the tone, but the rest of it is not bad at all, though mostly about the philosophy of causality.

    I need to look up the fostering study mentioned in the essay, so that is a benefit.

    • Replies: @res
  43. @MEH 0910

    Child-to-adult neurodevelopmental and mental health trajectories after early life deprivation: the young adult follow-up of the longitudinal English and Romanian Adoptees study
    Prof Edmund J S Sonuga-Barke, PhD
    Mark Kennedy, PhD
    Prof Robert Kumsta, PhD
    Nicky Knights, PhD
    Dennis Golm, PhD
    Prof Michael Rutter, MD
    et al.
    Show all authors
    Open AccessPublished:February 22, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30045-4

    I looked up the Rutter (2017) study on Romanian orphans, and if that is the study being mentioned in the book, then the conclusions seem to be different from those described.

    Notwithstanding the resilience shown by some adoptees and the adult remission of cognitive impairment, extended early deprivation was associated with long-term deleterious effects on wellbeing that seem insusceptible to years of nurturance and support in adoptive families.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  44. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    From that paper: The role of social and emotional deprivation in the pathogenesis of mental health problems is a long-standing focus of psychiatry

    So may I assume that the psychiatry trade has risen as one to speak out vociferously against the deprivation caused by lockdowns and school closures? Thought not.

  45. @barnabus

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

    “Dor Yeshorim (Hebrew: דור ישרים‎) also called Committee for Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases, is a nonprofit organization that offers genetic screening to members of the Jewish community worldwide. Its objective is to minimize, and eventually eliminate, the incidence of genetic disorders common to Jewish people, such as Tay–Sachs disease. Dor Yeshorim is based in Brooklyn, New York, but has offices in Israel and various other countries.

    Dor Yeshorim was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Josef Ekstein in Brooklyn. Its name, meaning “upright generation,” comes from Psalms 112:2.

    In a 2006 interview, Ekstein said that while four of his first five children died of Tay-Sachs disease, none of his children born subsequent to the founding of Dor Yeshorim suffered the condition. The same interview quotes a New York neurologist who credits the near-total disappearance of the condition from the ultra-orthodox community due to Dor Yeshorim’s involvement.”

    I don’t quite understand how Mr Ekstein avoided Tay-Sachs after child 5, unless he took a genetically-compatible concubine or second wife, but the general principle seems a good one.

    • Replies: @Stephane
    , @res
    , @barnabus
  46. Stephane says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Technically I see two options : in-vitro fertilisation and pre-implantation diagnostic, and pre-natal diagnostic and selective abortion.

    I’m not familiar enough with Judaism view on those options to decide which is more likely.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @Houston 1992
  47. dearieme says:
    @Stephane

    I’m not familiar enough with Judaism view on those options to decide which is more likely.

    Nor am I, but if Rabbis are much like the God-botherers of other religions the most likely answer will be whatever best suits the sky pilot.

  48. Anon[994] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    I know this sounds crazy, BUT why not give the elites a taste of their own medicine?

    It’s not even easy to figure and envision it, how many things in these really privileged people would change overnight, if they had to be under the rules they wish to keep, or put, everyone else under.

  49. res says:
    @Factorize

    What kind of metrics are you using? Do you see similar results for your phenotype?

    As far as the assortative mating aspect… Have you seen the movie Gattaca?

    P.S. Have you tried impute.me? One nice thing about it is some of the Polygenic Risk Scores include variance explained (tiny in most cases) and population distributions for both their users and 1000 Genomes.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  50. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Regarding the review, it was interesting (Thanks, MEH 0910!), but it is hard to take seriously a piece including these excerpts (emphasis mine).

    Eric Turkheimer, Harden’s former doctoral advisor, maintains it is all just correlations

    Lastly, there is the world of authors like Charles Murray and Robert Plomin in which not only is there causality, but it is fully deterministic

    Néstor de Buen holds an M.A. in social sciences

    The first is true (Turkheimer apparently maintains that), but repeating it in agreement is just as stupid as Turkheimer saying it in the first place. It is good for Turkheimer that he will likely be retired before it is clear just how wrong he has been (definitively) about that.

    The second is an egregious strawman.

    As for the third, good to see he has expertise in genetics. /sarc
    Though at least he acknowledges that at the the start of the causality section.

    Although it seems thoughtful, I am not impressed by the “No True Causality” discussion. For one thing, I think a discussion of penetrance and expressivity should be included.
    https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-biology1/chapter/reading-penetrance-and-expressivity/

    BTW, his example of Down syndrome for “thick causality” actually has variable penetrance for different phenotypes.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ejhg2008214

    Perhaps the most compelling part of the causality discussion is the argument that educational attainment is not that good a proxy for cognitive ability. But I suspect the author’s head would explode given my response: “Agreed. So let’s study cognitive ability more directly.” Be careful what you ask for. In the same vein, how about we try studying those racial genetic differences and their relationship (or not) to cognitive ability. If they truly don’t exist I am sure he would like to see that demonstrated.

