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Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won

A review of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are by Robert Plomin. MIT  Press (November 2018) 280 pages.

In Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are Robert Plomin makes the case that genetic differences cause most variation in psychological traits – things like personality and cognitive abilities. The way your parents raise you, the schools you attend – they don’t have much effect on those traits. Children are similar to their parents, but that similarity is due to shared genetics, rather than shared family environment.

Obviously the thoughts in your head, the facts you know, are not the same as your great-great-grand-father’s – we learn those things. But how easily you learn those facts, how well you remember them, how optimistic or pessimistic you are – those are largely set by your genes. Almost every psychological trait has significant heritability, even political leanings. To a significant degree, you’re either born a little Liberal or else a little Conservative, to quote Gilbert and Sullivan.

And to the extent that your personality is not set by your genes, it’s apparently influenced by poorly-understood random factors, rather than your upbringing or social circumstances.

These questions were originally investigated using natural experiments, some ubiquitous, others fairly uncommon. Biological children are 50 percent related to their parents, full sibs are also (on average) 50 percent related. Identical twins share all the same genes (except for somatic mutations), while adopted children are unrelated to their adoptive parents. All these natural experiments show that nature is important, nurture not so much (in fact, very little). Siblings are more similar than pairs randomly drawn from the population, while identical twins have very similar personalities and abilities – even if raised separately. Adopted children are similar to their biological parents, not their adoptive parents. As Plomin puts it, parents are not carpenters who construct their children, and are hardly even gardeners.

In a step beyond these natural experiments, we have begun to mine DNA sequences to determine the actual gene variants involved. After years of failed efforts, these approaches have (finally!) borne fruit. It turns out that almost all psychological traits are indeed heritable, but are influenced by very many different gene variants, each of small effect. Huge samples were required to identify these weak variants. One recent study of the genetic influences affecting educational attainment made use of DNA samples from more than one million individuals.

We can sum up the effect of those many small-effect variants in a ‘polygenic risk score,’ which is now an extremely fashionable phrase, as well as an increasing useful tool. The polygenic score gives us probabilities, not exact predictions. It only explains a fraction of the variance, but that’s still useful. In one cohort, people in the bottom fifth of the educational-achievement polygenic risk scores had a 10 percent chance of graduation, while those in the top fifth had a 55 percent chance. If you had this level of information about the Kentucky Derby, and used it, you wouldn’t always pick the winner, but you’d certainly make a lot of money.

Dominance of nature over nurture has many interesting implications. For example, although graduates of selective schools are smarter than the average bear, and more successful, Plomin’s work indicates that this is entirely due to the selection process, rather than superior education at those schools. There’s no special value added. Cal Tech graduates are super-smart because Cal Tech only admits very smart students in the first place.

The children of successful professionals get higher-than-average scores, but that’s because they share genes linked to greater achievement, rather than gaining from their home environment. Parent-offspring similarity in occupational status and income is chiefly due to genetic factors and almost nothing to do with upbringing. There are (on average) genetic differences between people in different professions, and between different social classes. I’m sure that absolutely everyone will be happy to hear that.

A caveat: there’s a difference, sometimes, between being good at getting a job, or even being successful in that job (in the sense of acquiring money and social status) and actually doing the job well. Unethical tactics work. (Someone had to tell you). There are genetic variants associated with various kinds of success, but we’re measuring success, not ‘merit.’

Occasionally Plomin discusses how people ‘should’ react to his conclusions. He says that we shouldn’t blame people for being depressed, slow to learn, or overweight, since genetics has a huge impact on those traits. But then, genetics also has a huge influence on our propensity to blame people, so how receptive you are to these pleas for clemency will vary in the usual way. This is a recurring tension in the book: Plomin tries to present this cascade of new information about the genetic influence on human behavior in a way that will positively affect human behavior – but his own work suggests the impact of such arguments will be limited.

The science discussed in the book is generally sound, as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading psychometricians, but there are a few points that could have been made better. Plomin’s analysis would benefit from incorporating some ideas from population genetics and evolutionary biology. For example, he mentions that there is an excess of rare mutations in individuals with schizophrenia, autism, and mental retardation, while individuals of extremely high intelligence have fewer than average, and concludes that rare mutations are bad for you. Well, of course they’re bad for you: population genetics theory predicts that. Most changes mess up the complex mechanisms of life, and mutations that mess you up stay rare because they’re being constantly pruned by natural selection (while being constantly generated by mutation). Along that same line, he says that there is no real distinction, from a genetic perspective, between what we call mental illness and normal individuals. “The abnormal is normal,” he says – but that’s not so, because mental illnesses dramatically reduce reproductive fitness, and stay rare only because of that. By the way, that excess of rare variants is strong evidence that autism and schizophrenia are disorders, rather than strategies (as has sometimes been suggested: schizophrenic shamans having visions and winning valuable prizes, etc). Despite what conventional wisdom may say, having a troop of little silver men giving you advice is double-plus ungood.

Plomin covers his ass every now and then. For example, he says that the average differences between the sexes (which can be large: men are much stronger, and boys are much more likely to be hyperactive or autistic) are not necessarily related to the causes of individual differences – and that we don’t know what causes that group difference. The cause certainly is different (not hundreds of small-effect alleles that each make you a little more masculine or feminine), and we known damn well what it is: the Y chromosome, and the significantly different development path that it triggers. Sometimes, the river of lunacy popular in 2018, and the tactics people use to navigate it, strains the imagination.

Plomin has done important work, and is a leader in the field, but many people are involved – so many that Plomin says he can no longer keep up with all the papers being produced. But suffice to say the book’s thesis is not eccentric and has not been contradicted by any new research: it is representative of the field as a whole.

Assuming that this work is correct, what does it mean? What are the implications?

It means that we have to completely rethink and rebuild the social sciences. Steven Pinker said: “For most of the twentieth century it was assumed that psychological traits were caused by environmental factors, called nurture.” This was completely wrong. Problems like p-value fishing and the current ‘replication crisis’ are nothing compared to the tsunami that’s coming.

Indeed, social scientists have done such a terrible job that it’s hard to see how the field can be repaired. They wanted the false results they got, and they still do. I’m sure their descendants will as well. Isn’t heritability grand?

We need a different kind of social science researcher, smarter, less emotional, and more curiosity-driven. Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. But where will we find them?

 

Gregory Cochran is the co-author of The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

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290 Comments

  1. martti_s says

    Another realm, that of social sciences, will be taken over from dreamers and storytellers (and liars) and put under the scrutiny of the scientific method.
    Lots and lots of people will be crying after their lost authority.
    People in general will benefit, though.
    Anybody remember when psychiatry became a field of medicine?
    A similar thing is going on here.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      Lol, tell me exactly how Plomin’s garbage aligns with the scientific method? In case you didn’t know, Plomin has been forecasting an imminent genetic revolution since the 70s. Maybe he’d have made a more accurate forecast had he been an actual geneticist and scientist.

      • Damn, sometimes I think that if I would found a new obscure blog discussing the IQ and genetics, Afrosapiens would be there waiting, amongst the very first ten commenters, arguing that modern science is garbage.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          There is nothing scientific or modern about IQ. The whole thing is exactly the same as it was 100 years ago. Despite all the fantastic claims that the field is progressing, you can bet your house that no actual breakthrough will be made in another 100 years.

          • David Doyal says

            Why do you keep focusing on IQ? The subject is about genetically determined human behavior……IQ is a small part of the overall subject that science is developing.

          • Georgia Resident says

            The validity of IQ doesn’t depend on how old the concept is. It depends on whether or not it makes accurate and nontrivial predictions. Most pet hypotheses of social scientists fail to do this, so they tend to get thrown out every generation or so. IQ is old precisely because of its predictive validity.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            If IQ had any actual predictive power, there would be just one test instead of dozens and the so called predictive power would not change from study to study and, oh, it would predict individual outcomes, not “group variance”.

          • PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) says

            “There is nothing scientific or modern about IQ.”

            I’d love to try an experiment of sorts:

            Put a super-woke IQ-poo-pooing social scientist on the operating table and give him a choice: He has to pick a heart surgeon, and all he knows is that one has a 160 IQ and one has a 110 IQ (I know, doesn’t exist, but maybe a guy who went to Medical School of the Bahamas or some such).

            Or maybe the choice between a 160 IQ and 110 IQ retirement fund manager. Whom does he want to manage his retirement?

            Would such a person bet his life or retirement on IQ being non-predictive of outcomes? Or would he buckle when the chips in play are his own?

            In a way, this question has been answered. Lots of woke politicians and academics who dismiss IQ as meaningless nevertheless move mountains when it comes to getting the very highest IQ teachers and classmates for their own kids (elite private schools). They seem to make similar choices in other areas. I think there might be some hypocrisy round heya.

          • Nikolay Petrov says

            @Afrosapiens Wow… The concept is old so “there is nothing scientific or modern about” it…. Then random claims about IQ’s lack of predictive power because there are many tests and it fails (?) because it does not predict individual outcomes?

            1. Open an introductory textbook, please – both of these issues, only thrown around by laymen, are taught in Social Science 101…
            2. IQ is the predictor that solely explains the largest % variance of career and academic success.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “He has to pick a heart surgeon, and all he knows is that one has a 160 IQ and one has a 110 IQ (I know, doesn’t exist, but maybe a guy who went to Medical School of the Bahamas or some such).

            Or maybe the choice between a 160 IQ and 110 IQ retirement fund manager. Whom does he want to manage his retirement?”

            In the real world, no professional advertises their IQ as a proof of competence. There is nothing more foolish. And people rather rely on reputation instead of credentials.

            “In a way, this question has been answered. Lots of woke politicians and academics who dismiss IQ as meaningless nevertheless move mountains when it comes to getting the very highest IQ teachers and classmates for their own kids (elite private schools). They seem to make similar choices in other areas. I think there might be some hypocrisy round heya.”

            What we know is that there are high IQ societies and that their members aren’t actually bright . If the theory was right, you’d expect mensa and the likes, with their hundreds of thousands of “geniuses”, to have become major think-tanks and research institutions contributing to human advancement in an even higher magnitude than Ivy League colleges. Well, none of this happened, they are still the circle jerk clubs they’ve always been.

            “2. IQ is the predictor that solely explains the largest % variance of career and academic success.”

            False, self-discipline outdoes IQ in explaining variance in school achievement

            “In a longitudinal study of 140 eighth-grade students, self-discipline measured by self-report, parent report, teacher report, and monetary choice questionnaires in the fall predicted final grades, school attendance, standardized achievement-test scores, and selection into a competitive high school program the following spring. In a replication with 164 eighth graders, a behavioral delay-of-gratification task, a questionnaire on study habits, and a group-administered IQ test were added. Self-discipline measured in the fall accounted for more than twice as much variance as IQ in final grades, high school selection, school attendance, hours spent doing homework, hours spent watching television (inversely), and the time of day students began their homework. The effect of self-discipline on final grades held even when controlling for first-marking-period grades, achievement-test scores, and measured IQ. These findings suggest a major reason for students falling short of their intellectual potential: their failure to exercise self-discipline.”

            http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01641.x?journalCode=pssa

            As for career success, you’d need to define it first. For instance, if we consider leadership, it turns out that an IQ above 120 makes you a bad leader.

            https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/most-intelligent-people-worse-leaders-study-university-lausanne-iq-a8055846.html

          • tim hadselon says

            If IQ tests are not valid, then nothing in social psychology is. It’s the most rigorously metric in the field.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Appeal to consequences but yeah, pretty much.

          • Alan D White says

            If you get to define “breakthrough” you can’t lose that bet.

      • We can assess the ability of individuals to perform a vast array of tasks. The success rate of coronary surgeons is a matter of individual fact.The diagnostic accuracy of individual doctors is a measurable fact. Measurements like this are useful. Testing that is not helpful in predicting real world success are a waste of time.

        The issue then is whether the tests used to predict the potential to do well in the real world are reliable predictors of success

        • ccscientist says

          Prison is overwhelmed with very low IQ men. They both can’t find another way to get $ and can’t avoid the legal system due to low IQ. Yeah, not scientific.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      How would you know? The book isn’t out yet.

      • Nick Ender says

        Afrosapiens got triggered by the word “IQ”, now we have to wade through a river of shit in the comments section. You know afrosapiens, you can make your own IQ test. If you’re American you took one before you went to college. It’s called the SAT. An IQ teast is just a set if questions, that involve abstraction and are graded in rank order. If you have got a 1200 when I took it (which is what I got), you could predict that a person who scored 1600 (a perfect score) was going to be more successful than I was. And you’d be right most of the time. That’s an IQ test. There’s other genetic factors that effect personality. These can mitigate IQ. For instance people who are really diligent and love to work hard. This article argues that all of those traits are influenced by genetics.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          I am not American as the two flags next to my name suggest. Be sure they don’t test deductive abilities in the next test of intelligence you take.

          And no, the article is not merely arguing that genes influence how good you are at associating two flags with a nationality. It asserts that this ability is genetic and that neither your parents or a good school can help you recognize the French and European Union flags to a significant degree. Sorry about that.

          • ian smith says

            afro claims to be a 25 year old haitian orphan but in fact is a mossad agent.

          • Paul Ellis says

            Is EU a nationality now? What a long way we’ve come from the EEC.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            France is one of 17 countries that officially recognizes the European flag as a symbol of allegiance to the Union.

        • @fraziertark says

          @Nick Ender

          “Afrosapiens got triggered by the word “IQ”, now we have to wade through a river of shit in the comments section.”

          My two sense for the future: please remember you don’t have to react. Consider ignoring those who aren’t being constructive, and responding to those who are. We are glad for your attention and will respond in kind.

          Nothing drives a crusader troll batty like being ignored. They depend for their power on others responding to their provocations, so they can derail discussion and stoke ill will.

