consanguinity and democracy

steve sailer posted about this paper the other day — from the amazingly awesome michael woodley and his partner in crimethink edward bell:

Consanguinity as a Major Predictor of Levels of Democracy: A Study of 70 Nations

oh, how such a study just warms hbd chick’s cold, little heart! (~_^)

using the good, ol’ consang.net data on cousin marriage rates (which are great but have a lot of problems — i’ll get into that in another post) and data on democracy from polity iv and the eiu democracy index, woodley and bell found pretty strong negative correlations between first-/second-cousin marriage rates in societies and how democratic those societies are: –0.632 between consanguinity and the polity iv data, and –0.771 with the eiu data. (as steve points out, a -0.6 correlation in the social sciences is something to make you stop and go hmmmm, never mind a -0.77 correlation.)

in other words, the more cousin marriage in a society, the less democracy.

woodley and bell also looked at a lot of other neat stuff like economic freedom+consanguinity+democracy and percent muslim+consanguinity+democracy and pathogen index+consanguinity+democracy (i like that one!), but i’ll get to those in another post. (in fact, the rest of this week is probably going to be devoted to the woodley and bell paper here on hbd chick, so if you’re sick to death of hearing about inbreeding and democracy, don’t say you haven’t been warned!)

woodley and bell say:

“Consanguinity … appears to severely restrict the political and social fluidity characteristic of democratic systems, as individual allegiances are primarily to kinship groupings where sophisticated group-level free-rider detection and social identity mechanisms serve to discourage expressions of self-interest that do not maximize collective utility (MacDonald, 2001, 2002). This process of collective utility maximization is consistent with the notion of inclusive fitness in which individuals exhibit altruistic behaviors toward those with whom they share genes, thus indirectly increasing their fitness (Hamilton, 1964; Rushton, 1989, 2005; Trivers, 1971).”

they also say:

“A further shortcoming of the study is its cross-sectional nature; a panel study using data gathered at regular intervals would be ideal for testing the hypotheses and models presented in this study.”

yes. i’ve been thinking that there are at least two things going on with regard to inbreeding and man’s innate social aptitudes (and their expressions like democracy or no democracy):

1) genetic similarity. so, as woodley and bell said, “individuals exhibit altruistic behaviors toward those with whom they share genes.” thus, in highly inbred societies, individuals favor their own extended family members at the expense of their neighbors and unrelated members of their society simply because they are much more genetically related to their [edit] extended family members than individuals in outbred societies are to theirs. this is a very direct effect — change the relatedness, change the behavior patterns. and, so, liberal democracy will simply never work in inbred societies — or not work very well anyway — because you get clannishness.

2) the evolution of “genes for altruism” over the longer term. i think that, in addition to genetic similarity, we’re also looking at populations with different types and/or frequencies of “genes for altruism” due to their long-term mating patterns. i think it could’ve made a difference that northwest europeans have been outbreeding a lot since the early medieval period while arabs having been inbreeding a lot since … well, i’m not sure … probably since at least whenever some jewish tribes from the levant migrated into the arab peninsula. this is a long-term effect — change the relatedness over the long-term, and you might change at least the frequencies of “genes for altruism” in the population. you’d think the selection pressures for different sorts of altruism genes would change, too, if you went from an outbred to inbred society (bushmen vs. yanomamo, for example) or vice versa. in other words, you’d think different altruism genes might be selected for in different types of societies.

this is one of the reasons that i say there are problems with the consang.net data, i.e. that they lack time-depth or, as woodley and bell said, they offer only a cross-sectional look at consanguinity.

for instance, the consang.net data for china averages to a rate of 5% (per woodley and bell), but all of the data for china come from the twentieth century. however, the chinese have been seriously marrying their cousins since at least the third century b.c. and, as far as i know, the rates only slowed down in the twentieth century (and maybe not to the extent one would think from looking at the consang.net data) — and after that, they kept on marrying very locally (endogamously) until very, very recently.

i think woodley and bell would find much higher correlations between consanguinity and democracy if they had long-term consanguinity data. (what will probably need to be used is some sort of genetic data.)
_____

the woodley and bell paper [pdf].

the classics: Veil of Fears by stanley kurtz; Consanguinity prevents Middle Eastern political development by parapundit; and Cousin Marriage Conundrum by steve sailer.

previously: democracy and endogamous mating practices and the corporate nature of european societies and liberal democracy and “hard-won democracy” and consanguinity + corruption = correlation

(note: comments do not require an email. paranoia.)