    P.S. BTW, his Quillette piece gives a better idea of Néstor de Buen’s expertise.
    https://quillette.com/2017/11/25/deliberation-not-boundaries-reply-wessie-du-toit/

    One interesting thing is there he states:

    I will make a radical case for free speech absolutism, that goes beyond merely defending the principle.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  51. res says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I don’t quite understand how Mr Ekstein avoided Tay-Sachs after child 5, unless he took a genetically-compatible concubine or second wife

    Here is the 2006 interview referenced.
    https://doryeshorim.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Hamodia-Personal-Glinpeses-2006.pdf

    No OCR and the scan has some issues. Page 4 appears to have the “quote.” It is cut off, but the original source appears to say that one (not “none”) of his final six children had Tay-Sachs, and he appears to attribute it to a gift of God for the good work of starting Dor Yeshorim.

    Worth noting that the same page mentions that amniocentesis is forbidden to observant Jews. That would have been my guess. 1971 paper discussing that.
    Tay-Sachs disease: prenatal diagnosis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5546285/

    I think it is worth including a link to JScreen here.
    https://jscreen.org/

    • Replies: @res
  52. @res

    I was probably too kind. I tend to use the blood pressure test: if my blood pressure doesn’t rise too much while reading something, I generally let it pass.

  53. res says:
    @res

    Thinking about this some more and using the binomial probability calculator at
    https://stattrek.com/online-calculator/binomial.aspx

    There is a 1/4 chance of two carriers producing a child with the disease (“ideal” case). Given that, for the first five children having four with the disease was terrible luck. Probability only 1.4%.

    For the next six children having one with the disease is actually the modal outcome with probability 36%. Probability of 0/2 are 18%/30%.

  54. “Kids vary somewhat, though less in families than in the general population.”
    The question is: how much is “somewhat”. In my experience it is pretty much.

  55. Children being intermediate in ability between parents is more true today than it’s ever been. 100 years ago their might have been a kid who was more intelligent than their parents due to changes in culture (more schooling) and diet. Now that change is not happening (except perhaps negatively?) and abilities are ‘reverting to genetics’.

  56. @Steve Sailer

    There are no perfect analogies/metaphors, else they wouldn’t be analogies/metaphors, they’d be identities.

  57. @obwandiyag

    A child of whatever genetics raised in ideal surroundings, instead of penury, ignorance, and filth, will have the intelligence and the skills and the manners of someone raised in ideal surroundings.

    The vast majority of research contradicts your assertion.

    So much for genetics.

    Au contraire… so much for your opinion on genetics.

  58. Max Edge says:

    When an Anglo starts talking genetics, you just know things are about to go full retard.

  59. @Priss Factor

    “If you’re really pretty, you must marry someone really ugly.”

    Yes, that’s already happening. The negros are marrying white girls at a rapid rate.

  60. @Colin Wright

    The drift of the “lottery” metaphor is that its losers are stupid, violent
    and yucky through no fault of their own, and therefore owed reparations.

    All I can say is good luck with that 😀

  61. Agent76 says:

    Nov 14, 2011 Conception to birth — visualized | Alexander Tsiaras

    Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.

    God Knew Us Before We Were Born

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

    https://biblehub.com/jeremiah/1-5.htm

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  62. 3g4me says:
    @Dieter Kief

    @17 Dieter Kief: Culture is DOWNSTREAM from genetics. Study after study, of blacks and mulattos reared by White middle class families, unambiguously demonstrate that ultimate genetic outcomes and resulting cultural preferences are closely aligned with birth parents, NOT environment. Parents’ intentions and customs matter in the long run – i.e. what may or may not be passed down in one form or another to future generations, but even one’s biological children have a great deal of their personality and behavioral tendencies encoded in their genetics. Genetics are not immutable in this case, but highly predictive.

  63. @Steve Sailer

    You and Mr. Thompson are being far too easy on Ms. Harden – and missing the point. Harden is a liar. That’s a fact. Mr. Harden is far too intelligent (which she knows is mostly inherited from her parents and grandparents) to believe what she writes.

    She’s lying or, if you wish to be kind, fudging the truth. That’s not the question and not what we should be debating. No, the real question is why is she lying.

    Is she lying to keep the feeble flame of science alive in a time of woke-imposed darkness? Or is she attempting to keep the truth suppressed via scientific word play in order to protect the woke agenda from genetic advancements?

    I’m not sure Ms. Harden even knows that answer. She might be motivated by both agendas. Smart people are capable of such cognitive dissonance, as Steve proves almost daily.

    Who are you, Ms. Harden?