    • Paul Ellis says

      “In the real world, no professional advertises their IQ as a proof of competence. There is nothing more foolish. And people rather rely on reputation instead of credentials.”

      So you want to fly in an airliner designed and built by self-taught and self-qualified engineers, crewed by self-taught and self-qualified pilots, do you? Good luck with that.

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        I never ask for the credentials of an airline’s staff nor the brand of their aircraft. However, I avoid companies with a bad reputation for safety and customer service. Next time, try formulating realistic analogies.

        • Alan D White says

          Good air lines have already asked that question about pilot credentials so you don’t need to.

  2. I can’t speak to the science, but to the phenomenon of laypeople eagerly leaping onto a dry scientific paper, and drawing wildly unsupported conclusions from it.

    For laypeople, IQ is a latter day phrenology, some mystical woo that becomes the summary measurement of human potential. And then this is turned into an alchemy that justifies racial prejudice, misogyny, and all sort of ugly just-so stories to justify whatever needs justification at the moment.

    • donald j. tingle says

      What needs justifying at the moment (i.e., that which the powers that be are presently imposing on us) is preferential treatment, largely of African Americans and women, over white men.

      Your real complaint seems to be that emphasis on IQ makes it harder, not easier, to justify the injustices inflicted by current policy.

    • Georgia Resident says

      What of people who use the denial of genetic differences between humans to justify useless or actively harmful policies based on an assumption of equality of ability? It’s somewhat of a cliche, but communists killed more people than Nazis.

        • Georgia Resident says

          I’m saying that a belief in equality of ability can engender resentment if outcomes are unequal (which they usually are), and that if the assumption of equality of ability is wholly or partially unfounded, that this resentment is not necessarily justified, and can cause great harm. I brought up communism to show that ostensibly egalitarian systems causing immense suffering and death is also no mere hypothetical.

        • Lhoyer says

          Yes. Equalism has been way more destructive than Christianity and Islam combined.
          From the Reign of Terror onwards, “modern” human history has been a giant blood-letting by those chasing unnatural, baseless, and entirely ruinous utopias, which have all been based on the fantasy of equalism.

    • True dat. Nuclear physics was used to kill millions, therefore it doesn’t exist.

    • Debbie says

      Misogyny ? Women have the same average IQ scores as men. The only difference is at the extremes where a small percent of men are more likely to have extremely low or extremely high IQs. The evidence for the extremely low is pretty obvious just by looking at arrest and imprisonment statistics for men versus women. Men are massively more likely to commit serious violent crimes and those are on average are correlated with low IQ.

      • Solon64 says

        No, violent crime (and violence in general) is much more strongly associated with higher testosterone, of which men have on average anywhere from 12 to 17 times as much as women.

        Of course IQ is a factor, as well as other things like empathy, respect for law/authority, but violent crimes are overwhelmingly committed by men specifically because they are men, what with their higher testosterone.

        This is completely obvious to even casual observation: in our evolutionary history, women were smaller, slower, and weaker than men, due to lower testosterone (which affects size, muscle and bone density, and free energy to spend on physical exertion, amongst many other things). A strategy of violence to obtain what they wanted was never going to work well for a woman compared to a man, unless the violence was being perpetrated against other women. Woman tries to commit violence to a larger, heavier, faster man, she gets smacked down righteously, unless she can even the odds by tactics like ambushes or attacking an incapacitated foe.

        My point, in summation: testosterone is one hell of a drug.

    • Quizno St. Fobknuckle says

      “I can’t speak to the science…”

      And yet you do. I am impressed.

    • PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) says

      I can’t speak to the science … For laypeople, IQ is a latter day phrenology…”

      WAIT! I smell a stockyard.

      You can’t speak to the science, so you’re not a scientist. But you CAN talk down to laypeople and characterize them as a group, so you’re not a layperson, right?

      You see the problem here?

    • Quizno St. Fobknuckle says

      Just … stop making logic at them.

      It’s like yelling at the dog. It only barks louder.

    • petros says

      “This is about much more than just IQ.”

      Amen. The more interesting part to me is about how predictable personality is turning out to be: traits like conscientiousness, openness, etc. I think it’s fascinating and will help us treat individuals as regards their particular makeups, rather than treating kids as more or less identical “lumps” to be shaped.

      Those who start flinging feces when the subject of IQ arises I find usually don’t know what they are talking about … literally. They have met a few college professors with 120-130 IQs and think they have met smart people, who just happen to be a little better at taking tests or whatnot.

      I’ve had the rare opportunity in my career to meet a few people in the 170-190 IQ range (that’s in the ballpark of 1 in 20 million and up) and observe them over time. Man, you don’t soon forget it.

      The ones I met seem stupid at first. Most could hardly talk, their thoughts are so complex and recursive. Then I realized they were thinking in four dimensions to my three, so to speak. They are thinking ten steps ahead reflexively, and they seem to see an entirely different world from most of us. Perhaps because of all this, I have noticed they seem to have difficulty building a theory-of-mind for the average person. It’s like dealing with one of the X-Men.

      I tend to agree with Chuck Murray: the high IQ in America seem to be clumping, and it’s unbalancing the society. If we don’t acknowledge this problem and deal with it, we are going to turn into Brazil, with pockets of the highly intelligence, wealthy, and educated walled away from favelas of the masses, an extremely unhealthy and dangerous situation for everyone.

      • This is very true observation, but you don’t really have to invoke IQs as high as 170 to observe communication barrier. From my whole life experience, one can freely communicate thoughts within +/- 10 points of IQ and with much consideration can boost that up to +/- 15, especially with carefully written texts, as in verbal communication real time information processing differences are more important. This is why Afrosapien could in fact link to findings about leadership and IQ 120 and why management chains have to exist even in small firms that rely on cognitively varied workforce. Just look at a curve bell with this +/- 15 filter and it immediately shows why IQ range of 115-125 is considered optimal.

      • Alan D White says

        In the battle for sex partners, I’ll bet on looks over brains….

  3. Pingback: Review of Blueprint | West Hunter

  4. If environmental effects are so trivial, and between schools effects almost entirely explained by heritability, is there any longer any case at all for a formal education? (Setting aside the need for credentials in a credentials-driven society.)

    Real question, I have two children under six.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      Look, buy a dog, beat it and starve it, then learn for yourself how environmental effects are so trivial.

      • Agreed. Everyone alive who has been beaten and starved gets a pass.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          You have no idea of the amount of emotional adversity and malnutrition that people experience in their lives in the most developed countries. It doesn’t need to reach the extremes to have life-long consequences. This, of course, neither Plomin or Cochran will tell you, but actual biologists unanimously agree.

          • The argument breaks down when you compare the scores of upper-income blacks to asians and whites born into poverty. I’ve thrown the kitchen sink of environmental controls (quality of school, nutrition, peer groups, discrimination, single parenthood, intellectually stimulating rearing environment etc. etc.) at the gap in a regression model. It hardly closes. If there’s an invisible ‘X factor’ here (which is an ad-hoc, not data-driven interpretation), it’s stubbornly elusive.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “The argument breaks down when you compare the scores of upper-income blacks to asians and whites born into poverty. I’ve thrown the kitchen sink of environmental controls (quality of school, nutrition, peer groups, discrimination, single parenthood, intellectually stimulating rearing environment etc. etc.) at the gap in a regression model. It hardly closes. If there’s an invisible ‘X factor’ here (which is an ad-hoc, not data-driven interpretation), it’s stubbornly elusive.”

            It is not elusive at all. There is something called residential segregation that makes the broader socio-cultural environment of the highest income blacks similar to that of the poorest whites and Asians.

            http://contexts.org/files/2015/06/fig-1-line.jpg
            https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/us/milwaukee-segregation-wealthy-black-families.html

            This is hard data unlike the truly unquantifiable things you listed such as “peer groups” or “intellectually stimulating rearing environments”.

      • Debbie says

        No ones claiming that extreme abuse can’t fuck up a kid. There saying that being a perfect parent versus being merely a good parent won’t make much difference. So abusing your kid can fuck them up, but reading them 20 books every night isn’t going to make them any more gifted then they would have been otherwise.

          • Quizno St. Fobknuckle says

            It’s fine! Embrace you’re mistakes! 😉 Here, you get evaluated on your ideas and arguments … or absence of any, in some cases … not using the wrong homonym.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          Being a tiger mom is not exactly what makes a good parent. What kids need to develop is a caring, loving, responsible and responsive parent. Humans are emotional beings prior to being intellectual beings and all behavior is communication. Unmet emotional needs and toxic stress negatively impact brain development.

          https://developingchild.harvard.edu/

          • This is all circular – why are people bad at meeting emotional needs?

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Because parents very often have their own unmet emotional needs and seldom find proper advice. Fortunately and contrary to Plomin’s garbage, neuroscience-based preventive and remedial care is a prolific and fast growing area of research with already successful experimental applications that might soon translate in policy. Harvard’s center on the developing child is at the forefront of the movement.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “What you described is the average good parent.”

            It’s more like what the average parent mistakenly thinks they are.

            “When we control for those (and many other environmental) variables, the gaps slightly narrow but remain robust.”

            Hmmm, no. The neuroscience of child development is robust and experimental, it is biology not social science.

        • Peter from Oz says

          You are confusing the tree with the fruit. You don’t read them 20 books to your child to make him more gifted, but to ensure that he uses his gift for useful and interesting things.

        • Rosenmops says

          Reading to them won’t make them gifted, but it will create beautiful memories. We should aim to be caring, compassionate parents because it is the right thing to do.

      • Rosenmops says

        In fact dogs are born with personalities too. Every dog owner knows this.

      • Innominata says

        “Look, buy a dog, beat it and starve it, then learn for yourself how environmental effects are so trivial.”

        Dude! Reading your comments are like LSD! This is rad. Do not give up the fight just because of the reason fascists.

        But seriously:
        I tried what you suggested with the dog. Afterward, I didn’t feel any smarter or dumber having a beaten, starving dog in my environment.

        But it seemed like you were saying I should feel dumber, right? I got arrested, and the animal control people said I was an “sadistic moron”, but not “dumber” (and I’m really not that “sad”, they were projecting).

        Maybe my method was flawed? I’m going to try it again with a smaller, cuter dog. Also not with the webcam, because that’s now they found me the first time.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          Are you really this dumb?

          Beating and starving your dog won’t make YOU dumber, it will alter ITS behavior. DUH!

          • Martin28 says

            Ever hear of irony and sarcasm? BTW, these language tools can be effective in child-rearing, but dogs just don’t get it.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “But seriously:
            I tried what you suggested with the dog. Afterward, I didn’t feel any smarter or dumber having a beaten, starving dog in my environment.

            But it seemed like you were saying I should feel dumber, right? I got arrested, and the animal control people said I was an “sadistic moron”, but not “dumber” (and I’m really not that “sad”, they were projecting).”

            Where is the sarcasm?

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            I apologize. I cannot delete comments, so I offer this. I should not have asked such a mean rehtortical question about being dumb. And I am sorry I said “its” when I meant “it’s”.

            Don’t beat and starve the dog. I love dogs.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Lmao, how much have you drunk tonight mug of pee?

        • @fraziertark says

          @Innominata: “I didn’t feel any smarter or dumber having a beaten, starving dog in my environment.”

          Mate, I laughed until tea came out my nose. That hasn’t happened in ages.

          Like they say: “Dark humor is like food. Not everybody gets it.”

        • @innominata “Maybe my method was flawed” No kidding. To have a shared environment with the dog, you really need to go back to the beginning and share a womb with it. I suggest that you approach a large woman and ask her to help you out with the experiment. Maybe it would replicate this time. You will have to figure out a method to beat the dog and starve it inside the womb.

        • Innominata says

          “Which breed?”

          It will really depend on what my ex-girlfriend decided to get since her last one mysteriously disappeared.

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        And if you really want to see how not trivial is environment affects the dog, make the sweet love with the dog. I have tried this, and I proved IQ is only monzopsychotically heritabilicious.

      • Alan D White says

        Environmental effects have negligible impact on succeeding generations. LaMarck was wrong.

    • As Afrosapien cogently points out, of course there is a case for a formal education. Most parents do not drop their babies on the head, starve them, or lock them in the closet all day. If you actually had two tribes, one with horrid child rearing practices and the other with humane practices, environment might explain different outcomes.

      But the reality is a high performing kid who goes to an adequate public school or state university is not going to do any better than someone who goes to private school or an Ivy.

      As environmental effects become equalized (mandatory public schools with standardized curriculum, social insurance, child protective services), inequality is increasingly driven by heredity. Social engineering efforts to create conditions of social equality paradoxically necessitate an increase in intractable social inequalities due to genetics.

      Further, social engineering schemes to create equality of outcome work either by replacing the competent with the incompetent (not progressive) or by employing a bunch of incompetents to do make work while the competent people run things (inefficient).

      Thus, the paradox of contemporary times–efforts to reduce inequality have exacerbated inequality, and efforts to achieve equality of outcome in institutions are toxic to the missions of institutions, creating a mess which thanks to political correctness, we are not permitted to notice or comment on. Great way to run your society off a cliff, no?

      • The best way to measure how fast people can run is by holding a race with equal conditions. Sprinting has everything to do with the amount of fast twitch muscles you genetically have, so if we ran enough races, you would mysteriously see the descendants of West African populations sweeping.

        While this might be explained by the toxic nature of West African supremacy paralyzing the Euro and Asian would be gold medalists in track, a sensible person might attribute it to genetics and the influence on fast twitch muscles.

        A lot of the Leftists are always fighting off despair because they are essentially trying to fight a political battle against biology. Group A prefers things to people, Group B prefers people (especially children) to things, and we discover surprise surprise that Group A is over-represented in coders, and Group B in pediatricians and primary school teachers.

