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A troublesome inheritance (Nicholas Wade)
This book is very popsci and can be read in 1 day for any reasonably fast reader. It doesnt contain much new information to anyone who has read a few books on the topic. As can be seen below, it has a lot of nonsense/errors since clearly the author is not used to this area of science. It is not recommended except as a light introduction to people with political problems with these facts.
But a drawback o f the system is its occasional drift toward extreme conservatism. Researchers get attached to the view of their field they grew up with and, as they grow older, they may gain the influence to thwart change. For 50 years after it was first proposed, leading geophysicists strenuously resisted the idea that the continents have drifted across the face of the globe. “Knowledge advances, funeral by funeral,” the economist Paul Samuelson once observed.
Wrong quote origin. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck
>A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Academics, who are obsessed with intelligence, fear the discovery of a gene that will prove one major race is more intelligent than another. But that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Although intelligence has a genetic basis, no genetic variants that enhance intel ligence have yet been found. The reason, almost certainly, is that there are a great many such genes, each of which has too small an effect to be detectable with present methods.8 If researchers should one day find a gene that enhances intelligence in East Asians, say, they can hardly argue on that basis that East Asians are more intelli gent than other races, because hundreds of similar genes remain to be discovered in Europeans and Africans. Even if all the intelligence-enhancing variants in each race had been identified, no one would try to compute intelligence on the basis of genetic information: it would be far easier just to apply an intelli gence test. But IQ tests already exist, for what they may be worth.
We have found a number of SNPs already. And we have already begun counting them in racial groups. See e.g.: http://openpsych.net/OBG/2014/05/opposite-selection-pressures-on-stature-and-intelligence-across-human-populations/
It s social behavior that is of relevance for understanding pivotal— and otherwise imperfectly explained— events in history and econom ics. Although the emotional and intellectual differences between the world’s peoples as individuals are slight enough, even a small shift in social behavior can generate a very different kind of society. Tribal societies, for instance, are organized on the basis of kinship and differ from modern states chiefly in that people’s radius of trust does not extend too far beyond the family and tribe. But in this small variation is rooted the vast difference in political and economic structures between tribal and modern societies. Variations in another genetically based behavior, the readiness to punish those who violate social rules, may explain why some societies are more conformist than others.
The lure of Galton’s eugenics was his belief that society would be better off if the intellectually eminent could be encouraged to have more children. W hat scholar could disagree with that? More of a good thing must surely be better. In fact it is far from certain that this would be a desirable outcome. Intellectuals as a class are notoriously prone to fine-sounding theoretical schemes that lead to catastrophe, such as Social Darwinism, Marxism or indeed eugenics. By analogy with animal breeding, people could no doubt be bred, if it were ethically acceptable, so as to enhance specific desired traits. But it is impossible to know what traits would benefit society as a whole. The eugenics program, however reasonable it might seem, was basically incoherent.
The principal organizer of the new eugenics movement was Charles Davenport. He earned a doctorate in biology from Harvard and taught zoology at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. Davenport’s views on eugenics were motivated by disdain for races other than his own: “Can we build a wall high enough around this country so as to keep out these cheaper races, or will it be a feeble dam . . . leaving it to our descen dants to abandon the country to the blacks, browns and yellows and seek an asylum in New Zealand?” he wrote.9
Well, about that... In this century europeans will be <50% in the US. I wonder if the sociologists will then stop talking about minority, as if that somehow makes a difference.