  64. Mr. Thompson, I’m re-posting my response to Steve Sailer’s comment because it really is addressed to both of you, and I’m not sure if you would read replies to Steve’s comment:

    You and Mr. Thompson are being far too easy on Ms. Harden – and missing the point. Harden is a liar. That’s a fact. Mr. Harden is far too intelligent (which she knows is mostly inherited from her parents and grandparents) to believe what she writes.

    She’s lying or, if you wish to be kind, fudging the truth. That’s not the question and not what we should be debating. No, the real question is why is she lying.

    Is she lying to keep the feeble flame of science alive in a time of woke-imposed darkness? Or is she attempting to keep the truth suppressed via scientific word play in order to protect the woke agenda from genetic advancements?

    I’m not sure Ms. Harden even knows that answer. She might be motivated by both agendas. Smart people are capable of such cognitive dissonance, as Steve proves almost daily.

    Who are you, Ms. Harden?

  65. Jiminy says:

    My cousin unfortunately gave birth to a Down syndrome child when in her early forties. She accepted it a long time ago as a fact of life that some have to face. She basically has a child that will never grow old. My silly neighbour on the other hand, while pregnant, took it upon herself to guzzle alcohol constantly resulting in a child suffering from foetal alcohol poisoning. She deliberately went out of her way, even while being aware of all of the medical reports that warn of drinking while pregnant. She still made that decision to keep drowning her sorrows without a care in the world towards the health of the newborn. Maybe she thought the odds of having a retarded child were rather slim. Maybe she never thought at all.

  66. Dumbo says:

    It is neither.

    Lottery would implicate random chance, which it isn’t.

    Blueprint, not exactly either. We are not houses of machines and DNA is not deterministic, not even all our genes manifest, it’s not a code, it’s more like a list of possibilities really.

    Anyway, Thompson is so boring with this HBD / IQ stuff.

    Do these HBD people really think that Jews and assorted leftists will one day say, “Oh yes you are right, your statistics have proven that there are racial differences in IQ and genetics. Sorry! Let’s cal back the whole ‘equality über alles’ project! Our bad!”

    They know all that. They just like to pretend they don’t.

    • Agree: 3g4me
  67. utu says:

    All parents will have children of similar ability to them because intelligence is 0.8 heritable.

    80% heritability is the great lie of IQism. No GWAS study could show higher heritability of IQ scores or educational attainment than 13% even when 1 million of SNPs were used in the polygenic score.

    • Replies: @bispora
    , @barnabus
  68. bispora says:
    @utu

    And what about the adult personality traits of identical and fraternal twins who have grown apart? Do they also show a heritability of around 13%? What if genes impose intellect not additively but combinatorially – similar to, say, a game of poker?

  69. 3g4me says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    @29 YetAnotherAon: “Agreed, but it is still true that children of identical qualities will live better lives in London than in Goma (whether their neighbours will live better lives might be more debatable).”

    Those Goma children in London will live better lives because of the accomplishments and behavior of the White people who built and inhabit those nations. There is no such thing as magic dirt.

    “Didn’t you ever as a child wonder why you were born where you were and not somewhere else?”

    Where one is born is a function of one’s parents – just as one’s genetics and thus culture is a function of one’s parents and ancestors in general. Again, it’s the PEOPLE who make the PLACE, not the other way around.

    Are you really this thick, or just playing coy?

  70. barnabus says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    There IS such a thing as divorce for medical incompatibility or infertility. Taking a second wife is no longer a possibility since the edict of Rabbeinu Gershom of Mainz (Germany) a millenium ago. Since pilegesh is simply a wife without a ketuva, she is also no longer possible.

  71. barnabus says:
    @utu

    The problem with GWAS is that they are forced to use linear regression. Studies using monozygotic twins do not postulate that each gene has a linear additive effect – they can simply assess the effect of the whole genome being identical or totally different (or, 50% different, when they include dizygotic twins).

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  72. Weaver says:

    I appreciate this article, but could anything be more obvious? Next we’ll see an argument for why driving at high speeds is more dangerous than low speeds. “But this random guy at a bar says otherwise.”

    This article is excellent, perhaps the best of its type. But don’t we already have 10K+ such articles?

    What might be truly interesting is the topic of the ideal balance between inbreeding and outbreeding, which has also been written upon. However, articles on problems resulting from outbreeding seem rare. Aside from ugliness, do we see major problems from genes just not combining well? Alternatively, do we find dominant genes covering recessive genes for intelligence?

    Separately, and less politically incorrect, have we seen mistakes from gene therapy and designer babies? That might be more interesting. Are the two girls in China the only designer babies in existence, currently? Just my humble thoughts.

  73. The single most important thing for a child is the quality of his father. A good father will make sure that Father is in the child’s life. Without a good father you get atheists, feminists, SJWs, homosexuals, sluts, whores, etc.