        Biology will always win, even if you try to rename everything and pretend biology doesn’t exist. This should not be a reason for despair, it is simply LIFE.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          Except polygenic scores aren’t biology, they’re a mere individually uninformative correlation. And no, in fact the main reason why we study biology is to understand and then control it. That’s how we have medicine and biotechnology. See the difference between this and and your magical polygenic scores that only serve to support the old and tired claim that inequality is justified by nature?

          • Bernard Hill says

            …the main reason is so we can control it? Man, you really are one of Koba’s own.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Yes sir, the main goal of understanding how something works is to figure out ways to manipulate it and turn it into something that serves human advancement.

        • Alan D White says

          But socialists are very unhappy with that outcome since it leaves too many of one hue at each extreme. It’s OK if biology works for sports (and it does) but not OK if it works for intelligence. I don’t understand that. Given the choice how many people would prefer to be Albert Einstein rather than Tiger Wood? Or, Diane Feinstein over Kim K.?

      • E. Olson says

        Good comment KD. Just think how universities would change – most of the social sciences and humanities could be shut down as they cease to have a social justice function, and there would be no need for a diversity and inclusion administration as admittance could be based strictly on merit. All government welfare and education programs that are based on compensating/protecting victim classes could be shut down, because racism, sexism, etc. can no longer be reasonably considered causal factors in societal inequities. As a result government deficits would disappear almost immediately and the economy would take off as taxes could be reduced and companies would be free to hire the most competent. Low IQ/destructive personality types would no longer be supported by the welfare state, and hence their fertility rates would plunge freeing the economy of their social costs. Immigration policy would be greatly simplified – only good genes need apply.

        • The paper notes that colleges only accept people with high IQs to begin with.

          So doesn’t this support the idea that those with college educations should be in charge of making public policy, rather than letting policy be decided by a random group who happen to show up at the polls on election day?

          • Debbie says

            You must have a very low definition for high IQ if you think colleges only accept people with high IQs.

          • @fraziertark says

            “Doesn’t this support the idea that those with college educations should be in charge of making public policy, rather than letting policy be decided by a random group who happen to show up at the polls on election day?”

            NOOOOOO….. God no.

            High IQ does NOT correlate with common sense. Not at all. The high IQ are not more right or sensible, just better at stringing together convincing arguments why their viewpoint should be right and why what they’ve set their hearts on is really sensible.

            In fact, in some respects, the high IQ are more prone to certain logical fallacies and anti-common sense behaviors, self-righteousness being one of them. High IQ people are less likely to change an incorrect viewpoint when called out. I believe an IQ above 130 should disqualify someone from public office. An Ivy League degree, too.

            Now random groups of people who aren’t connected through institutions that teach them all more or less the same thing? They can make some fantastic decisions. If you want to learn more, check out James Surowiecki’s book *The Wisdom of Crowds* https://tinyurl.com/y7quf7e8

          • neoteny says

            “common sense”

            Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have.

            — Rene Descartes

        • danielgonik says

          You should give low IQ people a good life if they agree not to reproduce much. After all, the fact that inequalities are based on genes could be viewed as an argument in favor of wealth redistribution as long as it doesn’t result in dysgenic pressure.

          Also, taking the Third World’s smart people isn’t going to do the Third World any favors. Imagine what would happen to the U.S. if everyone here with an IQ of 115 or above moved to China.

        • Rosenmops says

          @ E. Olsen:

          The government (in any country that is a pleasant place to live) should help less fortunate people no matter why they are less fortunate. You want to have people go without food or shelter just because they are mentally ill or have a low IQ?

          • E. Olson says

            Rosenmops – the proper question is whether most government “help” is actually helpful to those less fortunate. I would say evidence is at best mixed that giving poor people “free” money and benefits actually helps them lead more responsible and less costly to society lives. How much welfare money is used to buy lottery tickets, booze, drugs, $200 sneakers, junk food, etc. – how can poor people have the highest rates of obesity and drug addiction in society unless they are given enough free stuff to feed their bad habits? Workfare and EITC seems to be more effective at forcing people with bad habits to get and keep a job, and employment is probably the most effective means of building productive habits and culture for society and the individual, but most leftists fight any attempt to link government “help” with work while promoting counter-productive policies such as minimum wages and forced employment based healthcare insurance that price the unproductive and unskilled out of any employment opportunities.

            Similarly, much government “help” seems to be designed to encourage the low IQ and mentally ill to have children. Single mom’s get higher government benefits than childless adults or married with children get. If you aren’t smart enough or well enough to support yourself, why should government programs allow you to have kids that will also need to be supported by taxpayers during their childhood and possibly into adulthood due to their likely genetically inherited low IQ/mentally illness? Government welfare that is conditional on taking long-term birth control and mental health medications would greatly reduce the social costs (i.e. welfare, crime, police, prison) of low IQ / bad personality / mentally ill citizens and their fewer children, but such approaches are also fought tooth and nail by leftist “advocates” for the disadvantaged.

            Government educational “help” for the disadvantaged also offers very questionable “benefits” to the individual and society. For example, government bureaucracies have been using bogus disparate impact studies to force schools to NOT discipline or expel disruptive or violent students because most such students are actually black or Hispanic (and probably low IQ or mentally ill). Is there any evidence that such directives are helpful to the disrupters or the often disadvantaged students they are disrupting? Is there ANY evidence that the government bureaucracies that force/threaten affirmative action in selective high schools and universities helps the underqualified victim classes or the more meritorious mostly Asian and white students they displace? Is there any evidence that the government bureaucracies that administer student aid programs for “disadvantaged” students are doing them any favors when they give low IQ students the financial means to get into colleges they are ill-equipped to succeed in? Does loading down a marginal student with huge student loans and a likely junk degree (assuming they graduate at all) help them in life versus vocational training or employment? I suspect the “payoff” for all of these “helps” to disadvantaged is highly negative, but the leftists in academia will never study such questions because they won’t like the answers they get.

            Yet the sad fact is, we all pay higher taxes, higher social costs, and incur higher government deficits because we think government needs to do more than allow the pursuit of happiness.

          • Alan D White says

            Perhaps. If doing so doesn’t increase the ratio of less fortunate to more fortunate. If that happens the country is headed downhill fast….

      • Any ideology which insists on “equality of outcome” is doomed to fail. Individuals differ dramatically in their capacity to succeed in a modern economy, and much of that capacity derives from their genetic inheritance. However, I’m not convinced that our society is anywhere close to providing equal opportunity. Children raised in poverty face all kinds of obstacles, especially if they live in conditions of concentrated poverty like inner city neighborhoods or isolated Appalachian communities. At some point we have to say “it’s the luck of the draw; there’s nothing more we can do,” particularly if parents persist in making bad choices. Have we already reached that point — should we embrace Social Darwinism, like E. Olson in his comment below — or is there more we can do?

        • danielgonik says

          Here’s an idea: How about we let the most competent people do various tasks but also redistribute the wealth so that the less fortunate among us can have a share of the pie?

          I certainly support wealth redistribution to give low-IQ people a good life. Also, perhaps this should be coupled with incentives to encourage low-IQ people not to reproduce much. After all, I want low-IQ people to have good lives but I also don’t want to see dysgenics occur.

          • Alan D White says

            Unfortunately, if you subsidize corn, you get more corn. The same is true for people.

        • E. Olson says

          lemurlover – see my comment above to Rosenmops. There is certainly “more we can do”, but the mostly leftists in government, academia, and other “advocates” for the disadvantaged won’t like the type of “more” that is much more likely to be effective.

        • Any ideology committed to “equality of opportunity” becomes de facto “equality of outcome” because “opportunity” and its equality are not readily definable or quantifiable, e.g. totally subjective, so outcome becomes the de facto measure of opportunity. . . as we have seen in the development of disparate outcome litigation.

          “Equality of opportunity” must be completely rejected, there can only be race- and sex- neutral standards or “equality of outcome”. People who embrace “equality of opportunity” but reject “equality of outcome” are fooling themselves. Last, any standard of egalitarianism must have a broad exception for public safety and national security for reasons that are beyond the scope of this comment.

      • Jack B Nimble says

        @KD

        ‘……But the reality is a high performing kid who goes to an adequate public school or state university is not going to do any better than someone who goes to private school or an Ivy…..’

        Look, students who graduate from Ivy League schools are not just getting an education. They are getting a permanent imprimatur of social and educational eliteness, plus they have developed personal connections and friendships that last a lifetime. Even the best public universities can’t compete at that level.

        For example, of US Supreme Court Justices with college degrees, 38 graduated from an Ivy League school and only 32 graduated from the remaining public and private universities and colleges in the US. That is hardly a coincidence!

        Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_schools_attended_by_United_States_Supreme_Court_Justices

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        I am not cogent! I have never coged in my life. Stop calling names you don’t understand, cup of pee.

    • Debbie says

      You still have to learn things. Having a high IQ doesn’t make you magically know everything. There are online alternatives to traditional schools that kids can take though. Just make sure your kids are socializing with other kids though.

      • Alan D White says

        It is well known that intelligent people are able to self learn. Recall those genius mathematicians from India who taught themselves from an English textbook.

    • Good question, which, like other articles I’ve read promoting nature over nurture, this article doesn’t answer. In fact, this article isn’t very specific about what characteristics are inherited or to what extent heritability counts more than circumstances and upbringing. Whatever studies they actually did, the way it’s reported here isn’t falsifiable because no real concrete claims are made. They do say it doesn’t matter what school a child goes to – but does that mean that (say) a school without resources, with uneducated teachers, with students with behavioural issues, and those features adding up to not much happening in the classroom in the way of education, that such a school is as good as any other?

      • True, but that doesn’t matter.

        Biology sets the limits on human potential. Environment can seriously limit that potential: dropping toddlers on the head, lead poisoning, etc.

        Leaving out the developing world, there is a decent standard of living of everyone in the Developed World, in the sense of 2000+ calories per day, shelter, basic health care, etc. Further, most parents don’t drop their kids or lock them in closets, and when they do, CPs takes the kids away to foster care.

        While environment is not equal, social differences in the developed world mostly reflect biological differences in potential, for example in sprinters. Social engineering efforts will not cure the existing inequalities, only a program of genetic engineering and eugenics could.

        What will be interesting is that when progressives realize that there utopia can only be achieved with genetic engineering and eugenics (e.g. educate themselves on recent findings in genetics and neuroscience), I think we will discover that eugenics becomes the Progressive cause again. . . because the other option is something like classical liberalism/social darwinism.

        • Jack B Nimble says

          @KD

          “….. utopia can only be achieved with genetic engineering and eugenics….”

          When will conservatives realize that modern medicine allows humans to manipulate our environment? Among other things, that approach is less controversial and safer than gene therapy. For example, Phenylketonuria is a devastating genetic disease in humans that, if untreated, results in severe retardation. While dietary modification can help ameliorate the symptoms, recent research using a mouse model suggests that genetically-engineered bacteria could reduce the level of phenylalanine in the blood more consistently.

          Link: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/synthetic-bacteria-help-treat-phenylketonuria-in-mice-64656

          • JMatlock says

            Manipulation of the environment less controversial? yes and no. Consider the introduction of the “Social Credit” system in China linking 600 million (just for starters) CCTV cameras to facial recognition software. Jaywalk and you lose social credit. Be observed walking into a dissident’s house and you lose more credit. Upset the wrong functionary with a snarky letter to the editor and lose some more. Lose a certain amount and you can’t buy a train ticket or get into a certain venue or lose access to certain government benefits. Lose enough credit and your child can’t get into university or a favored training program.

            If the regime in China (for instance) will go to this extreme to produce the “perfect” citizen, I have little doubt that it will eventually use modern genetic manipulation techniques as soon as they become sufficiently practicable. “Brave New World” as an instruction manual.

    • Quizno St. Fobknuckle says

      @r321

      Bluntly, no. Formal education is terribly inefficient for all concerned (except administrators! They make great money and get to create evermore bureaucracy). Modern formal education is mystical religion + daycare. Mostly, it teaches kids to conform and become bureaucratically socialized, so they will sit in their cubicle or at the DMV later without rising in insurrection.

      You might really enjoy economist Brian Caplan’s book “The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money” Amazon has it: https://tinyurl.com/y8m6nau8

      He really gets under the hood, and it’s eye opening.

      I also read “The Intelligence Paradox” by Kanazawa recently and found it really interesting in a different way: https://tinyurl.com/y7sf7mq2

      • Thanks, everyone.

        Since reading Judith R Harris (and Pinker) I’ve been wandering through life looking for somebody to engage effectively with these arguments about the narrow limits of environmental influence, and I’ve ended up as a parent who is super-relaxed about schools and super-unhelicoptering, and yet, and yet. . .

    • Luke Reeshus says

      If environmental effects are so trivial, and between schools effects almost entirely explained by heritability, is there any longer any case at all for a formal education? (Setting aside the need for credentials in a credentials-driven society.)

      Real question, I have two children under six.

      Short answer: no, there isn’t. (But, ya know, they still gotta get them creds!)

      Longer answer: depends on what you mean by “formal.” If your kids end up wanting to study the stars or design airfoils, they’re certainly gonna need quite a bit of formal education. But if they want to sell insurance? Yeah, any degree will do.

      Either way, the fact that you’re their parent, and read articles like this, and can respond with such a poignant question means—I think—that they’re gonna do fine.

    • Mark Williams says

      Knowledge is key. The more your kids know the more successful they will be.

  5. Quiddam says

    So he would refute his own research, and that of most scientists? I find that hard to believe.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3147063/

    ” Behavioral-genetic research seldom finds evidence that more than half of the variance for complex behavioral traits is due to genetic differences among individuals.”