Advertisements

44 Comments

  1. “liberal democracy will simply never work in inbred societies — or not work very well anyway — because you get clannishness.”

    Suppose there were just one clan. Does the conclusion still hold?

    Reply

  2. You know I’ve been reading lots of China stuff lately, classic novels, memoirs, etc, and while there is plenty on clan exogamy — males must marry out of their paternal clan — I don’t come across much in the way of two clans in a village or county exchanging males and females, which is what cross cousin marriage would imply (wouldn’t it?). Since a typical village was usually composed of one or two clans it stands to reason this would occur, but it doesn’t come up in the literature. Wonder why?

    Reply

  3. If only correlation could prove causation. Alas, all we have is an unsurprising relationship. What you are proposing requires more than a simple relationship between consanguinity and democracy. What is needed is

    1. An operational definition of the trait in question and a way of measuring it.

    2. Evidence regarding the heritability of this trait.

    3. Measurements showing that individuals from populations of type A are higher on this trait than populations of type B (preferably with intermediate populations scoring intermediate).

    4. Evidence that these differences from #3 are substantially genetic (e.g. because they exist both within and between countries).

    5. A model explaining why or how this occurred.

    This isn’t an unreasonable demand, since points 1-5 have all been provided for ethnic differences in intelligence. The trait in question has been operationalized as g, and measured by IQ tests; heritability studies show it approaches 80% by adulthood within populations; measurements consistently find East Asians score high, then Europeans, then Middle Easterners/Amerindians/Southeast Asians, and then Africans; these hierarchies exist both within and between countries; and migratory distance from Africa and harsh, high latitude winters selected in favor of higher intelligence in migrant populations more heavily than in the original African homeland.

    I do see that you have point 5 – a model for explaining 1-4. But you’re not actually explaining anything, really, because you’re crucially missing points 1-4. I have no idea what exactly “altruism” means from a psychological standpoint, and I don’t know that you have one either. Is it Agreeableness? Type B personality? Low Machiavellianism? If it exists at all, it can be measured. Once you decide how you’d like to measure it, can you give its heritability? And show that inbred populations score low on it? And that the difference is due primarily to genes? I suspect you’ll have trouble at #3, since we should expect the Chinese to have trouble with an exogamous mating style because of their low levels of “altruism,” but they seem to be improving and modernizing while they move towards Postmaterialist cultural forms. But even forgetting this problem, you’re trying to claim heritable differences for a trait that hasn’t been measured yet. I suggest starting with point 1.

    Good luck!

    Reply

  4. “because they are much more genetically related to their family members than individuals in outbred societies are to theirs.”

    Look, ‘genetic similarity’ simply does not work. Acting altruistically (in the technical sense, something that reduces individual fitness and aides that of the other individual) in this kind of situation does not cause an increase in the frequency of an alleles that induces such behaviors. Besides, your comment implicitly assumes that people somehow _know_ just closely related family members, and of course they don’t.

    If you want, I will send you algebra and examples.

    Reply

  5. @mark – “Good luck!”

    thanks! i’m working on all of the above (and i think others are, too), so stay tuned. (~_^)

    afaik, no one’s really worked on any of this when it comes to humans, and just barely when it comes to other animals/plants, so what you’re seeing is just the beginning….

    Reply

  6. @ gcochran: “your comment implicitly assumes that people somehow _know_ just closely related family members, and of course they don’t.”

    Mmm, I think you’re missing the idea. In theory, it would be easy for genes to make a person very willing to sacrifice for people he or she knows (or highly antagonistic towards people he or she does not know). Families with such genes would have a competitive advantage over families comprised of people who generally trusted everyone equally.

