eugenics in the news

from the u.k.’s telegraph (links added by me):

“Euroscience Open Forum 2012: DNA gene testing ‘will screen out lovers'”
13 Jul 2012

“Couples will soon be able to choose their life partner solely based on the compatibility of their genes instead of through love, a scientific conference has heard.

“Due to the falling cost of DNA testing Britain is on the cusp of a new era of eugenics, according to a leading British scientist.

“Prof Armand Leroi, of Imperial College London, said that within five to ten years it will be common for young people to pay to access their entire genetic code.

“He told the Euroscience Open Forum 2012, in Dublin, that a desire to have a healthy baby will lead more to request access to the view the genes of any prospective partner.

“Armed with this information, the couple could then use IVF to screen babies with incurable diseases.

“While it was unlikely people will have the ‘luxury’ of using the technology to design babies, by their intellect or eye colour, they would instead focus on stopping genetic diseases.

“Addressing a session titled ‘I human: are new scientific discoveries challenging our identity as a species’, he said the cost of genetic sequencing was falling so quickly that ‘it is going to become very, very accessible, very, very soon’….

“He said eugenics were already available, with tens of thousands of unborn babies with Down’s syndrome and other illnesses being aborted every year.

“He told the conference on Thursday: ‘These processes are very well established in most European countries.

“‘Many of the ethical problems that people raise when they speak of neoeugenics are nought once you offer gene selection or mate selection as a eugenic tool.'”
_____

meanwhile, in tonga:

“Tonga’s Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala marries cousin”
12 July 2012

“The heir to the throne of Tonga in the South Pacific has married his second cousin in the capital Nuku’alofa.

“Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala and his bride, Sinaitakala Fakafanua, both in their 20s, waved to cheering crowds as they left church after the wedding…..

“Marriage between cousins is seen as a way of keeping the royal bloodline strong in Tonga….”

felicitations to the happy couple! (^_^) (seriously!)

previously: ivy league selective breeding

(note: comments do not require an email. tonga – the friendly islands?)

25 Comments

  1. The Tongan population isn’t very large, as such things go. How closely related would two random Tongans be, on average? Is a second cousin a close relative, or would some random pretty girl the Prince met in a shop be likely to be a second cousin?

    Reply

  2. Small doses and how you sell it are the key.

    It’s interesting because many people (primarily women) already practice eugenics when they select a mate—and they’ve been doing that for a long time.

    The problem is that the word “eugenics” is heavily loaded today; hearing it invokes thoughts of Nazism and forced sterilization. Maybe there’s hope for “eugenics” to not be such a bad word, but I’m not sure if that can be done.

    On that note, I’ve lately thought about eugenics in the positive sense; that is, getting the talented to reproduce more. It seems to me (though I have no data) that the fertility rate of those with very high IQs (160+, the real geniuses) is very low, and probably well below replacement (e.g., two of the brightest that come to mind, Chris Langan and Marilyn vos Savant—who have a combined IQ of around 400—don’t seem to have any children). Beyond any dysgenic effect in the population as a whole, the loss of people in that range would be especially disturbing, since they have contributed far more than their fair share to technological and scientific process.

    First, I wonder if there’s any way to see what the fertility rate of people in this IQ range is. Second, if it is low, is there any way of encouraging the very best and brightest to have more children? It seems it would be particularly tough, since these people are among the most calculating (in many ways, literally) in their behaviors, particularly having children.

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  3. @JayMan “Second, if it is low, is there any way of encouraging the very best and brightest to have more children?” I dunno bout that. But so far as not shooting themselves in the foot in the matter of children, there just might be. As I harp on at nobabies.net there is an enormous amount of evidence that if you want children and grandchildren you have to marry kin. We have seen that in southern England for centuries people did just the opposite, at least the poor people. But the richest were still keeping with kin. Voila the Industrial Revolution. There is a ton of other evidence. So if these bright calculating folk would just look at the facts at least they could make up their own minds instead of being victimes of a trap they should be able to see easily. Einstien married a cousin, so it can happen.

    My hopes are not high. Nobody seems to care. There appears to be something else going on that I do not understand.

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  4. @anthony – “The Tongan population isn’t very large, as such things go. How closely related would two random Tongans be, on average?”

    like you say, the tongan population is pretty small (ca. 100,000), so in one way, they must all be just one big family. and, so, you’d think that second cousins on tonga should share more genes in common than second cousins in, say, england.

    otoh, from what i understand, there was traditionally a lot of flexibility in south pacific mating patterns — lots of divorce and remarriage and even quite a bit of flexibility on who you got to sleep with when you were married (like your wife’s sisters, etc. — depends on the islands you’re talking about). so in that way, they’re probably quite “mixed up” genetically speaking — kinda outbred in that way.

    i think you can see that if you look at the runs of homozygosity (roh) study i posted about a while back. the populations in oceania share a lot of long roh (which probably indicates that they went through a bottleneck when they settled the islands), but unlike the arabs they don’t share a lot of medium- or short-roh because, traditionally, they didn’t have such a focused mating pattern (like always marrying only their cousins).