    That was always my understanding, and is the mainstream opinion. It’s not even an opinion, the data speaks for itself. Traits that are mainly heritable are quite rare, although they all are to some degree, or most of the most fundamental ones. There is a difference between saying this and saying most behavior is cause by genes, since the opposite is true as far as the effect is concerned. It’s only trivially true, same as saying the reason people running is caused by their legs.

    • Yes, but the question is nature versus nurture, and the argument is against blank slatism. And “nurture” hasn’t been shown to be what we commonly think it is. So your comment, while technically correct, misses the entire point of the arguments.

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        He is absolutely correct and the ones who miss the point are those who don’t understand heritability which is a statistical, not biological concept. The whole basis of the nature argument is a mere correlation without an ounce of biological understanding but a lot of unjustified and untested assumptions. This is miles away from actual science.

        • Hmm. This mere correlation is sounder than the theories propounded in social science classes. Still haven’t seen the biology behind structural racism.

          • Well, we’ll have to disagree on the strength of the biological claims in the “International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.”

            The lack of genetically passed behavioral traits will be news to dog breeders. I get it, the idea that humans are consistent with the observable world in evolutionary machinery is wrong because scientific racism.

            This null-hypothesis hostage taking – “prove to me that humans are subject to the same evolutionary processes that we accept in the world – is a poor form of argument.

            In many ways the nurturists are like the cult of social justice they represent, and like the universalist religion from which they descend: always hoping for the second coming, be it epigentics, maternal effects, the “practical techniques for managing shame” that the link you provided refers to.

            You may turn out to be right, but color me skeptical.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Breeders select closely related organisms based on desired properties and then tightly control rearing environments. But even then, they are aware of substantial unpredictability in the process and would never argue for genetic determinism since they don’t know the mode of inheritance which could for instance be epigenetic instead of genetic, it is likely both. Thank you for this typical Dunning-Kruger analogy.

            Nobody is claiming genes don’t influence human behavior, they obviously do, that’s a hereditarian strawman. The actual question is how relevant it is for social policy and how malleable behavioral traits are. That’s where social darwinists go in contradiction with geneticists who are unanimously of the opinion that genes don’t have inescapable effects, that plethora of environmental effects do matter even more than any genetic dispositions as either preventive or remedial factors and that speaking in terms of nature vs nurture doesn’t make sense.

          • I’m an example of dunning Kruger because I think that dog breeders are hereditarian? Guilty, then. Although I submit that referencing the journal of international psychotherapy is pretty dk too.

            Blank Slaters do believe that genes don’t influence behavior. That’s what blank slate means.

            No one is claiming that genes aren’t inescapable. My intelligence is less likely to match Einstein’s given the same environment.

          • Debbie says

            Did you seriously just link to an article about the debunked impicilit bias nonsense?

          • Innominata says

            @Joe

            That’s because it’s structural.

            Which means it hides.

            Only an ordained Social Scientist can ferret it out.

        • They are now finding alleles, or genes, which are correlated to IQ tests. We are just at the beginning of this. In ten or twenty years, we might find that overwhelming majority of IQ could be traced to specific genes, which someone is either lucky to have, or unlucky and lack.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            No, there is no such thing in reality. They find SNPs with very tiny associations. A SNP is not a “gene”, it’s a marker next to a potentially functional region in the genome. A SNP literally can’t cause a trait. Secondly, no, it’s not the begining of this. “Genes for IQ” have been found every year for almost 20 years, only to fail the test of replication.

            The belief among actual geneticists is that “genes for X” don’t even make sense, that the genome doesn’t exist in a fixed state and that it is regulated by a lot of still obscure dynamic processes. This is why this Plomin book will be refuted by any geneticist who even bothers to care, just like his previous books and the likes were unanimously debunked by specialists.

          • For those uninitiated, let me define what an allele is. All humans have the same genes, but we all have different variations. An allele is a specific variant of a gene. Basically we are now at the starting point of seeing variance of genes starting to explain variance in IQ scores. Even though we don’t know exactly how it works, we know it has an impact. Given enough food, genes also determine height, and there is nothing controversial about finding variance of genes impacting height differently.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Not true. Statistical associations aren’t proof of causation. First of all, people who live close to each other and share social characteristics tend to mate together, for this reason alone, it is inevitable that a few genetic variants will be slightly (almost negligibly) correlated with some social or physical variables, this is called social stratification. Most SNPs are absolutely neutral and are simply intercorrelated by linkage disequilibrium. No causal inference can be made without understanding the function of the whole genomic region where they are located .

            Molecular geneticists never make the claim that they find “genes for X”, they find regions of interest for further exploration but they would never rest on a correlation. Biology is hard work, not polygenic numerology.

          • “Statistical associations aren’t proof of causation”. That is true, but if in 20 years we found that a simple genetic test can predict 70% of your IQ, we would say the thesis of the book is very likely right. After all, that is what we are here to debate, no? Most of us, when presented with strong evidence from multiple areas all pointing in one direction, will say, maybe there is something to that. I guess some people with a strong need to believe in one way will, in the face of strong evidence, demand the presenter also to show causation, an impossible task. Since this task can’t be done, there nothing to see here then, carry on.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “That is true, but if in 20 years we found that a simple genetic test can predict 70% of your IQ, we would say the thesis of the book is very likely right.”

            It doesn’t make sense, an prediction is either right or wrong, it can’t be 70% right unless you mean it has a success rate of 70% in the population, which still leaves 30% of the population with genetically unpredictable IQs. Either way, there is absolutely no reason to believe that any such thing will be possible in 20, 10 or 50 years. Because biological development just doesn’t work this way.

            “Science tells us that the interactions between genes and environment shape human development. Despite the misconception that genes are “set in stone,” research shows that early experiences can determine how genes are turned on and off — and even whether some are expressed at all. The healthy development of all organs, including the brain, depends on how much and when certain genes are activated to do certain tasks. The experiences that children have early in life, therefore, play a crucial role in the development of brain architecture. Ensuring that children have appropriate, growth-promoting early experiences is an investment in their ability to become healthy, productive members of society.”

            https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/deep-dives/gene-environment-interaction/

            DNA testing as it currently exists is not able to identify past and present patterns of gene expression so they can’t predict individual phenotype. This is why we talk of polygenic RISK score, which refers to the likelihood that a trait develops in a certain way relative to the rest of the population without implying individual determination.

            “I guess some people with a strong need to believe in one way will, in the face of strong evidence, demand the presenter also to show causation, an impossible task. Since this task can’t be done, there nothing to see here then, carry on.”

            This task can be done and geneticists are working hard to rise above statistical clues and to understand the biological mechanisms. The only issue is that currently, only a minority of genes are the focus of most research and it will take years to understand the left out majority to the same extent.

            https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-07291-9

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            “WTF does that mean? Are you saying grip strength is a statistical not a biological concept, and its a pure accident that people with larger muscles in their forearms have stronger grips?”

            No, read again. What you are describing is an actual biological explanation. IQ is nothing close to that.

            “Are we to believe neural architecture (and the genes that govern that architecture) has no impact on cognitive performance?”

            No, read again. We’ll discuss that when you understand the difference between genetic variation and gene expression.

            “Is it an accident that many of the genetic markers that correlate to higher educational attainment have important roles in neural architecture?”

            Yes, partially. 80% of all genes are expressed in the brain so it would not make sense that educational attainment GWAS don’t find any of them to correlate with academic success. However no genetic variant has been found to have an important role, the effect size of each variant is negligibly small raising the probability that they are false positives or a consequence of inherent population stratification without any causal effect whatsoever.

            “We are miles away from a unified theory in physics, does that mean we should consult woke astrologers and not physicists and engineers in designing rockets?”

            Ironically, you are the one consulting psychologists instead of biologists.

            “You are an excellent example of what I mean when higher education makes people more stupid.”

            Oh well, so educational attainment and IQ are different things from intelligence. Good to know. Do I need to tell you what a good example of you are?

            “Anyone can master some simple skeptical arguments, and when that is used to dismiss data and the existing scientific consensus in favor of crystal magic or the latest pomo bromides, people have become less intelligent.”

            Hahaha! That’s your best line. Do you have a clue of what the scientific concensus is?

            “If you can’t rely on circumstantial evidence and existing bodies of empirical data in formulating beliefs, and you must wait for the second coming of science when every scientific question has been worked out, you are basically saying you can ignore all existing scientific knowledge in the name of science. . . textbook sophism.”

            Scientific questions are answered using the scientific methods, not statistical inference which is just dignified numerology.

          • neoteny says

            Molecular geneticists never make the claim that they find “genes for X”

            Here is one counterexample:

            Cystic Fibrosis: A Single Gene Disease

            Mutations in a single gene – the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR) gene – causes CF. The gene was discovered in 1989. Since then, more than 900 mutations of this single gene have been identified.

            https://www.genome.gov/10001213/learning-about-cystic-fibrosis/

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Cystic fibrosis is a Mendelian disorder, not a developmental trait. The analogy isn’t appropriate.

          • neoteny says

            For one, you stated that

            Molecular geneticists never make the claim that they find “genes for X”

            which was shown to be false: molecular geneticists make the claim that they found that the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR) gene causes CF, i.e. “the gene for CF”.

            For another:

            Changes in developmental regulatory programs drive both disease and phenotypic differences among species.

            http://dev.biologists.org/content/142/18/3100.short

          • “It doesn’t make sense, an prediction is either right or wrong, it can’t be 70% right”. I am sorry this baffles someone with your intellectual prowess and ability with scientific jargon, but I assure you that this makes perfect sense to those who had actually done some work in science. You should give it a try.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            No, really, it makes no sense at all. Imagine a weather forecast that predicts 70% of tomorrow’s temperature. If that means it predicts 14°C instead of 20°C then the forecast is 100% false, not 70% right. If you mean that the forecast was accurate for 70 days over a period of 100 days, then yes, the forecast had predicted 70% of the temperature over this period.

            You get confused because you think heritability explains the share of a trait in an individual that is attributed to genetic factors, which makes no sense whatsoever. Heritability explains (is supposed to) the amount of variance that is explained by genetics in a population.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Well, but as they say, alleles only relate to genes by dymorphus tomography. IQ can sometimes vary statistically by the inverse ration of pi. Variations nomenclature put shameful donkeys to chest rays when named by intuitive boards.

            IT’s like the Koreans say:
            You no f*ck on me!
            I f*ck on you!

        • WTF does that mean? Are you saying grip strength is a statistical not a biological concept, and its a pure accident that people with larger muscles in their forearms have stronger grips?

          Are we to believe neural architecture (and the genes that govern that architecture) has no impact on cognitive performance? Is it an accident that many of the genetic markers that correlate to higher educational attainment have important roles in neural architecture?

          We are miles away from a unified theory in physics, does that mean we should consult woke astrologers and not physicists and engineers in designing rockets?

          You are an excellent example of what I mean when higher education makes people more stupid. Anyone can master some simple skeptical arguments, and when that is used to dismiss data and the existing scientific consensus in favor of crystal magic or the latest pomo bromides, people have become less intelligent.

          If you can’t rely on circumstantial evidence and existing bodies of empirical data in formulating beliefs, and you must wait for the second coming of science when every scientific question has been worked out, you are basically saying you can ignore all existing scientific knowledge in the name of science. . . textbook sophism.

        • Luke Reeshus says

          He is absolutely correct and the ones who miss the point are those who don’t understand heritability which is a statistical, not biological concept.

          You heard it here first, folks! Heritability is not a biological concept! I mean really, Afrosapiens….

          Honest question for you: does it ever get mentally exhausting being a blank-slater? I mean, for most people in the West it isn’t, because they simply imbibe that view with their culturally relativistic mother’s milk and never hear the counter-argument. But you actually read articles like this. You’re actually aware of twin studies. And yet you persist.

          It’s admirable, in a way. But also tragic—especially so in your case, being French. The bureaucrats representing those two flags next to your moniker agree with you, after all. They believe people are almost completely shaped by the society in which they exist. At least, they must believe this, because that belief—insane as it is—is their one and only justification for the social experiment called ‘mass immigration’ which they’ve undertaken in the past decade.

          And, from a social-historical perspective, it’s an interesting experiment indeed. So by all means, keep updating the rest of us on how it’s going.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Thanks for dedicating all this energy explaining so precisely how heritability actually is a biological concept.

          • Robert Gabriel Mugabe says

            what a loser. no one is a blank slater. blank slatism is NOT the only alternative to hereditism.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          Believe me when I say, I know actual science. I have watched several episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy. I know absolutely correct. I eat it for breakfast. I do bench press with science books just to get more science. I have measured the exact amount of miles this is away from actual science, and it is exactly 4.7.

          I science so hard. And I am from Europe. Our science is longer and thicker here, with more veins.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            So you think you are clever? Impersonating me with my name, @John? How juvenile. Haven’t you got anything better to do? I’m going to tell the moderators. They will ban you. Then who will have the last laugh?

            Well you are not clever. You are dumb. Your IQ is small. My readers here will see that I am the bigger man, and my ideas are bigger. I have argued brilliantly. Science is on my side. I have proof. See all my links. I have singe handedly figured out one of the most confusing and difficult problems around, and I am here to tell everyone the truth. (See my brilliant dog-beating semilology below).

            You will not win. I will win. And when I do, I will have beaten you, and won. Then I will sit back with a baguette and eat it all, end to end, sans beurre. And all the time I am putting that baguette in my mouth, I will be thinking of you.

    • Craken says

      Quiddam: Your linked paper is 7 years out of date in a very fast moving field. Heritability estimates have risen in the intervening years, except for IQ, which has long been found highly heritable (about .80).