  74. Art says:

    Hmm — “lottery”

    I object to the word “lottery” being applied in this biological context. The word used in that way, misleads and disrespects reality. It is wrong to shrink human culture to a gamble. The makeup of humanity is the result of a gazillion thoughtful choices.

  75. @RedpilledAF

    The CivNat is strong in this one.

    Btw, Santa Claus isn’t real either.

    No shit, having a father around is good, but what kind of society would be created by a thousand white kids without fathers compared to a thousand black kids with a father.

    If you’re honest (both with yourself and others), you’ll know. Otherwise, you’re either a liar or crazy.

    Environment counts, but genetics eventually win, at least, with large groups.

    • Replies: @RedpilledAF
  76. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Your reading comprehension is fantastic. And thank you for making my point, by being an example yourself, about the importance of a good father and the type of individual produced when it is not there.

  77. @RedpilledAF

    A good writer knows their audience, Red. These message boards are filled with colorblind CivNats, and they will latch onto the tiniest sliver of hope that race doesn’t matter, that environment and culture can turn blacks into whites in dark face.

    Your original post feeds that fantasy. Naturally, having fathers around is a good thing (it certainly made my childhood better), but it’s not going to close the black-white gap or even the gap between high-IQ and low-IQ whites.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  78. @Agent76

    ‘God Knew Us Before We Were Born

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

    Yes — but to take this in the sense you intend would not merely bar abortion, but forbid all attempts to avoid sex that might lead to pregnancy. After all, if this man is in your path, perhaps God wants him to father your child.

    Possibly that’s what you had in mind, but I doubt it.

  79. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    ‘A good writer knows their audience, Red. These message boards are filled with colorblind CivNats, and they will latch onto the tiniest sliver of hope that race doesn’t matter, that environment and culture can turn blacks into whites in dark face.’

    Deep down inside, don’t we actually all want that? Even at this point, if I encounter a black who actually manages to act like an intelligent, moral human being, some little man inside me starts jumping up and down for joy.

    The pity of it is that such specimens always will be the exception, not the rule. That just can’t be changed.

  80. @RedpilledAF

    ‘The single most important thing for a child is the quality of his father. A good father will make sure that Father is in the child’s life. Without a good father you get atheists, feminists, SJWs, homosexuals, sluts, whores, etc.’

    No — the single most important thing would be the quality of the mother. Sure, a father is important — but I’d guess that if you want a really fucked up kid, give him a bad mother.

  81. @niteranger

    My claim: psychopathy is one of the genetic “defects” concentrated in the Ashkenazi population. Any agreement? I “see” psychopaths, so I know this is true. Psychopaths can also be recognized by thinking patterns, arrogance, attitude, lying ability/technique, behaviors etc. https://pathwhisperer.info/2021/02/24/it-seems-psychopathy-is-one-more-genetic-defect-as-it-were-overrepresented-in-the-ashkenazi-jewish-population/

  82. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, thank you for replying.

    I hit the 98th percentile for Income on a polygenic score. I have always had these strong money making psychological drives yet other features in my life and genome have prevented the phenotype from manifesting as fully as the PGS might suggest. Even still this result was yet another bullseye and rang true with my own perception of who I am.

    That is where having everyone around the poker table for a round of genome reveal would have been quite amusing. My phenotype does not entirely align to my genotype. Instead of a blueprint or winning a lottery, poker might be the best analogy of all. Winning a lottery has all of the subtlety of swinging from a chandelier, though this is reflective of much of human mating behavior. In poker levels of deception can exist that more fully capture real life behavior.

    Isolating my pure Income trait from other less helpful traits might be possible through embryo selection which would potentiate the super-success phenotype. A genetic gold digger might find such conversion of interest.

    The social implications of such considerations might be much larger than many might now expect. Subterranean genetic talent that is now flying under radar could be harnessed and society transformed. Merely obtaining the polygenic scores could make the liberation of such potential tantalizing within reach. These scores would suggest to anyone paying attention a brighter future for their family and community. The commentary accompanying the polygenic score noted that genetic linkages were found between income and intelligence. I am anxiously waiting to have a good readout on my IQ polygenic score.

    Further my income/success genotype might become seen as a strategically important asset to maintain capitalist society. Capitalism constantly needs to thwart the tidal wave of socialistic thinking. Even when capitalism is at its most successful, the next generation can feel displaced by the success that is all around, but is beyond their grasp. Socialism always has a certain appeal to correct such seeming injustices.

    Genetics might be one approach to create a more permanent state of political stability for capitalist society. Polygenic scores offer the possibility of genetically selecting for super-capitalist behavior: Basically, clone me. In my own way I helped to direct the political climate in the direction of right wing ideology as a simple consequence of my income polygenics. My genotype helped to tilt the political landscape. With the move to virtualization such a tilt might no longer be felt as strongly. You only have to look around now and see what happens when the success genotype becomes overwhelmed by left wing ideology. One could imagine a future world in which there was a conscious effort to shape the genetic playing field in certain ways. However, it is possible that super-socialist behavior might also be genetically programmable.

