linkfest – 08/05/12

Genetic Data and Fossil Evidence Tell Differing Tales of Human Origins – neanderthals in africa?

It’s in our genes: Why women outlive men

If Allah Wills It – why so little science (or reading for that matter) in the muslim world? @those who can see.

Out-of-Wedlock Births, Liberals and Conservatives“[U]nintelligent men are less encumbered by bachelorhood when it comes to producing offspring. On the flip side, intelligent men generally are childless if they are not married.” – from jayman.

Too darn hot?“Does higher IQ correlate with colder temperatures? Not among people belonging to the same cultural system, such as the Chinese.” – from peter frost.

The problem with high IQ – mental illness. from secular blood.

Family Type and Fertility – @hail to you.

Human cycles: History as science – cliodynamics. 2020 – the next bad year.

Research links sexual imagery and consumer impatience“[S]exual cues cause us to be impatient and can affect monetary decisions.” — “us” meaning men. (~_^)

Conservatives and perversity – from the inductivist.

Did Your Brain Make You Do It?

bonus: ‘Bullingdon Club’ dolphins form elite societies and cliques, scientists find“Dolphins form cliques based on their skills, scientists have found, suggesting they could be the only non-human mammals to indulge in elite societies.”

bonus bonus: C’est Chick – i had to link to it. you see that, don’t you?

bonus bonus bonus: Double Jeopardy“In China, the rich and powerful can hire body doubles to do their prison time for them.” – this one’s for luke. (^_^)

bonus bonus bonus bonus: High-Profile Geneticists Post Findings on Popular Pre-Publication Site – arXiv – “‘It’s wonderful if biologists are belatedly joining the late twentieth century,’ he [Paul Ginsparg] quips. ‘Welcome to the party; better late than never.'”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Beak Heat – Evolutionary Theory of Bird Bills May Need Revision“[B]eak size may also be an adaptation to regulate temperature and conserve water.”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: forget the paleo-diet, try the chimp diet! (not as many bananas as you would think.)

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Australian Billionaire Wants To Build Jurassic Park-Style Resort – i’m going!

(note: comments do not require an email. cute overload alert! don’t say you weren’t warned.)

Advertisements

20 Comments

  1. It’s in our genes: Why women outlive men.

    This sort of thing illustrates the shortcomings of many “scientific” studies. Women outlive men in Western and Westernized countries because men have much higher rates of death from accident, murder, and suicide. While some people would clam that this itself is an example of “genetic” difference, that is not contention of the study.

    Reply

  2. ““In China, the rich and powerful can hire body doubles to do their prison time for them.” – this one’s for luke.” In China they fake everything. I’ve even read stories of hiring replacements for capital punishment.

    Reply

  3. re: “High-Profile Geneticists Post Findings on Popular Pre-Publication Site ”

    Good for them. Nature (the magazine) needs to be taken down a notch or two.

    Reply

  4. re: Genetic Data and Fossil Evidence Tell Differing Tales of Human Origins

    “But the finding is regarded skeptically by some paleoanthropologists because of the absence in the fossil record of anything that would support the geneticists’ statistical calculations.”

    I’ll go with the geneticists. Bones are scarce.

    Reply

  5. @luke – “C’est Chick link not working.”

    really? it’s working for me. -?-

    not that important anyway — it’s just about chick-fil-a. i just thought the title of the article was funny. (^_^)

    Reply

  6. “Human cycles: History as science – cliodynamics. 2020 – the next bad year.”

    cyclical banking crises would explain it

    – expansionary credit boom
    — eventual deflationary bust
    — political turmoil
    —- wars and revolutions
    —– lull until the bankers alive at the time of the last credit boom have passed on
    – expansionary credit boom
    — eventual deflationary bust
    — political turmoil
    —- wars and revolutions
    —– lull until the bankers alive at the time of the last credit boom have passed on
    – expansionary credit boom
    — eventual deflationary bust
    — political turmoil
    —- wars and revolutions
    —– lull until the bankers alive at the time of the last credit boom have passed on

    rinse and repeat

    so yes, as we’re in the deflationary bust phase at the moment then hitting the wars and revolutions stage by 2020, if not sooner, sounds likely.

    Reply

  7. Possibly of interest –

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-brain-imaging-intelligent.html

    “As science has long suspected, overall brain size matters somewhat, accounting for about 6.7 percent of individual variation in intelligence. More recent research has pinpointed the brain’s prefrontal cortex, a region just behind the forehead, as a critical hub for high-level mental processing, with activity levels there predicting another 5 percent of variation in individual intelligence. Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that another 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.”

    20% by physical metrics… impressive if true.