  6. Pingback: Plomin/MIT: Genetiikka pieksi kasvatuksen; Luonto voitti! – Uusin Suometar

  7. We have multiple IQ tests because people set off to measure different things, not IQ. It turned out that all these tests are correlated to the original IQ test and each other. For example, the Military Service Vocational Apptitude Test was created to predict how a potential enlistee would perform in the military. Over many years of trial and error, the military found that the test has strong predictive value for how enlistees would perform in the military. It is also an IQ test since it is correlated to the other IQ tests. In fact, it was found that below the cutoff score, which corresponds to about IQ score of 83, the person would not add any value and be a hindrance to the military. Given that the military is not able to fill recruitment requirements, this speaks volumes the utility of the test and the importance of the test. SAT was set up to measure college performance and is also an IQ test. Swap the military with collages and you got the same story.

    You can have group differences even if you measure individually. For example, height is measured individually, yet we all accept the fact that men are taller than women on average, even though we can always present outliers to counter this generalization.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      Correlation, correlation, correlation… What about actual biological explanations, you know the type that detail the anatomical and physiological processes that actually turn a statistical construct into a material reality?

      • A test is useful as long as it is able to predict some quantity that is valuable to the test giver. It matters not one bit if the test is able to explain the biological processes behind the scores. Long before humans have biology, we were able to test a horse to see how fast it ran. It matter not how if we could explain the biological process of why a horse is faster than another.

        • augustine says

          Sounds like applied versus theoretical theaters here. They are widely divergent in other disciplines as well.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          Thanks for confirming that the whole IQ enterprise is pre-scientific reification.

          • Yes, you should tell that to the U.S. military. Tell them their IQ test is pre-scientific reitification. Tell them it measures nothing and they should stop using it.

      • Tom Merle says

        One of the most obvious was already mentioned: the anatomical and physiological distinctions of West Africans and their descendents in the Bahamas and the US ~causing~ exceptional performance (ie, the hundred meter dash has been won by this population sub group 95 out of the last 100 most important professional track events. Also there is virtually no European American who finds himself in the defensive backfield in U.S. professional football.)

        • E. Olson says

          Funny how so many are willing to accept genetic factors to explain athletic success, but not cognitive based success. I guess only muscle and bone changed over time in response to environmental conditions, but the brain never did.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            Well, you guess wrong. No one’s ever making such a claim. The claim that’s being made and that still holds is that there is currently no biological explanation for racial disparities in socio-economic disparities, you can’t get past that fact. But when it comes to actual neurological phenotypes, there are some well identified disparities, Europeans have a higher frequency of a gene that predisposes to migraine for instance.

            https://www.sciencenews.org/article/adapting-life-north-may-have-been-real-headache

  8. Honest question: does this mean that it does not matter how parents raise their children? Morals, discipline, education, and all that is just irrelevant? The children will turn how they turn out?

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      There is something called child neglect. Many have tried but it never turned out well.

      Parenting styles matter, but they aren’t the only thing. One’s social environment is much broader than just the family unit. Every social interaction and cultural exposure makes us who we are. It is extremely shortsighted to pull the genetics card any time a study concludes that parents do not influence 100% of what a child becomes.

    • Rosenmops says

      Of course it matters how parents raise their children. We have to do our best to teach them to be honest and kind. The scary thing is that no matter what we do our child might still have a tendency towards violence or other bad problems. But we still have to do the best we can.

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        “The scary thing is that no matter what we do our child might still have a tendency towards violence or other bad problems. But we still have to do the best we can.”

        This is a terrible line of reasoning, if you give up on your child’s behavioral issues instead of addressing them intelligently and seeking proper advice you will sure fail her.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          I am sorry. That came out wrong. I meant to say:

          HELP! I AM SO LONELY! PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ says

            @John, you have tested my patience for the last time! Stop using my trademark Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ name to distract people from my long, thick, veiny arguments that smite people with the truth! THIS MASSAGE BOARD IS MINE!

    • Mark Williams says

      No but peer group influences are the most important environmental factor

  9. Afrosapiens sure is touchy when it comes to the subject of genes and IQ, isn’t he? It’s practically the only time he ever ventures into the comments section of Quillette. So, what’s got him so riled up?

    I suspect he’s suffering the same sort of panic that the political left, as a whole, is feeling about all the research results rapidly coming in from advances in human genomics – results that include identification of specific genes and variants associated with intelligence, as well as support for a sort of “genetic clustering” that is not so different from the idea of “race” (which the left preaches is nothing more than a “social construct”). You put those two developments together and it’s something that should be the death knell for the scientifically-unsupportable “blank slate” religion that is the foundation of the modern “progressive” left, i.e., the idea that humans (and especially various human population groups) are all born with the same innate abilities and potential, and therefore any measured disparities between groups (for, example the huge one between the academic performance of low-income immigrant Asian-Americans and middle-income African-Americans, or the jaw-dropping one between the average IQ of Askenazi Jews and sub-Saharan Africans [a 45-point difference]) has to be explained by oppression, racism, sexism, or whatever, and not – certainly not! — any biological differences.

    And while polite society won’t allow you to talk about the subject, most of the scientists who actually study human intelligence (most of whom are left-leaning in their politics according to a recent survey) – you know, the people who should actually know what they’re talking about — don’t find the idea that there are biological reasons for differences in human intelligence all that scientifically controversial. (In a recent survey of many of the prominent figures in the field, most supported that view.) But most of them know better than to discuss their research outside their own small circles – the few brave souls who have ventured out into polite society with the bad news have met with the usual range of punishment, from deplatforming to threats of physical violence. And so in the standard media we continue to hear utter nonsense from people with no background in the field (like Ezra Klein of Vox) about how there can’t possibly be a meaningful connection between genes and intelligence. Just ask yourself this question: Why are the fastest one-hundred human beings of all time (as measured by recorded times in the 100-meter dash) all from a population cluster in west Africa that currently represents less than 15 percent of the world’s population? I mean, what are the odds of that happening without some kind of genetic explanation? A million to one? And yet we are taught to believe that any and all differences in traits between groups can have no genetic basis. It’s absurd.

    David Reich of Harvard University, perhaps the leading genomics researcher in the world, has already warned that some of the results of his research in the future will likely cause discomfort to the “contemporary sensibilities” of the left. Steven Pinker and Sam Harris, liberals like Reich, have done the same. While we should all wait for more results to roll in before coming to any firm conclusions on the subject, it is not looking good for the science denialists on the left. Not good, at all.

    What will the left do if the research results continue to go in the direction that they’re headed now? I imagine that they’ll put even thicker and bigger blinders on, and continue to imagine (as most of them do currently) that there is no such thing as “intelligence,” that it’s a white/patriarchal construct, and the tests that measure it don’t actually measure anything at all, even though, in truth, IQ remains, in study after study, one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) predictors of human success, no matter how you define “success” (e.g., educational attainment, divorce rates, impulse control, absence of criminality).

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      Appeal to motivation
      Conspiracy theory
      Made up stories
      Non sequiturs

      That’s enough for me to give you the last word.

      • Volver says

        @Afrosapiens
        I
        it’s amazing that you were able to hold an audience as long as you did in this comments section, and when someone came along and put it all in proper perspective you threw a few spitballs and left the field.

        My suggestion to you is to buy a subscription to the Journal of Intelligence and read David Reich’s new book. Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          I don’t have the time to bother with irrational tirades, and I politely reject your suggestion to read the pseudojournal “Intelligence”.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            I mean, I have time to spend hours and hours and hours writing thousands and thousands of words to strangers, but not to read.

            Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 does not read. Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 tells people what Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 thinks, and then Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 drops the mic.

        • “My suggestion to you is to buy a subscription to the Journal of Intelligence and read David Reich’s new book.”

          I’ve read the book and have a subscription to Intelligence. I’m still not convinced that genes cause psychological traits because there are no psychophysical laws. The genetic transmission of psychological traits is a conceptual, not empirical matter.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            HA! SEE! RaceRealist agrees! And he’s real!

            I know it’s a “he”, because he’s smart.

      • Proof by assertion is an informal fallacy, Afro, you have not demonstrated that any of those fallacies were actually made at all. Here’s a credible citation for you in regard to the genetic component of educational attainment -https://www.nature.com/articles/nature17671

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        Oh! and

        not-smartisms

        Can’t leave that off.

    • Debbie says

      Funny how Asians do the best but people still think it’s some sort of culturally biased scam created by evil white people.

    • This is what I was talking about.
      IQ becomes used as a just-so story of How The World Got How It Is.

      That idea high IQ explains individual achievement, much less national ouotcomes, is why it deserves to be scorned as phrenology.

      Why was the most advanced civilization in human history first found in Africa, then later, the Mediterranean, then still later Asia, then even later, Europe?

      In other words, did the Romans conquer the Mediterranean world because they had higher IQs? If so, why did the stupid Europeans conquer them?
      And why did Europe then fall into irrelevancy for a thousand years?
      And what happened to supercharge their genes in the 15th century, when suddenly the European nations fanned out across the globe and conquered everything in their path?
      And how did they lose their mojo in the 20th century?

      A century from now, when China’s vast investment and alliance with the African nations bears fruit and they together colonize and subjugate the fractured remnants of what was once called the United States, there will be some chucklehead who solemnly lectures on the obvious genetic superiority of the Sino-African peoples.

      • @ Chip

        I don’t even know where to start. I’m trying to find even one thing in your post that contains enough substance to respond to. I feel stupid to even have to try.

        You write: “That idea high IQ explains individual achievement, much less national ouotcomes, is why it deserves to be scorned as phrenology.” There have literally been dozens of studies, some appearing even this year, in peer-reviewed scientific journals supporting the connection between IQ and individual outcomes. These are among the most replicable of findings in all of the social sciences, and the positive correlation between IQ and these outcomes is usually exceptionally high by social science standards.

        Then there’s this: “Why was the most advanced civilization in human history first found in Africa…?” I suppose you are referring to Egyptian civilization, and I assume you are suggesting that there was a sub-Saharan component to its intellectual and ruling classes. And you would provably wrong. That myth was finally and absolutely disposed of in an article in the respected journal Nature last year. DNA from mummies revealed the hardly-surprising (at least to Egyptologists and historians of the period) finding that there was NO sub-Saharan genetic material, only DNA associated with Levantine and Semitic peoples.

        • The biggest fallacy laypeople have of intelligence is the “brain in a vat” concept, where intelligence is disconnected from all our other aspects.

          But in fact, intelligence is only useful when it is combined with social skills, muscle memory and other things.

          The champion athlete isn’t the one with highest IQ, even if IQ helps; The successful CEO isn’t the smartest guy in the organization, even if being smart is a prerequisite.

          And intelligence isn’t universally transferable; someone of high IQ who loves physics, won’t necessarily be able to transfer his intelligence over to art or human management tasks.

          And expanding the brain in a vat theory to entire nations is madness. There isn’t any correlation to historical outcomes of nations and their intelligence.

      • Rosenmops says

        Chip wrote:
        “A century from now, when China’s vast investment and alliance with the African nations bears fruit…”

        ——————————————————–

        Didn’t work very well when the Europeans tried this, Why do you think China will do better?

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        If you keep nagging, people are going to think you are a nagger.

        Stop! Just stop! And stop asking questions. Nobody comes back to read these boards. They just say their thang and then bunk out to watch cheetos and eat football.

    • Why do so many people (even smart people) hold scientifically-unsupportable views about intelligence? Part of it has to do with how human intelligence is studied in the universities. Until advances in genomics brought its study productively into the harder sciences like biology and genetics, it was typically studied (when it was at all) in psychology departments. But it made most of the ninety percent of the faculty in these departments who identify as “liberal” nervous. When intellectual and scientific rigor was introduced to the subject, the most replicable of findings usually went against their political beliefs. It didn’t matter that the subfields of cognitive psychology and evolutionary psychology – the two which tended to do research on intelligence — produced a higher percentage of replicable research than almost all the others. Rigor and replicability didn’t matter. All that mattered was keeping the lid on the new information that was coming out of the science, especially that which related to the relationship between IQ and positive individual outcomes. And so university psychology departments often didn’t hire PhDs who concentrated their research efforts on human cognition. To this day, some major universities do not even offer a single course in the field. The reason isn’t scientific; it’s political.

      • “Why do so many people (even smart people) hold scientifically-unsupportable views about intelligence?”

        Explain the justification for the assumption that IQ tests test intelligence in lieu of construct validity..

    • Andrew_W says

      “Why are the fastest one-hundred human beings of all time (as measured by recorded times in the 100-meter dash) all from a population cluster in west Africa that currently represents less than 15 percent of the world’s population?”

      The fastest one-hundred human beings of all time (as measured by recorded times in the 100-meter dash) are not all from a population cluster in West Africa.

      https://www.iaaf.org/records/all-time-toplists/sprints/100-metres/outdoor/men/senior

      • @Andrew W

        It’s hard to know if you’re making a joke or not. Every single one of those men on that list are of west African ancestry. The fact that many of them are diaspora Africans with US or UK or Canadian citizenship doesn’t change the fact that their ancestors were from west Africa. Or were you making a sly joke?

        • Andrew_W says

          “Every single one of those men on that list are of west African ancestry.”

          How about Bingtian Su, Christophe Lemaitre and Patrick Johnson? How about those from Southern African countries?

          • @Andrew W

            OK, so there are three persons not of west African descent on the list of the hundred fastest humans of all time. It still doesn’t begin to diminish my point that there is clearly a genetic explanation when 97 percent of the fastest men of all time come from a population cluster that is less than 15 percent of the world’s population.

            I will add the following: It is widely believed that Su, and other Chinese sprinters, are enhancing their performances with (still undetectable) drugs. The Chinese were never a factor (none had even gotten to the Olympic quarterfinals) in sprinting until a few years ago, and suddenly they’re showing up in big races and occasionally doing decently in the semis and occasionally the finals, especially in the relays.