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick “the tongan population is pretty small (ca. 100,000),” Funny old thing perspective. If you are raising an army or marketing a movie or cell phone, that might seem a small population. From a genetic standpoing it strikes me as HUGE, for to big to survive if unstructured. According to Robin Fox a traditional tribe will break itself in half long before a size like that is reached. Less traditional tribes have not yet proven their survival value.

      Reply

  5. @jayman – “It’s interesting because many people (primarily women) already practice eugenics when they select a mate—and they’ve been doing that for a long time.”

    well, that’s the funny thing, isn’t it? assortative mating is just eugenics! (~_^)

    @jayman – “Second, if it is low, is there any way of encouraging the very best and brightest to have more children? It seems it would be particularly tough, since these people are among the most calculating (in many ways, literally) in their behaviors, particularly having children.”

    there’s the calculating part, but also there’s the problem in finding a suitable mate (i guess that can be part of the calculating part). if you have a very high iq, who are you going to mate with? the numbers of people with whom you’d even want to associate with, let alone mate, are pretty small.

    speaking as a woman with a high-ish (not very high) iq, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable match! i mean, to find someone i could talk to! i always had in mind the possibility that i would never find anybody (and would wind up just living with cats (~_^) ), but fortunately i got lucky. (^_^)

    Reply

  6. “there’s the calculating part, but also there’s the problem in finding a suitable mate (i guess that can be part of the calculating part). if you have a very high iq, who are you going to mate with? the numbers of people with whom you’d even want to associate with, let alone mate, are pretty small.”

    Yes. God bless the internet! Though I know there are many such services, there should be dating sites specifically for high-IQ singles, maybe one that requires an IQ test, and maybe even one only for geniuses. But, that doesn’t quite help to overcome the large distances that are likely to separate such singles.

    “speaking as a woman with a high-ish (not very high) iq, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable match! i mean, to find someone i could talk to! i always had in mind the possibility that i would never find anybody (and would wind up just living with cats (~_^) ), but fortunately i got lucky. (^_^)”

    Well, always glad for happy endings! ;) I hear you on even finding people to talk to! I myself spent most of my life around people much less intelligent than I. However, that may have been its own blessing, because I’m familiar with people at all levels of intelligence (well, except the super-geniuses—don’t know too many of those personally ;) ) and with various social classes. That made seeing the reality of HBD much easier, I believe. In fact, I like to guess the IQs of people around me—unfortunately, I have no real way of knowing how accurate I am (I did call Bill & Hilary Clinton fairly well though, at ~135 & 140, respectively, IIRC).

    All that said, I am very happy to have found my gf (and I believe she will tell you the same). Since knowing her, it’s been all the more clear just how stupid most people are! :\

    Maybe calling for more sperm/egg donations from the super high IQ is called for?

    I will add that such programs should also select for health. HBD’ers don’t talk about this as much, but in addition to getting dumber, the population is also getting frailer and less healthy, thanks to modern medicine. As much of a blessing as medicine is, I’d rather promote breeding among smart people who will also not be dependent on science to take care of them, you know, just in case there is an apocalypse or the like. ;)

    Reply

  7. I can’t link to it because my phone won’t let me, but stats blogger The Inductivist found from the GSS that years of education is the strongest negative predictor of fertility–IQ was only a weak predictor. Given that high IQ and more years of education tend to go hand to hand, I wonder if iq eould be a significant predictor at all without higher education. The notion that people with high IQs have trouble associative mating seems to fall flat when you consider that the instutions with the greatest concentration of high IQs–graduate programs–might as well be sterilizing all the students for the amount of mating going on.

    IMO the only way to solve this problem would be to keep bright young aduts from spending more and more of their most fertile years in a classroom and make them self suffiient members of the workforce earlier. Since most people go to college just to obtain an Iq-proxy credential, the solution is to throw out that idiot Supreme Court ruling that said businesses cannot test for IQ because t’s RAAACIST and let job seekers skip the massively wasteful “college experience ” of loan acquisition, and adulthood deference.