    I will have to take another look at Impute.me. I do not remember the polygenic scores last time; from what I can vaguely recall I think it was more about imputation.

    • Replies: @res
  83. res says:
    @Factorize

    Subterranean genetic talent that is now flying under radar could be harnessed and society transformed.

    I’d like for that to happen (I think it was one of the big benefits of the spread of standardized testing), but I am skeptical how much opportunity there might be after decades of standardized testing doing phenotypic sorting.

    Polygenic scores offer the possibility of genetically selecting for super-capitalist behavior:

    That sort of thing actually scares me. Two reasons.
    1. The arms race aspect.
    2. Exactly which traits would be selected for? Would individual success be favored over group success?

    I will have to take another look at Impute.me. I do not remember the polygenic scores last time; from what I can vaguely recall I think it was more about imputation.

    AFAICT the imputation is primarily a means to the ends of computing PRS. I think you will enjoy all the options once you take a look. The Precision Medicine Module is an extremely effective way to present a mass of disease PRS results in understandable fashion.

    Of course, it is early days and all of the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Though I am intrigued about how often they match reality for me (in some cases, often multiple PRS will give a wide range of results. for example there are two height PRS. For me the newer one is about a half SD closer to reality).

    Be sure to download the files when given the option. The GEN files containing the imputation results are huge and somewhat hard to interpret, but worth stashing away. The JSON file contains all of the PRS results (some of which I have not been able to find in the menus) in a single file along with the study PMIDs.

    People here will probably be interested in the Intelligence PRS. For some reason they are not available in the menus (see PS), but can be found with a search. Here is the link.
    https://impute.me/intelligence/

    I recommend turning on “Advanced options” and then
    turning off “Only show newest study” (newest isn’t always best, though this does clutter some menus)
    turning on “Plot heritability” (doesn’t seem to be available often, but when it is makes clear how little variance is usually explained)
    turning on “Plot user distribution” (helps give perspective on scores)

    On the intelligence page, “Intelligence, cognitive performance” is the 2018 James Lee UKBB study. One nice thing about impute.me is it gives the PubMed IDs for the studies along with much other information including a variety of information about each SNP. SNP-score (population normalized) being especially useful, note that you can sort the SNPs on any column. The user distribution is interesting in that the mean is shifted left of the population distribution, but then has a fat tail out past +3 SD. The fat tail makes sense to me (smart people tending to be early adopters of things like this), but the left shifted mean seems odd.

    My results on that are surprisingly in line with my phenotype. But what I found fascinating is that I score well below average on “Intelligence, highest math class taken” which is from the same study (though with a larger sample size). I have a number of homozygous recessives pulling down the score, but none seem meaningful on their own. I am surprised at the disconnect with my cognitive performance results from the same study. I wonder how correlated those two PRSs are across the UKBB population. I did not see anything in the paper or Supplementary Material like that. I wonder if they looked at the correlations for their PRSs across the UKBB population. Would be interesting to see both those and the correlations for the phenotypes.

    I’d be very interested in hearing what you think about impute.me if you give it a try.

    P.S. Emil did a nice writeup here (note link to lasse2 explaining why intelligence page is hidden).
    https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/2020/10/whats-in-your-genome-free-services-for-personal-polygenic-scores/
    With a more recent post here.
    https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/2021/10/state-of-genetic-predictions-an-example/

    • Replies: @Factorize
  84. Factorize says:

    res, thank you very much for suggesting impute.me. I was happy with the hundreds of polygenic scores that I received with my full genome sequence. However, even with a simple genotype file impute.me has supplied me with thousands more. I am very glad that someone has bothered to help make the genetic research that has been done accessible to the general public. There is so much value in this research to help people make their lives better. Typically with basic research the general public pays the tab and then receives close to zero benefit… and then they send yet more money the next year and also receive no benefit. Polygenic scores are one massive payback that has been worth the research investment. There are now numerous critical insights into my inner being that these polygenic scores have helped to uncover.

    No one else with whatever level of high medical credential had ever been able to provide such clarity. This knowledge will help to transform our world as we can rationally plan our communities. In my life experience there have been numerous times in which by virtue of my genetic constitution I have inadvertently caused social harm. Genetic determinism is real. Those who would like to pretend otherwise can grab a chair and watch the ongoing social crisis that is caused when people refuse to acknowledge the obvious. It will likely not be a completely smooth transition to a genomically informed life, though understanding how genetics drives human experience and then providing people with the environment that they were genetically created to occupy clearly has high potential to improve human well-being.

