Randoms of the past few days

As Alternative Right would say . . . so this is how it ends.

Frost’s review of Athol’s book.

An interesting discussion on the American Revolution at Auster’s.

Apparently about 50% of people from Detroit can’t read. Wow

Bruce Charlton: "Men are biologically reasonably well adapted to modern society – but not women." Also: "Broadly speaking, the most feared groups are given the highest status by PC."

The joys of diversity.

"Where are all the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Medicine?"

Al Fin: "In conclusion, the Flynn Effect is a variable and limited trend in the rise of IQ scores across many nations. It should be yet another reminder of the remarkable complexity of human intelligence and behaviour, all of which derive ultimately from the human genome."

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9 Responses to Randoms of the past few days

  1. dearieme says:

    “Where are all the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Medicine?” would carry a little more weight if there actually were a Nobel Prize in Mathematics.

  2. Taggart says:

    You earlier wrote “I could read about Detroit all day”, I completely agree.

  3. RS says:

    Apparently Jensen is suspicious of the flynn effect’s validity. new paper

  4. Gian says:

    I dont understand the study Charlton refers to- all the men having more children are having them with their wives. Why are those women not included?

    Also the assumption made by evolutionary biology that all animal behavior is reducible to adaption or else is by-product of some other adaption, this assumption does not explain all of animal behavior e.g companionships often observed among animals of different species.

    So it is too reductive to understand human behavior in ev-biology terms such as humans seek to maximize reproductive success.

    Some other problems with Charlton post

    1)”in biology in general, females are (almost always) the investing sex: they invest a lot more resources into offspring (before and sometimes after birth) than males.”

    Perhaps in some animals, but certainly not in humans. I once read a book by a feminist biologist that actually said
    “Females do most of the work of raising children except for food and protection”
    And that said by a professional biologist! Food and Protection are prime biological necessities that are provided by Males.

    2)
    “In historical societies reproduction just happened as a by product of instinct: people sought ‘happiness’ and the children just came along (and there was no way of stopping them)”

    Utterly false. Barrenness was felt to be a curse.

    3) “Each man is, in a biological sense, a loner who seeks status, seeks to become the dominant male and get the lion’s share of reproduction. Each man is against other men – except that self-interest dictates that one way to pursue self interest is via alliances”

    No basis for this statement, even from evo-bio viewpoint. I wonder how does ‘status’ translates into evo-bio.

    4) “But women seem more able and motivated to form alliances with unrelated women (perhaps because a women would usually move to the husband’s tribe, and needed to establish herself among female strangers?).”

    Husbands and wives would be from the same tribe. He should say ‘family’. Modern Westerners have loosest ideas of clans and tribes.

    5)
    “So women will do almost anything which they perceive to be necessary to fit with what they perceive to be the peer group of other women”

    And men won’t?.

    So the entire post is a mass of confusions, even on the evo-bio level itself.

    • M.G. says:

      “In historical societies reproduction just happened as a by product of instinct: people sought ‘happiness’ and the children just came along (and there was no way of stopping them)”

      Utterly false. Barrenness was felt to be a curse.

      Also false because contraception, abortion, and infanticide were widely practiced in ‘historical societies’ big and small, going back millenia, and the fact that this gentleman is unaware of such an easily-learnable fact makes me wonder why one should give weight to any of his woman/family-related ‘analysis’ at all.

  5. Tschafer says:

    I’m not in the intelligence testing field, and I have a good deal of respect for Flynn, but people sure as Hell don’s seem significantly more intelligent than they did fifty years ago, and reading literature aimed at the “masses” 100 years ago doesn’t bear Flynn’s contention out either. Sure, gains in nutrition might have done some good, but personally, I’m inclined to believe that about 3/4s of the Flynn Effect is some kind of testing artefact. If the average person 100 years ago was actually a borderline moron, the civilization they created sure doesn’t reflect that fact…

  6. Handle says:

    The problem with the “Flynn Effect” is that there is one in height as well. See the chart on the top of page 11 of this study from Joerg Baten.

    We all know that one’s maximum achievable height is genetically bounded and deeply heritable, though the conclusion mapping of which combinations of which genes gives rise to which height-potential has continued to elude us despite many years of intense research and advanced genetic investigative technology.

    But if you look at that “changes in average height over time”, something that almost certainly is explicable entirely with improved nutrition, you see almost precisely the same kind of curves you do in Flynn-type studies. An era of small but rapid improvement, which eventually peters out and plateaus, but a remarkably constant gap between populations of different ethnic origin.

    But nobody clings to some fantastic and illogical notion that, because of these height-trends, we can therefore close those gaps and increase height indefinitely for everyone equally. Physically measurable phenomena tend to excluded from anti-HBD nonsense. Even the modern powers of mass-delusion cultivation can only go so far.

    • Bruce Charlton says:

      Well said Handle! – height gain is a precise analogy with IQ gain, indeed very likely has the same causes (and not one cause but several causes – which is exactly what you would expect with this kind of general phenomenon).

      The Flynn effect is neither surprising nor mysterious.

      But most psychometricians have very little to zero feel for biology or medicine.

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