    Which is to say, there is no solution, because A. our society is not going to admit that IQ is mostly genetic B. our societyis not going to admit that IQ (or even genes) vary across races and C. even if we did, the government is in the student loan business and the ratchet of public finance only goes one way. So we’re fucked, in so many words.

    Reply

    1. @ bleach ” the government is in the student loan business and the ratchet of public finance only goes one way. So we’re fucked, in so many words.” Well perhaps exasperation is the beginning of wisdom.
      Some things come to mind: first using genetic screening for mate selection is pretty much an excercize in getting money from the gullible. At the end of the day there are three kinds of genes. There are good ones, which are plentiful. There are the dangerous ones, which are rare as hens’ teeth, but which can indeed be screened for. But you don’t have to screen both partners. Any one person is very unlikely to have a single bad gene. So screen either partner. If something shows, Then screen the other. The third kind of genes are those that interact with multiple other genes to produce small effects, like a triffling change in IQ or risk of heart attack. Nobody actually has a clue as to how that works. So the notion of a society using genetic screening as a significant courting strategy ain’t a good one.

      I think you are spot on that IQ has little to do with fertility. My own lack of children sure isn’t because of any physiologic limitation but my IQ turns me sort of into a Lonesome George. A Danish study has shown that once gene pool size factors are considered, that is to say distance apart a couple were born and how big a town they live in, there is absolutly no effect of income or education on fertility.
      (Human Fertility Increases with marital radius. Rodrigo Labourian and Antonio Amorim. GENETICS volume 178 January 2008 page 603
      Comment on “An Association Between the Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples,” Rodrigo Labouriau and António Amorim SCIENCE vol. 322, page 1634b December 12, 2008)
      In other words, if going to graduate school is the equivalent of being sterilized, is isn’t because of time away from adult pursuits, it’s because the graduate school is far from kith and kin. The relationship between kinship and fertiilty has been studied.
      An Association between Kinship and Fertility of Human Couples Agnar Helgason et al. SCIENCE vol. 329 no. 5864 February 8, 2008 page 813 – 816
      I could talk a long time about that study, but the bottom line is easy: marry kin or else.

      Smart and looking for a smart mate? Well try a relative for goodness’ sake. Sure there will be regression to the mean to deal with, but at least you have a decent chance of finding somebody acceptable, exceedingly rare in the world at large.

      None of this is privileged information. But it is thoroughly ignored by the people who need to heed it the most even when prodded. In other words, smart people are unbelievably stupid. Sorry. Present company excluded of course.

      You know hbd chick has made it pretty clear: northwest Europeans outbreed above and beyond the call of sanity. Everybody else inbreeds above and beyond the call of sanity. Patrick Bateson years go coined the phrase “optimal outbreedin.” Biologically speaking, there is an ideal range of kinship for fertility and immune fuction. There is also a strong tendancy to be sexually attracted to those one resembles provided they didn’t grow up together. I kind of think there just has to be social optimal outbreeding as well. You know. Prefer the in group but treat others decently, too.
      What say you?

      Reply

  8. You know hbd chick has made it pretty clear: northwest Europeans outbreed above and beyond the call of sanity. Everybody else inbreeds above and beyond the call of sanity.

    Yet, interestingly, the countries in Europe that inbred the most are the ones who breed the least these days:

    Europe the continent with the lowest fertility.

    Also, some kind soul once showed me a map of the TFR of Europe broken down by region (side-by-side with a map of the percentage of Muslims in Europe today), but for the life of me I can’t remember where it is. All I have is this map of European TFRs. But note how closely the fertility rate is inversely correlated with population density, as well as being inversely correlated with historical rates of immigration, as my hypothesis predicts.

    Reply

    1. @ JayMan “Yet, interestingly, the countries in Europe that inbred the most are the ones who breed the least these days” Yes, that does seem to be the case. But Germany still might be feeling the effects of the Nazi’s who adopted the eugenic position that one must never marry cousins, and East Europe was dominated for years by the communists, who spent a lot of effort moving people about, breaking up traditional communities. So there might be a confounding factor.
      “fertility rate is inversely correlated with population density, ” Let’s see. UK, has high population density highish fertility compared with the rest. France has low population density and highish fertility. Germany has high density and low fertility. Spain has low density low fertility. Italy has high density low fertility. Scandinavia low density, highish fertility. Yes, that does seem to be a trend. Crowded societies have fewer children. This was also documented in one of the Danish studies I mentioned earlier today.
      Thanks for showing the data.

      Reply

  9. @bleach:

    “Given that high IQ and more years of education tend to go hand to hand, I wonder if iq eould be a significant predictor at all without higher education.”