    I am especially grateful for the insights that I have already learned from impute.me. Admittedly one of the disappointments is that on g I am more towards average than I had hoped. On some of the studies I reach ~ + 1 SD, though I deeply feel the words of John von Neumann when he spoke of all those around him being asleep. Society worships those with high g exactly because they are so alive and they understand things that are invisible to others and that they can lead us to a better life.

    One of the interesting features of impute.me is that it allows you to select your ancestral group. When I chose “African” all of a sudden on the latest update on IQ I reached the 99th percentile of IQ. I am so glad that the woksters have not caught up with this site yet. What my extreme IQ result
    suggested to me was the possibility of joining an African community and being recognized as essentially the top intellect.

    Usually IQ is almost entirely hidden from life. People are so highly selected to live certain lives that they have minimal awareness of how intelligence shapes the choices and destines of people all around them. It is very difficult to break free of this perceptual illusion. However, on one occasion I was able to break through this IQ deception and it felt invigorating. We had to go to a hospital across town and I perceived an intensely noticeable lack of g at the hospital. I guess I might have had about upwards of 1 SD advantage and it was thrilling to recognize how I was then in a position to become more of participant than a spectator in my life. It is quite surprising to me that such a strong g gradient would ever have been allowed to exist in essential the central entry point of a medical institution. How could a large urban hospital not have enough high end g to man the strategic entry points of a hospital?

    After seeing the impute.me results and how extreme my IQ would be in Africa it started me thinking about how exhilarating life there could be. In life it is not so much absolutes that are important but relatives. Being the average person in a room full of genius means that you are just average. However, being the top ranked intellect in a room would have substantial real world significance. You might then be able to truly make a difference in the lives of those around you in a way that would never be possible when you are merely average. Basically you might then be able to start to access national scale financial resources and direct the money to where it could help people.

    It is overwhelmingly disappointing that the entire social system is working at full speed to try and stop people from making these connections. Hiding science away from the world is fundamentally about harming the world’s most disadvantaged people. Why not allow people to realize that they have a comparative advantage in g to others and then allow the process of g diffusion to help overcome the differences? I have noticed that there is a certain amount of this diffusion already as the power of the internet has allowed a wider range of populations in Western nations to have greater ability to manage complex aspects of their lives such as medicine etc.. The excess and seemingly unneeded high g in the West can then migrate to other places with less g that would be more appreciative of any assistance given.

    The other surprise from impute.me was my empathy score. I managed to achieve a score near zero on empathy. I have been aware for quite some time that there is something quite different about me, though it was never easy to put it into words. The polygenic scores do a brilliant job of creating a clear lexicon of human traits. I had thought perhaps that “autistic” would be fairly close. When I got back my full genome results, autism was not noted prominently, though they noted that I was near the 10th percentile in feelings of loneliness (i.e., I typically never feel lonely). I thought that was the best description of my personal trait.

    However, with impute.me I think that I might have found exactly the right description of the phenotype. What a relief! Doctors had not been able to properly diagnose it. While it is not actually a clinically defined illness, it is something that is quite useful to know. It has helped to shape my life trajectory. Doctors have tried to pathologize this trait, though I can see now that this was incorrect.

    I suppose primitive peoples would interpret a near absence of empathy as being near definitional of what evil is, though that is not what it feels like to me internally. For me a lack of empathy has not been synonymous with psychopathy. I am largely too uninterested in other people’s emotionalality to be psychopathic. Probably the best description that I have thought of is that it is like the eternal robot in the Foundation Series. The robots used their high intellect and there extreme level of rationality to try to create ideal solutions to the problems of humanity. Their zeroth law was to do what was best for humanity which for them implied that they needed to essentially be 100% perfect robots.

    This insight about a potentially robotic-like aspect of my psychology might explain my surprisingly low polygenic score for math ability. This was a shocker! I consider math ability to be one of my top strengths. However, given the empathy finding perhaps what my math interest is more related to is an attempt to create a form of interaction that is not based on the endless emotional signalling that is central to much of the rest of life. I like math and to a certain extent computer programming exactly because it is based upon solid rationality and not human emotionality.

    From the perspective of someone with close to a zero score on empathy, I have no particular interest or motivation to join the communal love fest based upon a post-truth narrative. My impression from observing other family members (who do not appear among those with zero empathy) strive to be loved by others is that this can be extremely personally destructive. Lack of empathy can then be understood as a way of interpreting life dispassionately. For by directly recognizing that certain groups have different levels of cognitive ability, I can see a path forward to help those who are at disadvantage. Strangely, the emotionally gifted with their high empathy trait seem to find it more relevant to engage in great emotional drama that argues against the inequality of life instead of actually focusing with steely eyes on how to help people.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  85. Factorize says:
    @Factorize

    res, thank you again for suggesting impute.me which has allowed me to understand more about my idiosyncratic personality and in particular my empathy level. I am very grateful to you for this knowledge. I have felt this as an epiphany at a near religious level of intensity.