    Reply

  8. First of all thanks for the bump.

    Second, looks like you have all the good links, particularly the “cliodynamics” article. Scary stuff, but I think that they may be on to something. As I’ve stated before, things in America at the moment don’t seem to be headed to good places.

    Also nice article,”Did Your Brain Make You Do It?” This is part of the ongoing discussion about the non-existence of free will that both you and I discussed. I’m thinking of writing another blog post on the topic, because it seems to me that people just don’t get it (which itself is explained by the non-existence of free will… ;P). For one, this word “addiction” gets thrown around a lot, especially with respect to discoveries about brain function, and I think I need to put it in perspective (as in, we are all addicts).

    About the issue of responsibility and culpability, I think intelligent thinking policy makers need to move away from a paradigm of legal morality, which is obsessed with silly concepts like “intent”, and think more in terms of utility. As in, how do we get people to behave the way we want them to with respect to the law (i.e., not break them), given what we know about behavior and incentive. We should structure our legal system around this, and not around dishing out the societal “wrath of God” to offenders (albeit such thinking is part of legal punishment’s deterrent effect, but it fails in many instances).

    Reply

  9. Also, about the link between IQ and mental illness, as I noted at Secular Blood (might not yet be visible), I am of the view that many common mental illness, such as the autism spectrum or bipolar disorder, were indeed selected for, and are evolutionary “trade-off” strategies of sorts, where the great reproductive success of some (mostly those mildly touched) compensated for the debilitating madness of others, like Steve Sailer notes with artists. I know Greg Cochran doesn’t like that idea, but it’s fairly clear that traits like Asperger’s (which is, as Half Sigma notes, just “extreme” nerdiness) have imbued certain individuals with fantastic abilities, as you know (I’m sure I carry a few of those genes myself). Cochran and Harpending hinted at this in their book, but I think the appearance ASDs and genes related to it helped bring about the Scientific Revolution, starting with men like Galileo.

    As I say, nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementia fuit.

    Reply

  10. @jayman – “I’m thinking of writing another blog post on the topic, because it seems to me that people just don’t get it (which itself is explained by the non-existence of free will… ;P).”

    heh! yes. exactly! (^_^)

    @jayman – “About the issue of responsibility and culpability, I think intelligent thinking policy makers need to move away from a paradigm of legal morality, which is obsessed with silly concepts like ‘intent’, and think more in terms of utility. As in, how do we get people to behave the way we want them to with respect to the law (i.e., not break them), given what we know about behavior and incentive.”

    i’m all for revamping our legal system according to what we know about neurology and human behavior and human biodiversity, etc. it only makes sense, afaics — like you say, you’d think we should be able to get more people to behave more frequently if we just take our biology into account.

    also, i feel it’s injust to hold everyone equally accountable when we now know that … well … everyone is not equally accountable. that is, everyone is not equally able to abide by the rules. we need a new system. (like i’ve said before, i’m not saying we shouldn’t lock up dangerous individuals, but maybe we should just admit that we’re doing that to keep citizens safe rather than as some sort of reform effort.)

    might be a bit too early to revamp the whole system, though. further research is probably required. (~_^) although, maybe bits and pieces could be altered at this point.

    Reply

  11. @jayman – “I am of the view that many common mental illness, such as the autism spectrum or bipolar disorder, were indeed selected for….”

    i think so, too. the extreme form of, say, autism would clearly not be selected for, but the milder versions — hey, those are just your engineers! (~_^) seems to be that the parallel is something like sickle cell anemia — or tay sachs. too many of those genes = not good. a couple here and there = selected for.

    Reply

  12. @hbd chick:

    “i think so, too. the extreme form of, say, autism would clearly not be selected for, but the milder versions — hey, those are just your engineers!”

    Yes, exactly! In fact, this idea predicts that if you graphed the prevalence of many of these traits against their “severity”, you’d find something very close to a normal distribution, with the peak near the “optimum” level, being touched just the right amount. I’d predict that’d work for a wide range of common disorders.

    Of course, getting actual data for this would be difficult at present, because most people who possess only mild versions of these traits, say like autism or OCD, don’t get “diagnosed” as any having any “disorder”, which would prevent obtaining an accurate sample of the distribution of these traits.

    Ironically, Half Sigma explained why this is the case, probably without quite recognizing that he did:

    Nerdiness is probably an irrelevant term to apply to soemone from Galileo’s era. Being from a rich family and having a successful career when most people were peasants made him a desirable mate and surely a welcome member in high society, even though he enjoyed geeky activities like physics and math. That is, until he became obsessed with proving the truth of something that was both irrelevant to people’s lives and taboo. Maybe he had Asperger Syndrome.

    That is why you have so many nerds, and as you’ve pointed out, also why we have modern civilization, which is a good thing! ;)

    Reply

Leave a Reply to JK Cancel 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