    I have found much the same thing. Once education is controlled, most of the correlation between IQ and fertility disappears (and it does so completely once politics and religion are taken into account).

    On this, we’re talking mostly about women. Education has a positive effect on fertility for men. But it greatly impacts fertility for women, primarily because women pursuing higher education put off child birth (i.e., as Jason Malloy noted, they actively try to avoid pregnancy).

    My own thought is that the reason for this is the K-selected, slow-breeding, competitive mindset of women who pursue higher education. They want to maximize their incomes to help raise the few children they do have, and many end up having none at all.

    “The notion that people with high IQs have trouble associative mating seems to fall flat when you consider that the instutions with the greatest concentration of high IQs–graduate programs”

    Higher IQ-individuals tend to be much more selective in their mates. Just because one is in graduate school doesn’t mean that one can find a compatible mate there (more accurately, someone that is a desirable life-long spouse).

    Since most people go to college just to obtain an Iq-proxy credential, the solution is to throw out that idiot Supreme Court ruling that said businesses cannot test for IQ because t’s RAAACIST and let job seekers skip the massively wasteful “college experience ” of loan acquisition, and adulthood deference.

    Yes, that is the primary purpose of pursuing lengthy educations. The two most effective solutions would both require accepting the reality of HBD to some extent. One would be as you suggest, allowing employers to test for IQ (some find ways of doing this already), obviating some (but by no means all) of the reasons to pursue lengthy educations.

    The second solution would be cutting back on immigration, including (or especially) high-IQ immigration. Immigrants compete with Americans for jobs, which has the effect of forcing American workers to work that much harder to become the viable employees in the job market. One could argue that smart immigrants have been helpful in that they’ve added to American innovation, but it’s unclear how much that that has actually helped.

    Reply

    1. @ Jayman ” Immigrants compete with Americans for jobs, which has the effect of forcing American workers to work that much harder to become the viable employees in the job market” And thus lose out on having offspring, I would suppose. Well that’s certainly a sentiment you don’t hear much. If that’s hurting our bright folks, how come more don’t speak up?

      Reply

  10. @jayman – “I myself spent most of my life around people much less intelligent than I. However, that may have been its own blessing, because I’m familiar with people at all levels of intelligence (well, except the super-geniuses—don’t know too many of those personally ;) ) and with various social classes. That made seeing the reality of HBD much easier, I believe.”

    ditto to everything you said there. i could’ve said the same thing about myself and my own life. (^_^)

    @jayman – “in addition to getting dumber, the population is also getting frailer and less healthy, thanks to modern medicine.”

    now you sound like bill hamilton. so you’re in good company! (^_^) (really good company!)

    Reply

  11. @Linton:

    “@ Jayman ” Immigrants compete with Americans for jobs, which has the effect of forcing American workers to work that much harder to become the viable employees in the job market” And thus lose out on having offspring, I would suppose. Well that’s certainly a sentiment you don’t hear much. If that’s hurting our bright folks, how come more don’t speak up?”

    Indeed, one of the factors depressing fertility, ultimately, is the high cost of living in the developed world. Some of that has nothing to do with immigrants, because fertility is low in countries with few immigrants, such as Eastern Europe or East Asia. Population pressure—of even the native population—is the main culprit. As Steve Sailer put it, when family formation gets unaffordable, people put it off. On the whole, this is a good thing, as it prevents the type over-crowding that the UK is currently experiencing.

    But the other factor is immigration—more specifically the unabated flow of immigrants, which keeps wages down. Many in the HBD community go on about low-IQ immigration, and, all else being equal, if you must have immigration high-IQ immigration is better than low-IQ immigration. But high-IQ immigration is troublesome because it prevents labor scarcity from taking hold, and scarcity of labor is good for workers, as it increases their bargaining power vs employers, which leads to higher wages and better working conditions, which is ultimately good for everybody.

    As to why the goes on, I’m starting to suspect that the problem lies with the undue influence of wealthy elites. High immigration benefits them by keeping wages down and directing more the spoils of economic growth to the elites. They have the least to gain by stopping immigration, whereas few currently in America—including recent immigrants themselves—have little to gain out its continuance.

    Reply

    1. @Jayman “wealthy elites. High immigration benefits them by keeping wages down and directing more the spoils of economic growth to the elites.” As they say, follow the money.

      Reply

  12. “ditto to everything you said there. i could’ve said the same thing about myself and my own life. (^_^)”

    How lucky are we? ;). Unfortunately, as Charles Murray noted, that is not the trend for people today. Most people spend more and more time around people of the same social class, and are becoming increasingly clueless about what’s going on in other social circles. So much for getting people to buy the reality of HBD…

    @jayman – “in addition to getting dumber, the population is also getting frailer and less healthy, thanks to modern medicine.”

    now you sound like bill hamilton. so you’re in good company! (^_^) (really good company!)