            As for LeMaitre, if you had measured only acceleration speed between 40 and 100 meters among all the best sprinters a few years back he may have actually been the fastest human in the world (apart possibly from Usain Bolt). The reason he didn’t win a lot at the elite level was that he is also possibly the worst starter of all time. He’s just awful — probably because he doesn’t have the muscle bulk that the best male sprinters do. For sheer entertainment, look him up on YouTube and watch him race against the world’s best, and see him make up deficits of up to five meters between the 40-meter mark and the finish line. Because he doesn’t seem able to start accelerating until late in a race he is, unsurprisingly, better in the 200 meter event than the 100 (he medaled in the 200 in the last Olympics). Also, his sprinting form is so bad that it’s comical.

            One final note: I think the great Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredricks would probably be on the 100-best list. I’m not sure if Namibia is considered a west or southern African country in terms of genetic clustering.

          • Andrew_W says

            I notice there are at least 16 Jamaican sprinters in the top 100 (I found one running under a foreign flag, their may be others), but Jamaica only has a population of 3 million people, if the population cluster you mention is 15% of the worlds population that’s a billion people, Jamaica has less than 0.3% of that population so Jamaicans must have 50 times as much natural ability as other people in that population cluster. How can this be?

            You suggest that the Chinese might be cheating with drugs, but a better case could be made that it’s the other nationalities that are in the top 100 that are doing the cheating.
            https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/all-time-mens-fastest-100m-list/

    • Mark Williams says

      And, physical prowess aside ‘Radical Centrist’, you might mention that 25% of Nobel prizes in Science have been bestowed on Jews. And there are just 14 million of them. IQ is not heritable? Unfortunately I am not Jewish but I have some insanely smart ones as friends!

  10. as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading psychometricians

    Tangential, I know, but I wouldn’t call Plomin a psychometrician. Strictly speaking, psychometricians are people who do research on the theory and methodology of psychological measurement and publish in journals like Psychometrika. They are essentially statisticians concerned with theoretical and methodological issues in psychology. Plomin doesn’t do that. In addition to theoretical psychometrics, there’s applied psychometrics that is concerned with the application of psychometric theory and methods to real-life issues. Some of Plomin’s work falls within the domain of applied psychometrics, but I don’t think anyone would characterize him as a leading psychometrician. He’s a psychologist who specializes in behavioral genetics. He’s a leading behavioral geneticist, not a leading psychometrician.

  11. Pingback: Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won – Quillette – Nicht-Linke Blogs

  12. Craken says

    “Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. But where will we find them?”
    Real scientists are set to invade the domains of the social scientists. Will the conventional tactics of the scientists suffice to conquer the guerrilla tactics of the postmodernist anarchists of the spirit?

    • Well said. Reich is making inroads although he’s ironically called a Barbarian at the Gates.

  13. listdervernunft says

    If an individual’s IQ is genetically fixed while average IQ in the population is increasing historically, this means that the ratio of high-IQ genes to low-IQ genes in the gene pool must be increasing. In other words, there are more intelligent people and/or–what is the same thing–fewer unintelligent people being born into the same population sample. Nature seems to be nurturing itself by selecting for individuals with higher quanta of intelligence. Ironically, since it is women who are the conscious agents of reproductive selection, the process is not merely confined to natural mechanism but has become non-natural or [wo]man-made. In this way, human intelligence is quite literally “artificial” intelligence already. Women are the de facto (i.e. natural) eugenicists of mankind!

      • Andrew_W says

        All the evidence I’ve seen is that, as a result of the majority of men and women forming long term relationships in recent centuries in Western Countries with the result that over 80% of men and over 80% of women manage to reproduce, coupled with higher rates of reproduction from people in lower socioeconomic classes, if anything recent reproductive patterns should be making us dumber.

    • Debbie says

      IQs have increased in the past due to the amazing decrease in extreme poverty that occured in the last several decades. Extreme malnutrition artificially depresses intelligence (as does lead exposure), but once people meet their basic caloric needs most of the time there’s no fuether increase in IQ.

      • ga gamba says

        It may also be do in part to the reduction of lead in the environment. such as the elimination of leaded petrol, lead no longer used in paint and on wallpaper, and replacement of lead pipes with PVC and copper.

        Wrote the WHO in 2002: In the USA, the removal of lead from petrol between 1976 and 1995 resulted in a 90% reduction in mean blood lead level (6). Similar effects were recorded in Western Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa (7). In a number of developing countries too, including China, El Salvador, India, Mexico and Thailand, declines in blood lead levels have followed the removal of lead from petrol (8). Nearly 50 nations have now renounced the use of lead in petrol, and more are planning such action in the next five years. Worldwide, unleaded petrol now accounts for 80% of total sales (1). This is a triumph for public health. Source: http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/80(10)768.pdf

    • Paul Ivor says

      Yes it’s called “sexual selection”… It’s entirely natural and all sexual animals do it, including men!

  14. Tom Merle says

    Cochran concludes with this question: “Assuming that this work is correct, what does it mean? What are the implications?

    It means that we have to completely rethink and rebuild the social sciences…..

    We need a different kind of social science researcher, smarter, less emotional, and more curiosity-driven. Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. But where will we find them?”

    If we do find them–and more and more researchers are standing up to the environmentalists–we have to come to terms with the implications not for the profession but for society. What are we going to do with the findings that support the reality of dysfunctional behavior, cognitive and otherwise? How are we going to challenge our live-and-let-live ethos? Any suggestions?

  15. Farris says

    Nature v. Nurture seems to have flip flopped in my lifetime. It use to be that liberals argued various traits were immutable and therefore persons at the bottom of the social spectrum could not be held responsible for their lot in life. Hence society must find ways to compensate for this unearned disadvantage. The phrase “winning the genetic lottery” was sometimes employed.
    Conservatives argued in favor of nurture. Maintaining that social break downs, dysfunctions and pathologies were the contributing factors and that no amount of recompense could help the lower class until these causes were addressed. Conservatives frequently pointed to persons who had over come tremendous burdens and through self discipline raised exceptional families as proof of nurture.
    Perhaps I am misreading the posts above but it appears those with a conservative bent are advocating Nature whereas those with a liberal tilt are arguing Nurture. I would appreciate a clarification.

    • augustine says

      Conservatives believe, traditionally, that literally anyone has, and should have, a shot at success however it may be defined. However, since nature must figure into the equation somehow, an equal shot is not assured and an equal outcome is an irrational objective.

      Modern liberalism says that this arrangement is unfair and unjust, not for anyone or everyone, but for particular demographic groups they have designated as victims of other demographic groups. From this premise they have derived extensive political and cultural power.

      From another angle, it may be argued that liberalism, at bottom, seeks to maximize individual autonomy at the expense of any other existential precept. Mark Richardson has written at length about this idea on Oz Conservative:

      http://ozconservative.blogspot.com

      Conservatives, meanwhile, recognize that individual and group allegiances work together in concert and that the struggle to keep either pole from dominating the other is ineluctable. Liberal universalism is rejected as a remedy for this “natural” state of affairs. To the extent the conservative view is the more natural view, liberalism seeks by rebellion and revolution to thwart or destroy it.

    • Roy Coleman says

      “it appears those with a conservative bent are advocating Nature whereas those with a liberal tilt are arguing Nurture” That’s to be expected. It follows from our evolutionary sexual politics – hunter>killer>capitalist vs gatherer>nurturer>socialist. The Soviet Union mass-produced badly made shoes while in the US Zappa sang ‘Can’t afford no shoes’. Jordon Peterson has warned of the ultimate manifestations: ‘tyrannical’ Father figures on the right and ‘tyrannical’ Mothers on the left. The moderates in the political spectrum need to reclaim power in the face of these threats from both sides.

    • Nick Ender says

      Farris

      The best part about that is conservatives were racist back then for believing it was “up to them” and there racist today for believing the exact opposite. It’s almost as if the word “racist” is pronounced “con-ser-vat-tiv”…

      Any way, to your point. I’ve noticed an interesting trend where people like me, who were once left, or grew up left, have started to define themselves as conservatives. I think some of this has to do with the left moving so far left, anyone to the right of Che Guevara (the cool T-shirt Che, not the guy who wanted to eradicate homosexuality and black people) is an alt-right crypto fascist.

      I personally never defined myself as conservative. More libertarian than anything. But I’m called a conservative so often it just seemed easier to adopt the label. Especially when I see other people I admire and believe getting pushed into the same box.

      Sorta like: “You want to slap a label on me and make me ashamed? Fine. But all wear it with pride just to piss you off.”

      I’m conservative now because it’s punk.

  16. Abelard Lindsey says

    We need a different kind of social science researcher, smarter, less emotional, and more curiosity-driven. Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. But where will we find them?

    Probably the Chinese. They are not as “squeamish” about this stuff as your typical correcting-thinking liberal Westerner.

  17. Andrew_W says

    You can’t have an intelligent discussion on the nature vs nurture debate without mentioning the Flynn Effect.

    If you take two genetically identical zygotes, implant one in a middle class American woman in 1900 AD, the other in a middle class American woman in 2000 AD, the two humans that develop will have a difference in unscaled IQ of about 30 points.

    • Andrew_W in the same 100 year period men in the west had average height increase of about 12cm. Kids in western countries 100 years ago typically experienced a lot of nutritional deprivation. That has a big impact on intelligence.

  18. cthulhu says

    Will have to pick this up. On a similar topic, I just finished rereading Pinker’s masterpiece The Blank Slate, and it holds up very well. Anybody who hasn’t read it should remedy the situation immediately.

  19. “The subject is about genetically determined human behavior”

    The claim is either “B iff G” (behavior B is possible if and only if a specific genotype G is instantiated) or “if G, then necessarily B” (genotype G is a sufficient cause for behavior B). Both claims are false; genes are neither a sufficient nor necessary cause for any behavior.

    And to touch on IQ: IQ is a mental ability because to take an IQ test means to think. Thinking is related closely to beliefs and desires. Since beliefs and desires are irreducible to brain states, then so is thinking and, by proxy, IQ

    • Surely the claim is no more than that, “if G, then the probability of B changes”.

      Beliefs and desires and thinking and IQ are clearly not reducible to observations of brain states, but all that is being claimed is that they are predictable from those observations.

      EG simplistically, this brain has no blood supply, ergo it is not supporting any thinking.

      Obviously there are (pre-scientific) ways of avoiding this conclusion, but they don’t currently seem to be as useful, and nor are they as parsimonious in accounting for the data. (What price now your immortal soul?)

  20. I’ll discuss some of the article later. But for now, the title: “Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won”

    Why must this false dichotomy of “nature” vs “nurture” still be pushed? Philosopher James Tabery takes care of fallacious arguments like this in his book Beyond Versus. Nature and nurture, genes and environment, interact. This shows how futile “heritability estimates” are.

    Instead of reading Plomin’s book just read David Moore’s book The Developing Genome: An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics since Moore does not push the false dichotomy of nature vs nurture.

    • Because epigenetics would also cancel out chances to train a person beyond its genes’ potential, and this thinking is still anathema to nurturists.
      I have a feeling that many of the “nurturists” will quickly proclaim “epigenetism” as another result of the altogether evil WHM’s suppression of the Currently-Trendy-Minority as a reason for their sub-par success in the pursuit of happiness.

      • There is no justification for the false dichotomy. There is no separating genes from environment. You need to read some Susan Oyama and David Moore.

        • I looked up “Susan Oyama and David Moore”. It seems you use this as a mantra throughout the web in all discussions on race/IP etc.
          So either troll or paid by whomever. Neither makes you worth any further discussions.

          • “I looked up “Susan Oyama and David Moore””

            And…..?

            “It seems you use this as a mantra throughout the web in all discussions on race/IP etc.”

            They’re two of many authors who refute the false dichotomy of nature vs nurture.

            “So either troll or paid by whomever. Neither makes you worth any further discussions”

            Anyone who disagrees with you ie a troll or paid?

            Maybe point out where the flaws in their reasoning are, if there are any.

            (Nevermind the fact that there can’t be “genetics of intelligence”.)

    • Nick Ender says

      You can go further than that. Nature vs nurture is silly because all nurture is is nature interacting with itself. Nurture is just genetic material interacting with other genetic material. Any theory that doesn’t conform to that is religious by definition. If that statement isn’t true then ether god exists (bad news for me) or we’ve overlooked some massive biological phenomena that controls behavior.

      • Jack B Nimble says

        @Nick Ender

        “………..all nurture is is nature interacting with itself. Nurture is just genetic material interacting with other genetic material. Any theory that doesn’t conform to that is religious….”

        WTF?? You aren’t serious, are you? Nurture of young humans can involve interaction with foreign DNA [maternal-fetal phenotypic incompatibility, Zika virus, measles virus, etc.] but also interaction with abiotic factors [fetal alcohol syndrome, drugs like Thalidomide, pre- or post-natal exposure to lead or endocrine disruptors, etc.]. These and other abiotic factors lack a direct genetic influence on development [can still have gene X environment interaction, of course].

        Your claim, like that of Cochran [“,,,,,to the extent that your personality is not set by your genes, it’s apparently influenced by poorly-understood random factors, rather than your upbringing or social circumstances..,,.’] is metaphysical nonsense masquerading as science.

      • ” all nurture is is nature interacting with itself. Nurture is just genetic material interacting with other genetic material”

        Doesn’t make sense. There is a clear distinction between genes and environment. Organisms exist in an environment (ecosystem, biome) and the organisms (a suite of expressed genes etc) interacts with the physical environment.

        “we’ve overlooked some massive biological phenomena that controls behavior.”

        Read into developmental systems theory.

  21. Some Science Dude says

    “These questions were originally investigated using natural experiments, some ubiquitous, others fairly uncommon. Biological children are 50 percent related to their parents, full sibs are also (on average) 50 percent related. Identical twins share all the same genes (except for somatic mutations), while adopted children are unrelated to their adoptive parents. All these natural experiments show that nature is important, nurture not so much (in fact, very little).”

