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May 20·edited May 21Liked by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

These "activists" are downright diabolical. And Sear and Townsend's commentary saying that intelligence is not desirable is also absurd.

Also, when the Proceedings retractions says "the potential harms created by using a dataset that appears to portray human populations in some geographical regions as of below normal intelligence on average", what do they mean? Do they expect all human populations to have the same IQ levels? We don't expect that for other continuous phenotypes like height or blood pressure, why should we expect sameness for IQ? And when they say "normal intelligence", do they realize that what we consider average (100 IQ) is just a convention based on the European mean? There is no such thing as truly normal intelligence.

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"I find it truly surreal to read academics denying the existence of intelligence. Academics are obsessed with intelligence. They discuss it endlessly in The Fear of Inequality / 149considering student admissions, in hiring faculty and staff, and especially in their gossip about one another. Nor can citizens or policymakers ignore the concept, regardless of their politics. People who say that IQ is meaningless will quickly invoke it when the discussion turns to executing a murderer with an IQ of 64, removing lead paint that lowers a child's IQ by five points, or the presidential qualifications of George W. Bush. In any case, there is now ample evidence that intelligence is a stable property of an individual, that it can be linked to features of the brain (including overall size, amount of gray matter in the frontal lobes, speed of neural conduction, and metabolism of cerebral glucose), that it is partly heritable among individuals, and that it predicts some of the variation in life outcomes such as income and social status." -The Blank Slate

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May 21Liked by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

Can't we argue that intelligence causes the pre-conditions of higher intelligence, like less infection, more education, the technology to dominate other populations, ad infinitum. Historically, for 3.7 billion years we see the dominance of intelligence across species and within species. Intelligence is a parsimonious explanation for everything we've seen from colonization to slavery to subsuming of neanderthals within homo sapiens.

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Yes, I referred to this in the post regarding how more intelligent nations have better healthcare and public policies that remove some of the intelligence reducing diseases of the wild, thus increasing their intelligence further. Presumably this approach hits a limit once most of these have been removed and nutrition has been optimized. At some point, one will develop artificial selection, which can result in a permanent situation of this Matthew effect.

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"Can't we argue that intelligence causes the pre-conditions of higher intelligence, like less infection, more education, the technology to dominate other populations, ad infinitum. Historically, for 3.7 billion years we see the dominance of intelligence across species and within species."

That was well said and a great segue to a question that has intrigued me for decades: Why did human intelligence evolve far beyond that necessary for survival?

I would like Emil or someone else to elaborate on the current thinking or research on this.

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I am not sure what you mean with "beyond what is necessary for survival"?

First, even accepting those terms, humans do compete with each other, as you may have noticed this often involves lack of survival.

More importantly the test is not survival but reproduction.

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"I am not sure what you mean with "beyond what is necessary for survival"?"

And I am not sure why that is confusing to you.

"First, even accepting those terms, humans do compete with each other, as you may have noticed this often involves lack of survival."

Of course, those lacking the intelligence to survive are removed from the gene pool.

"More importantly the test is not survival but reproduction."

If a group does not survive long enough to reproduce, their gene pool will not survive. So reproduction is part of survival.

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I'm lost. If more intelligent humans are removing less intelligent humans from the gene pool then no amount of intelligence is beyond what is necessary for survival. So I don't understand what you are trying to say.

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"I'm lost. If more intelligent humans are removing less intelligent humans from the gene pool then no amount of intelligence is beyond what is necessary for survival."

I did not say that more intelligent humans were removing less intelligent humans from the gene pool. The less intelligent humans are removed from the gene pool because they lack enough intelligence to survive.

Is English your first language?

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You did not say that, but this is what happens. There isn't certain fixed "intelligence needed to survive", it depends on a lot of factors, if higher intelligent people have culture which promotes removing low intelligent ones, that's pretty bad for the latter

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In this regard, I would like to make a comment that I think rebuts a common misstatment, as I see it, about evolution. Evolution doesn't really select for traits. it allows for everything compatible with life. So you get anything, including superfluous intelligence, because it isn't self-destructive...until it is.

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" Evolution doesn't really select for traits. it allows for everything compatible with life. So you get anything, including superfluous intelligence, because it isn't self-destructive...until it is."

But why would genetic mutations accrue to the 'positive side' instead of the neutral position?

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I'm far from an expert but I have noted that there is an obvious climate factor. One theory is it could be a simple matter of higher brain activity and utility in cooler conditions.

Also, there is at least one scientist that claims there is DNA evidence for some cases of autism via intermingling with neanderthals. Autists seem to make up a large bulk of those with higher IQ. Not all autists have benefitted from higher intelligence (the overwhelming majority of autists really don't benefit from the trade offs) and there are varying causes, but it is a possibility. Neanderthals seem to have higher visual memory (along with other stalkier shorter features) of some sort (a trade off of sorts), and it's entirely possible for this to have been of greater benefit in cooler climate.

Also my assumption, and this is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge assumption is a better oxygen system (larger nasal passages for instance) give the brain more of what it needs to function properly. It may be some sort of trade off to allergies. Cow milk drinking perhaps as well?