    Reply

  7. I’d be interested in see Greg’s examples. It seems to me that many of these highly tribal populations do in fact associate primarily with people they are related to.

    Reply

  8. hubchik
    “i’ve been thinking that there are at least two things going on with regard to inbreeding and man’s innate social aptitudes”

    Agree, if there were behaviours that were directly proportional to relatedness then variations in relatedness would create different environments for selecting derived secondary traits.

    For example, if inbreeding did lead to very distinct and fixed preference decisions based on blood i.e. *always* brother first then cousin then national stranger then foreign stranger, then there wouldn’t be much incentive to select for agreeableness. However if outbreeding led to a society of “broader, shallower ties” then the preference decisions wouldn’t be as distinct hence making agreeableness potentially more useful.

    Or if sexual attraction (beyond the Westermarck point) was proportional to relatedness – and that was adaptive – then an outbred population might more strongly select for individual pair-bonding to compensate.

    .
    “Suppose there were just one clan. Does the conclusion still hold?”

    They’d have to be clones i think because as you increase the size of a breeding population their maximum possible relatedness has to go down because of the geometry of reproduction i.e. two parents, four grandparents etc and the limited number of children each woman can have.

    Reply

  9. If only correlation could prove causation.

    No one said it did. However the correlation is the first step.

    .
    Alas, all we have is an unsurprising relationship.

    Seeing how many people have been killed to bring democracy to the middle east over the last ten years it must certainly be surprising to some.

    .
    Anyway


    1. An operational definition of the trait in question and a way of measuring it.
    2. Evidence regarding the heritability of this trait.
    3. Measurements showing that individuals from populations of type A are higher on this trait than populations of type B (preferably with intermediate populations scoring intermediate).
    4. Evidence that these differences from #3 are substantially genetic (e.g. because they exist both within and between countries).
    5. A model explaining why or how this occurred.

    I’d say there were two obvious candidates for traits which act proportionally to relatedness.

    1. Recognition of relatedness itself i.e. the ability to distinguish closer kin.

    Two individuals may be similar at the genetic level but how can they tell and is their ability to tell related to their level of inbreeding? So for example you could test the ability of outbred Danes and Dutch to tell pictures of Dutch and Danish people apart compared with more inbred Indians and Pakistanis from either side of their border to identify each other or individuals from different Somali clans to identify Somalis from other clans. It might be the case that more inbred populations have both stronger similarities and stronger abilities to recognize similarity.

    (Also there may be more than one form of recognition i.e. visual, smell etc.)

    If recognition of relatedness doesn’t work beyond a narrow circle then an alternative might be how individuals react to those they don’t recognize i.e. inbred populations may only be calm among the small group of relatives they are capable of recognizing on sight and stressed otherwise while outbred populations may have evolved a secondary trait as a result of becoming outbred which reduces their flight or fight response with people they don’t recognize as close kin.

    2. Empathy

    Empathy is a straight forward candidate for a trigger trait that produces an altruistic urge. I assume there have already been attempts to measure it and i also assume there have been tests to see if it is proportional to relatedness – to the degree people can tell – or at least recognition generally. If it turns out more inbred populations are better at recognizing kin then they would be less likely to dive into the river for non-kin than an outbred person with the same level of empathy.

    .
    nb: The explicit idea here is that outbreeding isn’t naturally occuring and is generally the result of particular individuals e.g. Cleisthenes, St Augustine, Thomas Aquinas etc, creating artificial barriers to inbreeding because they believed it would have some beneficial effect. They may have been right or wrong on that but either way the resultant outbreeding in itself may create an environment where new traits become selected for. So it may not be a simple case of inbreeding-outbreeding predicting democracy directly but something more pushme-pullyou i.e. level of inbreeding produces a constant anti-democratic force in one direction while over time outbreeding tends to select traits that produce a force in the democratic direction.