    What exactly is meant by “related” here? What study? What experiments? I know this was just a review, but this is missing some key components.

    It’s kind of amusing that this review bashes social science as not being scientific. But the arguments presented here do not seem to be objective or possessing much scientific rigor either. Just because an argument has the word “genetic” in it, it doesn’t mean it’s a good argument.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      “What exactly is meant by “related” here? What study? What experiments? I know this was just a review, but this is missing some key components.”

      Related means sharing chromosomes, which they mistake for sharing genes. That’s what happens when one uses early 20th century paradigms. When they catch up with contemporary genetics, they’ll understand that siblings and parents, or any human beings are all much more than 50% genetically similar in terms of base pairs of DNA and that all the numerology based on the ridiculous assumption that some humans are only 50% genetically similar to each other might explain the “missing heritability” crisis is still unsolved despite the grandiose claims to the contrary.

      • that's what she said. says

        in fact research done by professors steve shoe and james lee have put to bed the missing heritability. it’s missing because it never existed. sad!

        i am an actual BGI volunteer but afro believes his IQ is higher than mine and mine is only in the 90th percentile.

        afro is sad.

          • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

            I should not have said that. Now I have to go slam my hand in a drawer. That will be exciting…

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ says

        WAIT! That should have been…. Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ It’s trademarked now. You lot can’t mess with it now. If you do … THE LAW! THE LAW ON YOU!

  22. UNSAFESPACE says

    Well I guess we will have to read it first. But I can see a pinch (or truck load) of salt up ahead.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ says

      I have said this before: Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺™️ does not read.

  23. While it is true that the median child will respond to parental input from the median parent in a way that can’t be separated from their biological inheritance the idea that parental investment is close to meaningless needs to die.
    The first reason is that it obviously encourages fatalism which translates into “I’m sending my kid to the nearest school and I don’t care what nonsense they learn”. This means that Afrosapiens is your child’s source of knowledge about the world. Even heavily religious teachers place their SJW beliefs above all else.
    The second reason is that individual outcomes are based on your personal range of biological gifts. Tiger Woods did not become a spectacular golf player by chance. That was clearly a mixture of Tiger’s physical and mental gifts and heavy parental investment. Denying this reality (even if it mostly outliers) makes the field look weird to people who don’t read or understand the research.

      • ian smith says

        elsewhere afro has claimed:

        1. to be a hatian orphan adopted by french aristocrats.

        2. to have attended france’s top schools.

        3. to have slept with an average of 10 different women per year from the age of 15.

        until afro tells us who he really is he should be ignored as a ridiculous person.

        • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

          I am not a ridiculous person.

          I am a Wenus. (Some people spell it “Weenus”.) That is a person from Wales. My name is Rufustus Morganselywynyn. I grow and breed prize leaks, hence all my knowledge about genes, genetics, genomics, heritability and heuristics, science, social science, antisocial science and the effects of beating and starving on dogs.

          I attended the top French school in Kiev. I own several Hatian orphans what were given me by French aristocrats to beat and starve because they felt what I was doing to dogs was cruel. I have slept with an average of 10 women per year from the age of 15. I have not had actual relations with any of them, but we all slept very well.

          I can prove all this. Go to http://www.iamaridiculousperson.com and enter my name exactly as it is spelled above. You will not get any search results. Also, I worked with the group Monty Python, and you can see me in the skit “The Importance of Not Being Seen”. I am the actor playing the part of the character who is not seen.

          By they way, a warning:

          some actual ridiculous person has been running round pretending to be me. It is outrageous. I’ve contacted the moderators, but they said something flip and told me to go pound sand up my bum.

          They said if I don’t want people taking the piss out of me and appropriating my handle to write twaddle, maybe I shouldn’t be such an almighty pr*ck and treat other people with respect.

          Hence, I am coming out! now you all know my qualifications, and you must now stop taking the piss. I have every right to treat others with respect. I meant disrespect. Words are confusing.

          I am not a ridiculous person!

  24. listdervernunft says

    Has the opposition between nature and nurture been undermined?

    Beyond Versus: The Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology): https://amzn.to/2IkfkTM

    Genetics and Philosophy: An Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology): https://amzn.to/2xPZFqL

  25. “And to the extent that your personality is not set by your genes, it’s apparently influenced by poorly-understood random factors, rather than your upbringing or social circumstances.”

    I’m coming rather late to this party, but I would just point out that Plomin’s research, and the bulk of similar studies, do not show that environment is irrelevant, or that ‘random factors’ account for the bulk of non-genetic influence. They show that the influence of shared environment on siblings is small or nonexistent once genetic factors are controlled for. This does not rule out the influence of the wider culture or of deliberate life choices in shaping personality. (Of course, free will is hard to define in scientific terms or to separate empirically from random chance, but the article’s phrasing seems a little fatalistic for my taste.)

    Also, while this is a thankfully rare occurrence in developed nations, it is worth remembering that severe childhood neglect, abuse, malnutrition or chronic disease have rather well-documented adverse effects on intellectual and personality development. That’s not a trivial factor, globally speaking.

  26. Kevin Vail says

    Uh. OK.
    Even if it were true, we’d have to deny it. You can’t organize a society around the idea that people are born a certain way and never change.
    Personal responsibility – zip
    Personal growth – zip
    Mental health care – zip
    Religion – zip

    I guess you could do it if we were willing to enact complete control over human reproduction so we could design everyone’s birth according to genetics. I’m not sure I’d want to live there, in fact I’m certain I wouldn’t

    • @Kevin Gattacca explored that world. Pretty hard choice as an empathic parent to chose to have a child you know won’t have a chance of success into the world. What happens when others start doing it – to give your kids a chance you will have to follow suit.

      With the high heritablity of intelligence we could lift average IQ of our population by about one standard deviation (15 pts) by all women only using sperm from top 0.01% of men. Same additional gains if we only used eggs from top 0.01% of women. Super rich families already maintain something like 15pt IQ advantage above average through their kids having choice of most successful mates. There is some reporting a few years back that China was starting programs to work on genetic enhancement of childrens IQs. Do you want your grandkids to end up cleaning toilets for their grandkids?

      The only hope for improving outcomes for next generation of any low-attainment group or family is genetic intervention before conception. Unless we can figure out drugs or gene therapies to duplicate the effect of smarter/more conscientious genes. Maybe that will be the great good to come out of these lines of research – being able to figure out how to adjust brain chemistry or growth in everyone to a more optimal result.

    • @Kevin Vail
      I’m pretty sure we’ve already been down this road about 100 years ago in the “progressive era” but it was called he science of “eugenics” and there was a lot of talk about eliminating all kinds of undesirables. Humanistically, of coarse, they weren’t barbarians after all. No, instead, their grand scheme was just to sterilize the inferior persons so that no future generations would pollute the society. I’m fairly certain this was the idea behind Planned Parenthood.
      Margaret Sanger once wrote that “consequences of breeding from stock lacking human vitality always will give us social problems and perpetuate institutions of charity and crime.”

      Of course if she were alive today she would have the EXACT same views but she would have to voice them as being for “women’s right to choose”. (I really am pro-choice but the pro-abortion activists are fanatical and get on my last nerve). Anyway, it looks like Sanger got her wish as far as the American black population goes. Black women have the highest abortion rate at 27.1 per 1000, than any other demographic group. (Again, I’m not making a judgement call on AA women, my focus is on the changing justifications for targeting abortions to this specific demographic group. The “advocacy” justification has changed from “eliminating the unfit populations from the wider society to women’s right to choose”). But I digress.

  27. Pingback: The End of Social Science as We Know It | Burned-Over District Perennialist

  28. Both of those books are outstanding. Definitely refutes the false dichotomy of genes and environment, nature and nurture. Too bad, it seems, that no one in this comment thread has responded them.

  29. chowderhead says

    You smart people sure argue about some stupid shit. It’s a book review, for fuck’s sake. Sounds like a good read for someone interested in the subject. If you’re not, then shut the fuck up.

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      I am not a smart person! Ha! Your move…..

      And I argue on here because I am lonely. I live in Wales (see my post above), and I hardly ever see people except for the 10 women I sleep with but don’t … you know … DO things to. We snuggle.

      But I get lonely, so I antagonize people trying to have a casual discussion about a book. Balmy? Yes. But if I went out and volunteered with the homeless instead, I would have to touch homeless people. That’s clearly out of the question.

      No Better to be at home ridiculing nerds. That’s how you change the world. You go on internet massage boards and tell people to stop thinking what they are thinking. It always works.

  30. D.B. Cooper says

    An insightful question, to be sure.

    A la the overton window, contemporary conservatism is the bastard child of the liberalism of your formative years. Today’s Christian Right is more or less the conservatism of yesteryear and modern day liberalism (progressives) is… well… I’m not entirely sure what its corollary would be. Maybe stupidity???

    • @D.B. Cooper
      The corollary of modern day progressives would be the Bolsheviks or the followers of Robespierre in the French Revolution. Luckily for us, they can’t dump us in the Gulag or line us up to be shot nor do they have access to a guillotine. (Right? At least I hope they don’t)

      • D.B. Cooper says

        @KDM

        Well, this is strange. My post was actually a reply to a comment by @Farris. I’m at a lost as to why it didn’t attach to that thread. In any event, I appreciate you closing the loop for me. Nicely done!

      • It’s coming.

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/11/soviet-labour-camps-compassionate-educational-institutions-say/

        History always repeats itself. You’ve seen the normalization of anti-West/anti-conservative/anti-white racism in academia and the MSM. It’s mirroring the early stages of what Germany did to the Jews – ideological purity to leftist values, economic harassment of out groups and violence.

        It’s a very attractive option to just eliminate one’s opponents. The amount of violent hate from the left is very palpable. It’s one of the main reasons why retaining the 2nd Amendment is so important. The majority of the Jews, Armenians, and countless other ethnically cleansed/genocided groups were all either unarmed or disarmed.

  31. I’ve recently published a paper explaining why the behavioral genetic version of heritability is useless and what a truly principled concept of heritability looks like. Nothing of this is new (hi RaceRealist!), but apparently many more people need to hear this:

    https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/h4sjy/

  32. that's what she said. says

    behavior genetics is a pseudoscience. none of its “experts” even understand what heritability means.

    heritability is the square of the coefficient of G in a local planar approximation to the P(G,E) surface. there is no reason to believe this surface is planar.

    cochran goes on and on about the breeder’s equation yet doesn’t understand it. he assumes without knowing it that the P(G,E) surface is linear.

    We can
    think of this as a plane that is tangent to the landscape at
    the point corresponding to the population mean. These
    models also replace the actual distribution of variation
    within the population with a multivariate normal distribu-
    tion. So long as the landscape is locally smooth, then for a
    very small region it will be well approximated by an un-
    curved plane. If, in addition, the joint distribution of parent
    and offspring phenotypes is close to multivariate normal,
    then G-matrix models provide a good approximation of
    short term evolution.
    Figure 1 also illustrates why G-matrix models are of
    little value for the study of long term evolution. As the
    population moves over the landscape, the slope and local
    geometry changes (i.e., the genetic architecture changes) in
    ways that could not be predicted from the initial linear
    approximation.

    Sincerely,
    BGI Cognitive Genomics Lab
    Building No.11│Beishan Industrial Zone│Yantian District│Shenzhen 518083│China  
    认知基因组学 │ http://www.cog-genomics.org │contact@cog-genomics.org 
    ST-RM, BGI

  33. jorge videla (BGI volunteer) says

    despite claims to the contrary steve shoe’s and james lee’s work is definitive. both found an h^2 of ca 10% in a combination of brits and americans. so the environmental variation was not large. lee also found that when stratification was accounted for effect sizes fell by 40%. educational attainment is much less heritable than IQ in most samples but 10% is still a very small part of what twin studies and GCTA have predicted. james lee says his figure is as good as it gets. steve shoe thinks he can still increase it.

    plomin et al can study twins and do GCTA tell the cows come home. it’s all vanity. the only definitive study is genomic prediction on a random global sample. the prediction might be for local rank however rather than global rank. this will give an h^2 of 0.

    psychological traits are like the physical conditions obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. “genetic predisposition” exists only within a given range of environments. nature vs nurture is a false dichotomy precisely because the P(G,E) surface is not planar.

    the deep reason why the pseudoscience of psychology persists is a marxist one. psychology departments allow people who aren’t very bright to earn college degrees and the psychology of individual differences is used to justify inequality and misery whether those differences are “genetic” or not. that is, the locus of pathology is found in the individual rather than in his society. this is what marx termed “ideology”.

    • party, fiesta...ALL NIGHT LONG says

      TILL the cows come home you retard.

  34. Pingback: "Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won - Quillette"

  35. Lhoyer says

    I am so happy I was not born black. Having to constantly attempt to refute the obvious has got to be exhausting.
    50,000 years of very little cultural development, combined with the complete dysfunction of all black male led societies worldwide, and the fact that it is in only in white-dominated countries where a black middle class can exist, is extremely hard to bury under the typical leftist sophistry.

    The excuses are always petty; sometimes it’s some form of discrimination, which usually have little to do with cognitive development, like segregation, as if the neighbor being white and not black makes little Daquan incapable of doing his times tables. Other times it’s a tortured,twisted attempt at invalidating the concept, of course, this always ignores the fact that I.Q. has an extreme amount of predictive power, that it correlates with a great many other variables having to do with achievement and wealth, and that if I.Q. was in fact a valid concept, then the world……would look pretty much exactly as it looks now, especially in regards to the dysfunction of black populations throughout the world. Black intellectual underperformance is so obvious, it’s amazing the lengths people will go to to get around it; bad analogies about beating dogs, idiotic assertions that data isn’t accurate, just because it can’t predict outcomes at the individual level, where the number of relevant variables are too extreme. Let’s just ignore that on a macro level, I.Q. matches up completely with the virtually every black population on this planet.