    However, for the time being I will take the finding as highly provisional. The referenced GWAS is only based upon a sample size of 50K with a mere 8 SNPs included in the polygenic calculation. Nonetheless, my low empathy score does reflect the personal frictions that I have had in social interactions. A lack of empathy would obviously cause a near endless number of problems when dealing with people; such problems have been present in my personal life history. The inherent friction involved has not somehow magically improved through time, though now with this new information there is some possibility that I might be able to manage it better.

    Even still in some populations my trait is actually within the normal range. A simple strategy to cope with my trait would be to seek out these others. It would be of considerable interest to investigate through factor analysis whether an emotional factor is central to structuring society perhaps even more so than cognitive ability. Cognitive ability can often be highly obscure, whereas emotionality is all too obviously on public display and thus more likely to create social structure.

    Of course, any assertion that an empathy genotype/phenotype (or any other) of high social importance has been uncovered represents a truly exceptional level of ignorance of human genetics. Human traits are not merely highly polygenic they are also highly polyphenotypic. Past claims that simple monogenic explanations existed for complex human behavior have consistently been shown to be categorically inaccurate. It is not so much that one thing goes wrong in life and then there is trouble, but more that many things in sequence go wrong: Hence, polygenics and polyphenotypes.

    Low empathy is probably one tumbler among many that needs to unlock. Drug and alcohol abuse is another widely recognized factor that can intensify nonsocial behaviors. Similarly, extensive research into cognitive ability has also revealed that even extreme levels of g can have much less consequence for breakthrough achievement than many might believe. Success as it is commonly understood is also polyphenotypic.

    Notwithstanding the above comments, I have found a workaround for my empathy trait years ago: I virtualized. In virtual learning, shopping etc. environments emotional behavior has no obvious presence. Further, computerization of society has increasingly normalized autistic behavior and low empathy. In this context not only have I encountered no people problems, but it is hard for me even to imagine in online reality how such problems could emerge. In a highly technologically developed society, social definitions of normality have become increasingly marginalized, though this might not be as true even now in pre-technological societies with intact naturalistic social patterns.

    Denying human cognitive/behavioral differences based upon genetics is no longer plausible. I noticed this especially when I moved into the mid to high 90s in the percentiles for polygenic scores. When one is at the 90th percentile, this is almost in the average range, yet when one is at the 98th percentile this clearly is not in the average range. People notice; I noticed. Trait differences can no longer be easily overlooked.

    impute.me is a free service that only requires a genotype file which can cost as little as \$50. What will soon be transparently obvious to all is that genetics really does structure our reality. With thousands of polygenic scores available on impute.me, everyone will be an outlier in some trait. Everyone will be able to confirm from their own life experience that genetics matters. I encourage others to run their genotypes through impute.me and report back their results. This would be a fascinating exercise in seeing the ways in which genetics has determined destinies.

    The polygenic revolution has begun! A blog post that specifically addressed some of the noted issues would be very helpful. As a result of my personal experience, I wish that this revolution will allow for more sensitivity to individual differences. Exerting strong state authority to try to override deep seated human genetic tendencies (especially in an educational context) is obviously absurd. It has never been effective and probably never will be. With certain genotypes it becomes very unclear who actually benefits from such social failure. Does the individual benefit? Does the community?
    Accepting genetic diversity and encouraging a multitude of individual life paths now seems an inevitable consequence of our newly discovered knowledge and along with this an improved quality of life for everyone in (and out of) society.

  86. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, this is exciting! After all these years Spearman and all the differential psychologists have now come into focus for me. It has taken over a century of debate, but they were clearly correct. I have struggled for quite some time to accept their message, though now with polygenic scores there is no longer anything meaningful to argue about. People do have different minds and much of these differences are genetically encoded. As soon as you start providing polygenic scores that are 2+ SD from normal (~1%) common sense logic simply must concede what is self-apparently true– people are different. The fact that everyone could pull out a 2+ SD polygenic score from the thousands of scores calculated will make any future argument about genetic influence unsustainable. The evidence for polygenics is everywhere and anyone can afford the cost of a gene chip to provide their own examples.

    I will return to the “subterranean talent flying under radar that could now transform society” comment. Firstly, I will note that this talent could be recognized as being essentially pervasive. Everyone has the potential to be part of this transformation of society. My present interpretation of my polygenic scores from impute.me is that I overclocked my g potential. Basically, I took what g I had and then I turbocharged it as a result of my low empathy trait. Without feelings becoming a dominant force squandering scarce g resources one can become an overachiever. g then would not be as fixed as many might believe. On a global scale humanity could lift itself up purely through an act of determination. One strategy to monitor such progress would be to create proximal benchmarks for success and then watch as these benchmarks were attained. My personal experience demonstrates to me that this is indeed possible.