    Lastly it might be the case that outbreeding eventually leads to the development of democracy or eventually leads to new traits (or trait frequencies) which eventually leads to the development of democracy but once developed less outbred groups could adopt it through emulation. In some countries like India democracy has been partially adapted to clannishness i.e. familial and kin based voting, as a non-violent means of competing over public goods.

    Reply

  10. Acting altruistically (in the technical sense, something that reduces individual fitness and aides that of the other individual) in this kind of situation does not cause an increase in the frequency of an alleles that induces such behaviors.

    I must be missing something because it seems obvious to me the mother-child relationship is one where the free rider problem isn’t a problem (within a certain range of probability) so it’s adaptive for a mother to be self-sacrificing (up to a point) with their children. So if eve develops that trait and if her children are more likely to survive because of it then i can’t see why it wouldn’t spread at least up the point where it was at the optimal level for mothers?

    Female mammals get to this point.

    If the mechanism was generic, empathy say – distress at distress – and even if it didn’t work on relatedness directly but on the list of n people an individual imprinted on, but on average that list mostly mirrored relatedness anyway because people were living in small related groups, then again wouldn’t it increase to the most adaptive level for the group?

    Social mammals get here (more or less).

    The possible driving forces behind the next step then might be
    – unlike social mammals a single human female can’t breed for the whole group
    – a single human male can’t successfully corral all the females without male allies even in an environment where the females can provision themselves
    – a single human male generally can’t provision all the females in environments where the females can’t provision themselves

    Reply

  11. It could be culture, rather than genetics, at work. People who grow up in an in-bred culture learn to look out for their clan and to hell with everyone else. Culture is a powerful force. I don’t see how you could distinguish between the forces of culture and genetics, unless you look at adoption studies or something. I wonder how Chinese babies who have been adopted by Americans differ from Chinese babies who grew up in China. It would be interesting to know. There are a lot of adopted Chinese babies in the west, almost all girls.

    I’m not clear on how altruism plays a role in all this. So are in-bred societies less altruistic in general, or just less altruistic to people outside their clan? Just from general observation the in-bred societies seem to be much less altruistic even towards their own children. I’m thinking of honour killings in middle-eastern cultures, and baby girls being abandoned or killed in China. It seems impossible that a tendency to kill your own offspring could possibly be genetic. It seems like some sort of screwed up cultural thing.

    I know crazy people in the west sometimes kill their own children, but it is not socially acceptable the way it is in some cultures.

    Reply

  12. Two random Ashkenazim tend to be genetically around 4th or 5th cousins. Ashkenazim tend to cluster in certain major cities and areas.

    Reply

  13. Honor killing and infanticide do make sense genetically. In ancient Rome the father of the household had the power of life and death over his family i.e. he had the right to kill his wife and kids. Infanticide existed in ancient Rome and Greece and other ancient cultures.

    If white men exercised honor killing and killed their daughters or other female relations that had sex with black men, then obviously that would help prevent the displacement of white paternal lines by black paternal lines.

    Reply

  14. It’s easy to see how killing your own offspring could come into being. It’s not about killing any and all of your offspring. It’s about killing some and sparing and supporting others.

    Reply

  15. “thus, in highly inbred societies, individuals favor their own extended family members at the expense of their neighbors and unrelated members of their society simply because they are much more genetically related to thier family members than individuals in outbred societies are to theirs. this is a very direct effect — change the relatedness, change the behavior patterns. and, so, liberal democracy will simply never work in inbred societies — or not work very well anyway — because you get clannishness.”

    Wouldn’t the people in the inbred society be less related to their extended family members than the people in the outbred society are to their immediate family members?

    So if people in the inbred society favor their extended family members over neighbors and unrelated people, and that’s why they don’t have liberal democracy, wouldn’t the people in the outbred society favor their immediate family members over neighbors and unrelated people, and not be able to have liberal democracy?

    Reply

  16. melykin

    I’m not clear on how altruism plays a role in all this. So are in-bred societies less altruistic in general, or just less altruistic to people outside their clan?