One of the most dramatic experiments on the genetic control of aggression was performed by the Soviet scientist Dmitriy Belyaev. From the same population of Siberian gray rats he developed two strains, one highly sociable and the other brimming with aggression. For the tame rats, the parents of each generation were chosen simply by the criterion of how well they tolerated human presence. For the ferocious rats, the criterion was how adversely they reacted to people. After many gener ations of breeding, the first strain was now so tame that when visitors entered the room where the rats were caged, the animals would press their snouts through the bars to be petted. The other strain could not have been more different. The rats would hurl themselves screaming toward the intruder, thudding ferociously against the bars of their cage.12
Didnt know this one. The ref is:
N icholas Wade, “N ice R a ts, N asty R a ts: Maybe I t ’s All in the G en es,” N ew York Tim es, Ju ly 2 5 , 2 0 0 6 , www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/health/ 25 ra ts.h tm l?p a g ew a n ted = a ll& _ r=0 (accessed Sept. 2 5 , 2 0 1 3 )
Rodents and humans use many of the same genes and brain regions to control aggression. Experiments with mice have shown that a large number of genes are involved in the trait, and the same is certainly true of people. Comparisons of identical twins raised together and sepa rately show that aggression is heritable. Genes account for between 3 7% and 72% of the heritability, the variation of the trait in a popula tion, according to various studies. But very few of the genes that under lie aggression have yet been identified, in part because when many genes control a behavior, each has so small an effect that it is hard to detect. Most research has focused on genes that promote aggression rather than those at the other end of the behavioral spectrum.
This sentence is nonsensical.
Standing in sharp contrast to the economists’ working assumption that people the world over are interchangeable units is the idea that national disparities in wealth arise from differences in intelligence. The possibility should not be dismissed out of hand: where individu als are concerned, IQ scores do correlate, on average, with economic success, so it is not unreasonable to inquire if the same might be true of countries.
Marked sentence is nonsensical.
Turning to economic indicators, they find that national IQ scores have an extremely high correlation (83%) with economic growth per capita and also associate strongly with the rate of economic growth between 1950 and 1 9 9 0 (64% correlation).44
More conceptual confusion.
And indeed with Lynn and Vanhanen’s correlations, it is hard to know which way the arrow of causality may be pointing, whether higher IQ makes a nation wealthier or whether a wealthier nation enables its citizens to do better on IQ tests. The writer Roy Unz has pointed out from Lynn and Vanhanen’s own data examples in which IQ scores increase 10 or more points in a generation when a popula tion becomes richer, showing clearly that wealth can raise IQ scores significantly. East German children averaged 90 in 1 9 6 7 but 99 in 1984. In West Germany, which has essentially the same popu lation, averages range from 99 to 107. This 17 point range in the German population, from 90 to 107, was evidently caused by the alleviation of poverty, not genetics.
Ron Unz, the cherry picker. http://conservativetimes.org/?p=11790
East Asia is a vast counterexample to the Lynn/Vanhanen thesis. The populations of China, Japan and Korea have consistently higher IQs than those of Europe and the United States, but their societies, despite their many virtues, are not obviously more successful than those of Europe and its outposts. Intelligence can’t hurt, but it doesn’t seem a clear arbiter of a population’s economic success. W hat is it then that determines the wealth or poverty of nations?
No. But it does disprove the claim that IQs are just GDPs. The oil states have low IQs and had that both before and after they got rich on oil, and will have in the future when they run out of oil again. Money cannot buy u intelligence (yet).
From about 9 0 0 a d to 1700 a d , Ashkenazim were concentrated in a few professions, notably moneylending and later ta x farming (give the prince his money up front, then extract the taxes due from his subjects). Because of the strong heritability of intelligence, the Utah team calculates that 20 generations, a mere 5 0 0 years, would be sufficient for Ashkenazim to have developed an extra 16 points of IQ above that of Europeans. The Utah team assumes that the heritability of intelligence is 0 .8 , meaning that 8 0 % of the variance, the spread between high and low values in a population, is due to genetics. If the parents of each generation have an IQ of just 1 point above the mean, then average IQ increases by 0 .8 % per generation. If the average human generation time in the Middle Ages was 2 5 years, then in 20 human generations, or 5 0 0 years, Ashkenazi IQ would increase by 2 0 x 0.8 = 16 IQ points.
More conceptual confusion. One cannot use % on IQs becus IQs are not ratio scale and hence division makes no sense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levels_of_measurement#Comparison