  36. Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

    “I am so happy I was not born black. Having to constantly attempt to refute the obvious has got to be exhausting.
    50,000 years of very little cultural development, combined with the complete dysfunction of all black male led societies worldwide, and the fact that it is in only in white-dominated countries where a black middle class can exist, is extremely hard to bury under the typical leftist sophistry”

    Don’t worry about me I’m fine, Europe’s 49,000 years of very little cultural development are no less unimpressive, and this added to the imminent decline of European populations worldwide is what I’d call actual dysfunction. Now if I can educate you a little, Sub-Saharan Africa has a middle class of above 100 million people and is the fastest-growing in the world.

    “The excuses are always petty…”

    It all comes down to your inability to understand complex concepts, so you have to rely on idiotic just-so stories that flatter your ego. See you in 20 years to discuss Plomin’s zillionth book on how an imminent genetic revolution will finally, after more than 100 years of null advancement, prove for once and for all that the whole IQ mythology had been right from the start.

    • ian smith says

      elsewhere afro has said:

      1. while racial differences are not genetic, individual differences are, and that he is genetically superior.

      2. he is a male model and champion swimmer and married to a rich jewish woman with whom he goes horse riding on the beach.

      3. blacks are genetically superior because they have less “genetic load”.

      4. wearing shirts with huge polo ponies and baseball caps is cool.

      5. all 200 million people of what was french africa should move to france.

      • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

        AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH! MON DIEU!

        I spend all my time on internet boards of massage
        I write enough to this thread alone to fill a book
        DOES IT LOOK LIKE I HAVE A LIFE?? WITH THE POLO HATS??
        DO YOU THINK I’D BE HERE SAYING WHATEVER MANURE IF I HAD THE RICH WIFE AND HORSES TO MAKE THE FRENCH LOVE WITH??!
        YOur lies are just the lies. In my pants.
        You lie, because I am in a wheelchair. I’ve haven’t had sex with 10 women. My verge do not work. It’s like the cocked noodle…

        Ha! The jokes on you, nerd. You have no life either. You are on my internet board tood

        And when I have drunk my vin and I wake up tomorrow, and I say, “non of that is true”, and you can know that I am lying. It is all true. And when I say it is not true, it is more true. IN VINO VERITASTEM!

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says

      “prove for once and for all that the whole IQ mythology had been right from the start”

      Sorry that should have been “prove once and for all” not “prove for once and for all…”

      “Prove for once and for all” would be ridiculous. And I am not a ridiculous person. Time for a glass (or two!) of the finest French wine ….

  37. it’s 100% obvious that claire wants me inside her.

    greg wants me inside him too.

  38. GREG AND PLOMIN WOULD BE SAD...EXCEPT THEY'RE EVIL.... says

    1. GREG DELETES ALL COMMENTS WHICH CHALLENGE HIS WORLDVIEW.

    2. GREG IS THE NORM. (OF HIS TYPE)

    3. HBDers HAVE ZERO INTEREST IN THE TRUTH.

    other research projects within BGI – and we are entirely reliant upon the generosity of our benefactors. Despite this, we are not pessimistic about the ultimate sequencing outcome of our samples, or the completion of our core object…

    incerely,
    BGI Cognitive Genomics Lab
    Building No.11│Beishan Industrial Zone│Yantian District│Shenzhen 518083│China  
    认知基因组学 │ http://www.cog-genomics.org │contact@cog-genomics.org 
    ST-RM, BGI

  39. that's what she said. says

    I FEEL SORRY FOR GREG AND PLOMIN…

    BUT ONLY TO A POINT…

    I’VE TRIED TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM MANY TIMES…

    BUT THEY’E ALWAYS IGNORED OR ABUSED…

    THUS I MUST CONCLUDE THEY ARE EITHER RETARDED OR FAKES.

    PROBABLY BOTH.

  40. hendrik verwoerd says

    why do they hate it?

    BECAUSE IT DESTROYS THEIR WORLDVIEW IN 2 MINUTES AND 24 SECONDS.

    EXACTLY.

  41. greg wants me to give him AIDS. says

    why does secretariat’s belmont make a fool of greg and plomin?

    1. race horses are bred for speed by rich people.

    2. number of horse generations between secretariat and 2018 is at least 15.

    3….

    secretiat still has the fastest times in all three tripe crown races. derby, preakness, belmont.

    and his time in the belmont is so freakish that the next best is still 15 lengths behind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfCMtaNiMDM

      • john holmes vs john daly vs blackzilla. who wins? mugabe always wins. says

        greg is a professor…respect!

        anyway, afro is being extremely selfish and uncharitble by not giving me his liver.

  42. two eyes are better than four. sad! says

    greg in a YUGE example of dysgenics.

  43. Craig Goglan says

    God, this comment section got weird at the end.

    On to the review, I always believed this to be the case by interacting with liberals/left-wingers and conservatives/right-wingers. The latter are on average rather dumb and dysfunctional in many ways while the latter tend to be much more educated, smarter, sociable. It was often that way even when their environment differed so I saw the power of the genes first-hand.

    But the implications of all this are certainly weird and will make us feel uncomfortable. Should eugenics for conservatives/right-wingers be advocated for example? Maybe to better our societies but it seems a bit unethical anyway.

  44. Shit-flinging aside: whenever we have a common sense intuition and the latest science seems to show that “common sense is totally wrong,” it usually turns out that common sense intuition is vindicated when the science is eventually overturned.

    Since common sense (grandma wisdom) says good parenting matters, i’m inclined to believe that it matters some non-zero amount — in spite of all the twin studies purporting to prove the opposite.

    Nurture just doesn’t matter as much as 20th century behaviorists thought.

    Thanks to mr. Cochran for a thought provoking read.

    • kurt franz says

      claire should invite me to post an article explaining how greg is wrong about everything.

      unlike greg i am in the BGI study.

  45. Pingback: Natura e ambiente: la natura vince [EN] – hookii

  46. hi tler did nothing wrong says

    lehman and unz?

    what’s the similarity?

    idk.

    i have autism like greg.

  47. greg's wife wants me inside her. GREG IS A CRYPTO-JEW. says

    greg’s wife must be unbelievably hideous.

    his children must be UGLY and FOUR EYED too.

    greg is an autistic four eyed tool of the jews and he’s PROUD of it!

    he preaches his worship of jewish cock from the roof tops.

    SAD!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQpInuRECoY

  48. i want me inside me. says

    cockring is, like most scotsmen, is 100% PURE SHIT who should’ve been shoahed by the english a long time ago.

    he worships jewish cock so much he doesn’t realize that he and his children will be shoahed when the revolution comes like the english should’ve done a long time ago.

    UNTIL THE WORLD COMES TO GRIPS WITH HITLER AND STALIN AND STOPS BEING GREG PUSSIES…

    DOOM!

    GREG IS Bertha Antoinetta Mason

    BUT HE THINKS HE’S JANE!

    PATHETIC!

  49. Pingback: Open Thread, 9/30/2018 – Gene Expression

  50. True and Original says

    There is not a hard line between correlation and causation. You think your finger moves because of electrical impulses from your brain acting chemically on the finger muscles that move the tendons and the bones. But how do you know that’s a “cause” instead of a “correlation”? Sometimes the finger doesn’t move when so instructed owing to joint stiffness or other variables. So all you can say is that you have observed many correlations between a certain electrical activity in the brain and the finger moving. These correlations led you to believe that you can predict with a high level of confidence (which you call “certainty”) that the finger often will move if not always. Your degree of “certainty” can be quantified. It can’t be 100%, but perhaps it can be 90%.

    So, in summary, you can point to the physiological structures involved, you can point to many instances of the finger moving, and you can express as a percentage the likelihood of the finger moving again.

    Now drill down to each detail of the physiological process, down to the smallest detectable flicker of electro-chemical impulse and twitch of muscle. For each detail, you can say no more than before: “I see the flicker / the twitch, I see many instances of the finger moving, and I can make a <100℅ prediction."

    So where in all this is "causation" in contradistinction to correlation? There is no real distinction. "Causation" is simply many correlations. Cf. the old social-sciences adage "anecdotes in large enough numbers are data."

    In epistemology, this is known as causation by enumeration. I would add that the predictive power can be increased to something approaching 100% by drilling down to details of the correlation(s). Drilling down in this way is what geneticists and psychometricians are doing with increasing success (greater specificity of the physiology and higher predictability of its effects). Any biologists and the geneticists and psychometricians Plomin summarizes are all engaged in the same endeavor, the name of which is science.

  51. Honesty Is Rare says

    @fraziertark, disqualifying people with 130+ IQ’s from public office would do little to nothing to curb the kind of insanity we’re seeing, and it may be counterproductive.

    For starters, such IQ’s are rare among politicians. More importantly, it’s the middle-high IQ’s you need to worry about.

    The average self-identified liberal has an IQ about 10 points higher than the average self-identified conservatives, whose IQ’s are split.* This is enough to engender a sense of self-assured superiority and smug confidence in virtually any anti-conservative or “progressive” idea.

    Meanwhile, their academic idols in the social sciences are mostly in the 120-135 ballpark to be generous: They’re smart enough to imagine and rationalize any number of crazy ideas which fit their sensibilities, but not enough to properly evaluate the logical conclusion or internal consistency of a set of ideas or laws, especially in the full context of a complex society with many moving parts.

    In other words, the problem is not giving too much credence to out-of-touch geniuses. The problem is giving too much credence to people just smart enough to be dangerous, but not smart enough to think twice about it.

    *Social conservatives (as measured by opposition to gay marriage, etc., not necessarily by opposition to labeling hundreds of genders) have lower average IQ’s, whereas fiscal/anti-regulatory conservatives have higher average IQ’s, above those of the self-identified liberals. (Libertarians also have a higher average than liberals, and IIRC become disproportionately overrepresented at the 145+ high end.)

  52. Honesty Is Rare says

    tl;dr version, which Joe alluded to:
    Our problem is with academics smart enough to reason away from common sense, but not smart enough to reason their way back.

  53. Eugenics Watch says

    “Assuming that this work is correct, what does it mean? What are the implications? It means that we have to completely rethink and rebuild the social sciences…..

    IQ is predicts the largest % variance of career and academic success in societies which rest upon and produce science and technology. But what is IQ?
    The claim that’s has been made among most sociologists is that there is no biological explanation for clearly observable racial differences in wealth and success, that is to say – what IQ measures, whatever that may be, is not biologically based. Since the end of World War II and the fall of the Nazis and their eugenic program there have been three attempts made by the members of the British and American eugenics societies to “conquer” the social sciences with modern genetics – to show that traits are the consequence of genes to show thatIQ and other measured traits studied by the social sciences are heritable because they rest upon genes in a measurable, demonstrable way. The implication is that social outcomes are the consequences of genetics; most probably, even, that race exists and mainly through IQ determines the social outcomes we see about us. Plomin, a member of the American eugenics society has produced “scientific” evidence in each of these campaigns. Jeremy Freese, also a eugenics society member, has described the three campaigns. Act 1 used “statistical models of data on twins, adoptees, and other familial relationships. The fundamental empirical product was a heritability estimate.” Act II began when the Human Genome Project began to produce “molecular data on genetic differences”. It is characterized as the “candidate gene” approach and it is accepted that its data proved not to be replicable. “The overwhelming majority of published ‘‘discoveries’’ from this era are nowadays recognized as having mistaken noise for signal.” Act III is current era, It began when “Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) became possible, involving assays of hundreds of thousands or a million or more SNPs per person … To maximize sample size, researchers combined many different samples into consortia. … the methods started being applied more broadly, [outside of medicine] including to the study of educational attainment.” In short, Act III or the use of GWAS in connection with social science surveys is about ten years old. It has produced the “polygenic risk score” which corresponds to the heritability estimate in function, in its use as the weapon of choice with which to invade and conquer the social sciences. The shortcomings of the methods of Act III have not yet been evaluated because it is so new and because outside the social genomics school, few if any have the training to evaluate the surveys and the genetic technique being applied. There is at least one social scientist, Catherine Bliss, who is studying social genomics and has published a book Social By Nature and she regards the field as presenting dangers.

    The article I have been quoting The Arrival of Social Science Genomics by Jeremy Freese is an attack on the book Social by Nature by Catherine Bliss so that by reading these two you advance your knowledge of both sides of the debate. My own conclusions are based on a study of eugenics. I know this – this is one of the latest forms of eugenics. For this reason alone the conclusions should never be applied to policy till outsiders develop the skills to evaluate this new field which is filled with eugenic society members and which at its very beginning is making the same ugly, beastly racial statements which the eugenicists have been making since the time of Francis Galton and his later acolytes, the Nazis.

    When trained scientists respond to the field, what might they say? First, these “genome-wide” assays are not actually genome-wide. A million SNPs, the highest number so far, is not a lot when the genome has 3 billion SNPs. Second, genes work in networks so the SNPs left out of “genome-wide” assays must have an influence on all “downstream” SNPs. Hence no conclusions can be reached about any individual or even about what is going on within a group. Third, Plomin has published books showing that each of the methods used in the “three acts” since World War II works and each time he has shown that science clearly demonstrates that blacks have a genetically based IQ inferiority which explains their position within society. Act 1 Development, genetics, and psychology 1985. Act II Plomin, Robert (2004) “Genetics and Developmental Psychology,” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 50 : Iss. 3 , Article 11. Act III the book now being reviewed. Plomin allied himself in long ago battles of the Eighties and Nineties with the “scientific racists”. I find the way Plomin places varying techniques in the service of the one aim, scientific racism or if you will “race realism” … curious … but not convincing.

  54. kurt franz is sexy man. says

    dear God!

    cockring and his commenters ALL have low IQs compared to afro, who has a very low african IQ.

    sad!

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