    Altruism in the technical sense only applies to *selfish* altruism (at the genetic level) so by the genetic definition inbred populations are more altruistic.

    Outside that context altruism is generally only applied to selfless acts – which in itself might illustrate the point that outbred populations developed new ways to compensate for reduced clannishness – so it gets a bit confusing

    So in the technical meaning of the word inbred societies are more altruistic *because they’re more selfish* (at a kin level) while at the same time being less altruistic in terms of the more commonly used universalist meaning of the word.

    It could be culture, rather than genetics, at work.

    Even if the main driving force is genetic i think there would still be a cultural component that evolved alongside the genetics to reinforce the genetics – because that’s what people do. I think that’s why you can take aspects of the evolved culture of a very outbred group and apply it to a relatively more inbred, high IQ group, and it can still mostly work e.g. Singapore. The evolved culture acts like a kind of scaffolding.

    Reply

  17. @luke – “Suppose there were just one clan. Does the conclusion still hold?”

    a society composed of just one clan? that’s either a very small population or a very large clan. (~_^)

    would the conclusion still hold that you’d get clannishness if there was only one clan? depends on the exact mating patterns, i think. if you take the arab world as an example, their clans (or tribes) are composed of sub-clans and sub-sub-clans and sub-sub-sub clans due to the structure of father’s brother’s daughter’s marriage. in other words, you’d always wind up with competing mini-clans (i think). so it would depend on the mating patterns.

    Reply

  18. @luke – “Since a typical village was usually composed of one or two clans it stands to reason this would occur, but it doesn’t come up in the literature. Wonder why?”

    it does seem like that would follow. i dunno why it doesn’t come up in the literature. maybe if you’re reading chinese authors that it’s so obvious to them they don’t think of mentioning it? otoh, maybe western authors are so clueless about the matter that they miss it — or don’t even think about it really?

    Reply

  19. @g.w. – “It might be the case that more inbred populations have both stronger similarities and stronger abilities to recognize similarity.”

    you’ve mentioned that before. that’s a very interesting idea. i like it!

    @g.w. – “If recognition of relatedness doesn’t work beyond a narrow circle then an alternative might be how individuals react to those they don’t recognize i.e. inbred populations may only be calm among the small group of relatives they are capable of recognizing on sight and stressed otherwise while outbred populations may have evolved a secondary trait as a result of becoming outbred which reduces their flight or fight response with people they don’t recognize as close kin.”

    also very interesting.

    Reply

  20. @g.w. – “In some countries like India democracy has been partially adapted to clannishness i.e. familial and kin based voting, as a non-violent means of competing over public goods.”

    precisely. many (most?) societies have democratic elements to them, including my favorite inbred arab tribes. people generally want to have their say in whatever matter is at hand. the unusual form of democracy is the anglo, liberal type. other forms of democracy might very well work fine in other societies — it’s just that trying to impose liberal democracy on other societies is prolly a fool’s errand.

    Reply

  21. @melykin – “It could be culture, rather than genetics, at work…. Culture is a powerful force.”

    sure it’s a powerful force. but then i always wind up with the question: where does culture come from?

    @melykin – “I’m not clear on how altruism plays a role in all this. So are in-bred societies less altruistic in general, or just less altruistic to people outside their clan?”

    less altruistic to people outside their clan is what i think. (remembering that altruism has a specific definition in biology — see greg cochran’s comment above.)

    @melykin – “Just from general observation the in-bred societies seem to be much less altruistic even towards their own children. I’m thinking of honour killings in middle-eastern cultures, and baby girls being abandoned or killed in China.”

    i wrote a post on this a while back. i called this phenomenon: inclusive inclusive fitness.

    Reply

  22. Phil

    Wouldn’t the people in the inbred society be less related to their extended family members than the people in the outbred society are to their immediate family members?

    I think it’s a question of the relative gap. Inbred populations are like a map with lots of thin but steep hills everywhere. Outbred populations are more like a map with much “broader but shallower” hills.