    Secondly, in the specifically subterranean genetic sense, I should mention that there has been an unquestioned acceptance of assortative mating on thread: Like attracts like. What I find of interest is that in my particular circumstance this was not actually true. Sometimes women run out of fertility road; sometimes they are in a position in which they must grab a guy in near panic as their fertility clock is ticking down. Ergo me.

    In such instances the panic aspect is more dominant than the assortative mating aspect. So, while many people who might have a 100% polygenic score in Success might have a 70% 70% contribution from their parents, for me it was more 100% 0%. It was more anti-assortative mating.

    The social consequences of such a mating pattern should be clear. Specifically, this would tend to damp down the division in society. Instead of all the success going in one direction and all the non-success going in another direction; there can be a blurring. This blurring into a middle ground caused quite a bit of difficulty in our family life.

    One spouse wanted to jump on a plane all the time and explore the world; the other spouse wanted to stay home and go fishing. It was somewhat comical and also fairly tragic, and also mostly completely predictable given the polygenics involved. It was transparently obvious to everyone what the problem was and many commented about it to us. Many other marriages would not be able to sustain such stress. As more of these stories are written online, people can avoid the mistakes that have probably been made for thousands of years. Finally we can break free of making the same mistake forever. This is another aspect of the talent that could be harnessed to transform society. The talent is there, sometime though there can be mix ups with the matings.

    Regarding your comment about standardized testing and then selecting for certain extreme phenotypes, I can see a different perspective. The assortative mating that happened in the tech community in Silicon Valley created an epidemic of autism. Merely overthrottling a given trait through unengineered genetic recombination can result in tragedy. Without the level of genetic knowledge that has now accumulated of the specific genetics of polygenic traits, bad outcomes in selective mating probably outnumber good ones. Your comment though does give one pause: They have been trying for decades to genetically improve society and what we see is the result? Has society actually improved from these efforts?

    With respect to the idea of being scared of selecting for super-capitalist behavior, I would suggest not to be. Modern GWAS involve upwards of ~1 million people. The entire sample is weighing in on each SNP. The dominance of self-interest versus group interest is probably less involved than one would expect.

    This is not the anecdotal memory along the lines of I saw a capitalist on TV that did something mean to people. There is too much room for political distortion with such anecdotes. The GWAS defines traits as they are encoded in the genes of entire populations. My guess is that the trait itself is not highly correlated with anti-social type behavior, though this could be easily investigated. As someone who scored towards the top of the range I can verify that I am a nice person. If given a choice (and given my polygenic score) I suspect that many would willingly select me to be their super-capitalist, pay me a great deal of money and avoid the risk inherent with allowing a self-selected capitalist to have large financial or other control over their life. Polygenics would give society an operational definition of Success and this would allow society to maintain some control over the long term. You could easily see the potential of a deal that would be to the benefit of all to establish such a genetic order.

    • Replies: @res
  87. res says:
    @Factorize

    Thanks for your detailed responses. I am glad you found impute.me interesting!

  88. Factorize says:

    I apologize everyone for my incessant posting. However, polygenic technology has arrived that will allow our future to be selected. Decisions are being made now that will forever shape our tomorrows out as far as the horizon. Kicking difficult conversations any further down the road does not imply a veto of our future. Speak now or forever hold your silence.

    The obvious point that simply has not been made strongly enough to date is that we are very likely close to entering an era of totalitarian normality. We are people from the deep heartland. My parents would never have selected an embryo whose polygenic score had a high probability of schizophrenia, autism, being gay, low empathy, extremes of intelligence … They did not want extreme anything. They wanted extreme normality. They even would not have wanted children of high intelligence; only enough intelligence and only intelligence which had clear ecological relevance (e.g., in relation to a paycheck). They wouldn’t have chosen me as an embryo.

    Relatively inexpensive technology is available that will grant parents the wish to select the normal children they want to raise. The terraforming of an endless landscape of normal is perhaps already underway. Whereas there might be easily 10% of the population that now might be considered somewhat different, one could easily imagine a near term future where “different” would be more accurately described as near non-existant, as in the only butterfly in the world of a species. Subcultures for the different might have a limited shelf life now.

    The only reason that different ever emerged was because of polygenics– the wildcard of genetics. Anyone can roll the dice and anything can turn up. As a parent it has never been possible to know how the roll will go for you. One of the few recourses if you have a bad throw is to essentially abandon your children to the state, to a hospital, etc.. after you have given it your best try. Most of the human traits of interest have this emergent polygenic property.

    2022 could be the transition year to totalitarian normality. The technology is widely available and is inexpensive. As soon as it is clear that a new genetic era has begun the rush to the exits could be rapid. Of course, the people who have made the most outstanding contributions to the advancement of humanity have been drawn disproportionately from the non-normals. These non-normals offer the genetic diversity that could be critically important for the success and survival of our species. Grab a chair and observe how this experiment unfolds.

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