Also, cultural migration, ability to socially acclimate/infiltrate other cultures as the simple math of war and pestilence takes place.

Also to be perfectly honest it's likely (in my mind) that mutations creating higher intelligence are short lived over the scope of evolution. This shows up in many ways, but the obvious is disease hyper selecting for some survivors. you may survive the 'black plague' for instance, but all your descendants end up with an immune deficiency. Likewise, take something as simple as the 'old order' Amish that live on avg something like 8 years longer than the rest of their Amish brethren but they also have some gene duplication that gave them a high propensity for a blood clotting disorder.

similarly, some genetically inherited cultures, may adapt well initially but those adaptations come at the cost of creating unhealthy social disposition in larger groups. (When the dumber monkies don't care for smarter more social monkies being more apt to garner wealth for instance). Simply having IQ doesn't imply you're going to survive longer term several generation down the road, just 'tends' to offer a better short-term evolutionary advantage.

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"I'm far from an expert but I have noted that there is an obvious climate factor. One theory is it could be a simple matter of higher brain activity and utility in cooler conditions."

Thanks for your reply. Yes, a change in climate or environment can provide an advantage to those who develop the cognitive ability to prosper in the new environment. But that only explains an intelligence gain for survival, not the tremendous gains way past that needed.

"Autists seem to make up a large bulk of those with higher IQ."

I believe that is unfounded. A few of those with high IQ are autistic but nowhere a bulk.

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Yes, I might be in err on autism numbers, but it’s very difficult to say for sure because autism doesn’t always fully manifest a lot of what you see out there are traits.

But my thought was that autistics are something like 2-3 times more likely to be 115+ IQ, same for over 130. the exchange comes at the cost of health conditions.. neurofibromatosis, fragile x, epilepsy and about 100 or more other gene variances.

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"Yes, I might be in err on autism numbers, but it’s very difficult to say for sure because autism doesn’t always fully manifest a lot of what you see out there are traits." Genomics is very complicated. Intelligence is a polygenic trait.

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Certainly, but there is a lot of convergence in outcome, including often high IQ in autistics for instance. In fact, I suspect, if not believe, from what I have seen that autism is less so a diagnosis as much as it is simply a severity level.

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deletedMay 21
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Thanks for your reply. But this hypothesis is just another version of survival, driving intelligence. Many other animals, notably chimpanzees and bonobos, must match wits with their competitors. Yet, they have not developed intelligence far beyond that necessary for survival.

To me, human intelligence has evolved far beyond what is necessary for survival. Another way to state my original question is: What circumstance(s) caused human intelligence to progress beyond that essential for survival? Favorable genetic mutations may have increased human intelligence. However, since human intelligence is a polygenic trait, the mutations would have had to have been positive numerous times. Or perhaps there was an intervention (most likely not 'divine'); I don't know.

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Humm. This brings back memories of some readings I undertook long ago regarding the backwardness of the American South post Civil War and the prevalence of the “hook worm” parasite. Too lazy to look up references, but it seems a significant amelioration was achieved with the establishment of “outhouses” to stem the transmission of the parasite. No one today refers to the South as “backward” as it low IQ. Perhaps they were on to something?

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Popular culture has not caught up with you, the redneck southern yokel appears to me to be alive and kicking in popular culture 😆

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It seems the parasitism thesis should be congenial to less extreme anti-hereditarians. I remember that one study I looked at found a series of low parasitism low average IQ outliers in the Caribbean; the authors hypothesised that the region was subject to parasites as yet unknown to medical science 🤔

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May 22·edited May 22

Some anti-hereditarians I seen even hypothesized that populations living in areas with large parasite burden should have had evolved IQ advantage of offset that!

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May 21·edited May 21

Have you written anything about studies of the relation between nutrition and IQ? (I'm a recent subscriber, so if you did, I missed it.) Nutrition, like disease, has been pointed to, not without plausibility, as an environmental factor in intelligence. It's a factor that could be confused with national or regional origin, and thus with membership in geographically localized genetic populations.

But in this case, we have the possibility of comparing IQ in the region of origin with IQ of first-generation emigrants to other, better-fed, regions, and also, more significantly given the likely importance of nutrition in childhood, to the IQ of their descendants if none of their parents have intermarried with other groups.

To be sure, self-selection for intelligence among those most likely to emigrate is a factor. And it's clear that the IQ of many emigrant groups hasn't been equalized to that of their new host countries.

But if self-selection could be controlled for, study could indicate whether or not, and to what degree, nutrition is an independent environmental factor in IQ.

Such studies would be valuable, just as those of the effect of disease. Of course, they would also be the objects of censorship.

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Perhaps Rushton wrote that in Africa, infectious diseases were so prevalent that simply having a stronger immune system was the key to survival, so IQ was not the dominant factor, the evolutionary advantage.

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O/T

The recent sh!t flinging on Twitter against Sailer by JFG and other assorted r3tards made me think: do we have edu pgs comparison between SSA Africans and Bantu-Americans? Are you, Emil, aware of any such comparisons? My expectation would be that the pgs difference reflect something like 5 IQ pts.

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