    So, in numbers say in an inbred population an individual’s
    – relatedness to brother is 10
    – relatedness to cousin is 8
    – relatedness to everyone else is 2
    then choosing between helping his brother or helping one of the everyone elses the *gap* in relatedness is 8.

    Say that population outbreeds a bit such that an individual’s
    – relatedness to brother is 9
    – relatedness to cousin is 7
    – relatedness to everyone else is 3
    then the gap closes to 6.

    A bit more outbreeding such that an individual’s
    – relatedness to brother is 8
    – relatedness to cousin is 6
    – relatedness to everyone else is 4
    and the gap closes to 4.

    Reply

  23. @phil – “It’s easy to see how killing your own offspring could come into being. It’s not about killing any and all of your offspring. It’s about killing some and sparing and supporting others.

    yup.

    Reply

  24. @phil – “Wouldn’t the people in the inbred society be less related to their extended family members than the people in the outbred society are to their immediate family members?”

    yes. (unless they’re really, freakishly inbred!) what i meant to say in the post is:

    “thus, in highly inbred societies, individuals favor their own extended family members at the expense of their neighbors and unrelated members of their society simply because they are much more genetically related to their extended family members than individuals in outbred societies are to theirs.”

    sorry ’bout that.

    Reply

  25. @hbd chick
    Nice article. And it sure lit up the discussion. The idea that outbreeding fosters democracy is new to me and might even be true. Usually I am the one hearing “correlation does not mean causation” when I point out that optimal outbreeding produces the most children (of course that means not very much outbreeding.) I squawk “but it happens ALL THE TIME and there are any number of other lines of evidence.” By then the conversation is over and they are not listening.

    But try this one one: freedom is good for outbreeding. After all, the opportunity to sneak around and make private plans with casual strangers is helpful whether you are looking for a mate, a one night stand or a revolution. Lots of dictators would not mind limiting your social horizon is it saved their own necks.

    It’s the “all the time” issue that seems the easiers to get at. You couldn’t be freer than in Somalia. There is practically no government input into your activities. Same used to be true of Siearra Leone, although I think things may be better there. But I would guess (and I’m sure nobody has the numbers; they say that 3% of childhood deaths in the whole world ever get into a data base so subtle things in difficult places just aren’t going to get counted) … I would guess that they are pretty close to optimal outbreeding.
    American frontier: founder effect. Low outbreeding. Any hope for democracy in America? Victorian England, particulalry the upper classes … not exactly a republic, but you’d rather live there than in a lot of places today.

    It all just sounds like hate male to me. We know we hate inbreeding. We know we hate countries where we are slaughtering people because they don’t have the freedom we think they ought to have. We can only think of one thing at a time. So if we hate two things, they must be the same thing, right?

    Reply

  26. @phil – “So if people in the inbred society favor their extended family members over neighbors and unrelated people, and that’s why they don’t have liberal democracy, wouldn’t the people in the outbred society favor their immediate family members over neighbors and unrelated people…”

    sure. and pretty much everybody does. it’s pretty unusual when immediate family members don’t favor each other over strangers — that even happens in inbred societies.

    @phil – “… and not be able to have liberal democracy?”

    the thing is, though, you need some sort of structure to society — if you’re going to have a society at all, that is. so if your population is just a bunch of outbred nuclear families that aren’t particularly attached to their respective extended families, what do you do? well, you’re not going to create a tribal society ’cause you’re not particularly attached to your second cousins once removed, but you’ll probably try to build alliances with unrelated individuals. and that’s what liberal democracy is all about. it’s a system based on alliances of individuals (who are attached to their immediate families) who looking out for their (and their immediate family’s) self interests. from the woodley and bell paper:

    “[I]ndividuals in such [liberal democracies] are not strongly connected to one another through endogamous kinship networks and so are free to justify their self interest in terms of gains in individual utility rather than collective utility to an extended kinship grouping such as a clan.”

    and people in liberal democracies generally ally themselves with other individuals who share similar self interests.