    While it’s true people are getting physically frailer, I’m less worried about that than I am other things (like the fact that people are getting dumber). I don’t anticipate a great apocalypse where people end up bereft of medical science, so it’s all good.

    It’s just that if I was setting up my own eugenics program, with the goal of breeding our best and brightest, I’d also choose those who are the healthiest as well (as well as most well behaved and most physically attractive), to maximize the concentration of beneficial traits. ;)

    Reply

  13. @jayman – “Most people spend more and more time around people of the same social class, and are becoming increasingly clueless about what’s going on in other social circles. So much for getting people to buy the reality of HBD…”

    exactly.

    in addition to that, my own personal theory as to why it’s so easy to dupe most people nowadays wrt hbd is that most folks aren’t farmers anymore. every single last one of my family back in the “old country” who are still farmers, or who were at least raised on a farm, GET hbd. they’ve seen differences in animals their whole lives — and they understand breeding techniques — so they all get it. (and being more traditional, they’ve all had more than one kid — then you REALLY get to see how different peoples are innately different! (~_^) )

    i think urbanization makes people stoopid. at least in this regard it does.

    @jayman – “…as well as most well behaved….”

    d*mn! i’ll never get accepted into your program! (^_^)

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick “i think urbanization makes people stoopid. ” At least there is a recent report that it makes people schizophrenic. That form of madness is more common in cities than on the farm. Sorry I don’t have the reference to hand, but they went on and said that growing up on a farm still reduced your chance of becoming schizophrenic even if you moved to town. I speculate that growing up on a farm correlates with being born on a farm, correlates with being born into an intact community with intact gene pool correlates with being a screaming genius such as you.
      That would suggest that it’s not only our fertility we are trashing by churning up gene pools,

      Reply

  14. @HBD Chick:

    “my own personal theory as to why it’s so easy to dupe most people nowadays wrt hbd is that most folks aren’t farmers anymore. every single last one of my family back in the “old country” who are still farmers, or who were at least raised on a farm, GET hbd. they’ve seen differences in animals their whole lives — and they understand breeding techniques — so they all get it. (and being more traditional, they’ve all had more than one kid — then you REALLY get to see how different peoples are innately different! (~_^) “

    Yeah, you’d think people with pets would be able to understand. If you’ve had more than one breed of dog for example, it’s clear that they’re pretty different. I’d also think anyone with more than one child would get it too (along with seeing the light on the parenting nonsense), but I guess not.

    “i think urbanization makes people stoopid. at least in this regard it does.”

    Which is also strange. In many major cities, you’re in close proximity to many different sorts of peoples. You’d thank that’d do the trick, but nope.

    Then again, aside from cops, there weren’t a lot of White people in my corner of the South Bronx…

    “@jayman – “…as well as most well behaved….”

    d*mn! i’ll never get accepted into your program! (^_^)”

    :) If it’s any consolation, I wouldn’t quite qualify, either, as I’m not smart enough (certainly no genius). I’m not a paragon of health either (seem to be getting old waaay too fast!)

    I might make the cut in like a second-tier program…to boost the fertility of everyone on the right half of the curve some. ;)

    Reply

  15. @Linton:

    “@Jayman “wealthy elites. High immigration benefits them by keeping wages down and directing more the spoils of economic growth to the elites.” As they say, follow the money.”

    Yes, I’ve noticed that this seems to work with a lot of things, including:

    1. Healthcare: this is why we got the stupid version of health care reform (gift to insurance companies) instead of a single-payer system as we should have gotten.

    2. Nuclear energy: It’s fairly clear thorium in the liquid flouride thorium reactor is the solution to many of our current energy problems (to which “wind” and “solar” are NOT viable solutions)—among many other newer nuclear reactor designs (some of which actually aren’t that “new”, but aren’t used), yet all current progress seems to be directed at oil exploration, fracking, and coal mining (stupid, dirty, short-term solutions at best, but benefits many wealthy corporations).

    3. Immigration: as mentioned, slowing down immigration is good for everybody—except those yet to immigrate (who elites don’t really care about) and wealthy employers, who want a supply of cheap labor—economy and the worker be d*nmed…

    These are just a few. Hardly as provable as typical HBD arguments, but this does explain why a lot of beneficial changes get held up. I have little hope that this will change any time soon. :( But, interestingly, I understand that the theme of the upcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises (yes!) will be the people rising up against the elites. We will see how this plays out…

    Reply

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