    Reply

  27. @g.w. – “Inbred populations are like a map with lots of thin but steep hills everywhere. Outbred populations are more like a map with much ‘broader but shallower’ hills.”

    nice! (^_^)

    Reply

  28. @mark – “I have no idea what exactly ‘altruism’ means from a psychological standpoint, and I don’t know that you have one either. Is it Agreeableness? Type B personality? Low Machiavellianism? If it exists at all, it can be measured.”

    altruism itself isn’t a psychological state, it’s a behavior. greg cochran defined it above.

    i keep throwing around the word altruism in most of my posts, but that’s not exactly right (and i ought to correct myself going forward, but it’s an easy, tempting shorthand to use). what i really mean to refer to (and did mention in the original post) are the “innate social aptitudes of man” which lead to altruism and a whole host of other behaviors as well.

    Reply

  29. Linton
    “We know we hate inbreeding. We know we hate countries where we are slaughtering people because they don’t have the freedom we think they ought to have. We can only think of one thing at a time. So if we hate two things, they must be the same thing, right?”

    The same thing can have both good and bad consequences. I think you’re at least partly right about the fertility aspect but at the same time other aspects of outbreeding may have beneficial consequences. The key then is what is the optimum level? For example places like Iceland and Denmark are liberal democracies with relatively high fertility. I’d suggest that is because although they are part of the outbred countries set the smaller total breeding population has meant that maximum exogamy is still endogamous enough to counteract the fertility effects.

    Reply

    1. @Greying Wanderer “The key then is what is the optimum level? For example places like Iceland and Denmark are liberal democracies with relatively high fertility” As usual your remark is measured, well thought out and straight to the point. The last time I checked the birth rate in Iceland was 1.89 per woman and falling while in Denmark it was 1.74 and hanging in there. That might be enough for a while. Historically, from what I can tell, there comes a point where the bottom falls out, but the evidence is kind of indirect. So “what is the optimum level” is the most important question I know. Wish I could answer it.

      Reply

  30. @mark – “Is it Agreeableness? Type B personality? Low Machiavellianism?”

    my guess is that there is a range of traits and behaviors that go along with “inbredness” and “outbredness” which will vary in frequency depending on how inbred or outbred a group is. i’d bet that, yes, the big 5 personality traits are involved here — i’m gonna guess that oubred peoples are, on average, more agreeable than inbred, for example.

    i’d also bet that there are other behaviors beyond the personality traits that are involved here. for instance, i speculated recently that the inbred arabs have a higher frequency of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) because being aggressive has paid off in their tribal society (carriers of one CAH allele often exhibit “symptoms of androgen excess,” including maybe aggression?).

    that’s the sort of thing i would be looking for. a whole complex of traits and behaviors.

    Reply

  31. @mark – “I suspect you’ll have trouble at #3, since we should expect the Chinese to have trouble with an exogamous mating style because of their low levels of ‘altruism….'”

    there are some hints out there that, yes, a lot of chinese still have troubles with marrying exogamously. it may be that, like in egypt, it’s mostly the middle-/upper-class urbanites that have been marrying out. hard to know, though, because the chinese authorities are so tight-lipped on the matter.

    Reply

  32. hubchik
    “nice!”

    :)

    I’m trying to recall that Steve Sailer quote – “from something something to broader and shallower ties”.

    It reminds me now of Chesstasia if you remember that. The inbred version of Chesstasia would be like a map where there were sixty-four narrow but steep hills, one in each square. Then if you imagine each block of four squares creating one (broader but shallower) hill that covered all four squares by digging out the peaks of the four original hills and using the spoil to fill the valleys in between then Chesstasia would end up with sixteen broader but shallower hills that covered four squares each. If each block of four of those then followed the same process and dug out their peaks and filled in the valleys you’d get four broader but shallower hills that covered sixteen squares each. Repeat the process one more time and Chesstasia would be one flat-topped hill that covered the whole board with the only slopes being *at the borders*.

    Reply

  33. @LInton Herbert:

    “But try this one one: freedom is good for outbreeding. After all, the opportunity to sneak around and make private plans with casual strangers is helpful whether you are looking for a mate, a one night stand or a revolution. “

    I think that freedom and outbreeding go hand-in-hand. This, I believe, is a key aspect of HBD Chick’s theory: that more outbred people prefer “freedom,” which itself encourages more outbreeding and all the things you mentioned.

    This is also, BTW, what I suspect is the reason why NW Europeans are so sexually liberated as compared to the rest of the world. Under a preference for outbreeding, a potential mate can be found anywhere, at any time. Outbreeders need to be “advertise” themselves to potential mates at all times—or at the very least, don’t feel horrendously inhibited from doing so thanks to restrictive mores on sexuality.

    Reply

    1. @ JayMan “more outbred people prefer “freedom,” which itself encourages more outbreeding and all the things you mentioned” I think it’s clear that you are right in both directions. There must be an optimal level for long term survival, freedom and stability. But the nature of the beast is that there is positive feedback. The best leve of outbeeding isn’t an attractor but a repellant. This is not good news. And things were bad enough already.

      Reply

  34. Linton Herbert
    The last time I checked the birth rate in Iceland was 1.89 per woman and falling while in Denmark it was 1.74 and hanging in there. That might be enough for a while

    Accepting your premises, which i mostly do*, then in terms of fertility the sequence has been
    – outbreeding leading to an underlying drop in fertility
    – cultural adaptations, mainly religion, prevented that drop in underlying fertility from displaying
    – the political elite undermined those cultural adaptations bringing the underlying fertility drop to the surface
    – the political elite decided that immigration was going to be their solution (for whatever reason)

    So basically an adaptive response to the problem hasn’t been developed because the political elite won’t allow one to be developed. I think a solution to the problem could easily be devised if we had a different political elite.

    (For example if these kind of issues were allowed to be discussed publically then dating sites for people who wanted children could ask members to submit their dna and then match people who were within a certain range of relatedness.)

    (*I think housing issues are part of it too.)

    Reply

    1. @ Greying Wanderer “I think a solution to the problem could easily be devised if we had a different political elite.” I’ll vote for you for president any time. I think you are quite right. My impression is that these days the political elite have pretty much sold out to big money. But don’t they need us underlings so they can feel rich? What are they thinking? The immigrants won’t last.

      Reply

  35. Hmm… Wouldn’t a similar analysis in the 1950s or so have found a very high correlation between Protestant Christianity and democracy. Offhand, I’d think that with a few national exceptions here and there, the Protestants were democrats and the democrats were Protestants.

    In any event, I’d suspect that these correlations depends very sharply upon whether they’re population-weighted or not, and arguably they should be. If so, then India (which is mostly Hindu and has cousin-marriage) outweighs the combined total of all European and European-derived countries. So we’d get very little of a cousin-marriage correlation but an extremely strong one with Hinduism, which probably becomes the biggest factor behind democracy.

    Similarly, Russia and Ukraine are democratic, they’re both Orthodox, and they totally dominate the world Orthodox population. So Orthodoxy becomes a very strong indicator of democracy. Obviously, being European-ancestry is an even bigger indicator.

    Depending upon how you could Pakistan and Nigeria, being Muslim might be a strong negative indicator of democracy.

    My guess is that the cousin-marriage factor may largely be a statistical artifact dependent upon these other correlations of race and religion.

    Reply

  36. @rku – “Wouldn’t a similar analysis in the 1950s or so have found a very high correlation between Protestant Christianity and democracy.”

    protestant populations (the european ones that invented protestantism) are the most outbred of all human populations.

    @rku – “If so, then India (which is mostly Hindu and has cousin-marriage)….”

    first cousin-marriage rates amongst hindus in india is actually relatively low (or, maybe, medium-ish) – 9.6% in the 1990s (see chart here). mind you, i don’t know what the historic rates might have looked like.

    @rku – “Similarly, Russia and Ukraine are democratic….”

    but not very. they also had a longer history of cousin/endogamous marriages than western europe (see my posts on mating patterns in eastern europe — links in left-hand column below).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s