linkfest – 11/12/12

late again! pretty soon they’re gonna start docking my pay….

Working out who’s top dog“A new study reveals how the brain interprets information about social hierarchy.” – woof.

Their Right StuffThe Grant study has … made the bizarre discovery that subjects’ late-life mental health is strongly associated with the longevity of maternal grandfathers. That indicates a link to both traits somewhere on the X chromosome…. Just as communism, according to an old Hungarian joke, was the long road from capitalism to capitalism, psychiatry now looks like the long road that led from Darwinism to Darwinism.” – heh.

If you are a perfectionist – blame your parents: Aiming to be the best is determined by your genes“Perfectionists are born – not made – scientists claim”

The genetics of stupidity – from greg cochran.

Research suggests that humans are slowly but surely losing intellectual and emotional abilities“With the development of agriculture, came urbanization, which may have weakened the power of selection to weed out mutations leading to intellectual disabilities. Based on calculations of the frequency with which deleterious mutations appear in the human genome and the assumption that 2000 to 5000 genes are required for intellectual ability, Dr. Crabtree estimates that within 3000 years (about 120 generations) we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability.”

Some guys get all the babes – not exactly – from jayman. (luv the photo! (~_^) )

Mongolia and the Altai Mountains: Origins of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians“[T]his blending was not due to an eastward migration of Europeans, but to a demographic expansion of local Central Asian populations, thanks to the technological improvements the Scythian culture brought with them.”

How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Children suffer effects of parents’ divorce into adult life“The children of divorced parents can suffer the effects of the break-up well into their adult life, a report has found.”

Culture: Diverse diagnostics“Perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of this is a study of more than 55,000 children in South Korea, which estimated autism prevalence at 2.64%. That’s more than twice the autism prevalence in the United States estimated by the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 50 times higher than the South Korean government’s figure for autism prevalence of 0.046%. One reason for that higher estimate may be that the researchers screened children in the general population for autism symptoms, rather than recruiting them only from clinics for autism and other developmental disorders.”

Does cloudy weather make you ginger?“Provisional statistics indicate that between two and six per cent of northwest Europeans are redheads, compared to an average of one or two per cent in the world population. But in the UK the numbers are much higher, with 13 per cent of Scots, 10 per cent of the Irish, and six per cent of individuals in England having read hair.”

Hacking the President’s DNA“The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama…. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide … the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.”

Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods

India’s dwindling Parsi population to be boosted with fertility clinics“The Indian government is to fund new fertility clinics to help save its dwindling Parsi population which is now under threat of extinction.”

bonus: ‘Super-Earth’ exoplanet spotted 42 light-years away – when are we leaving?

bonus bonus: Fungus that controls zombie-ants has own fungal stalker – hyperparasites!

bonus bonus bonus: New carnivorous harp sponge discovered in deep sea

(note: comments do not require an email. ping-pong sponge!)

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50 Comments

  1. “With the development of agriculture, came urbanization, which may have weakened the power of selection to weed out mutations leading to intellectual disabilities. Based on calculations of the frequency with which deleterious mutations appear in the human genome and the assumption that 2000 to 5000 genes are required for intellectual ability, Dr. Crabtree estimates that within 3000 years (about 120 generations) we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability.”

    Herpderp, makes no sense…

    “We surveyed an entire class of high-functioning young adults at an elite university for prospective major, familial incidence of neuropsychiatric disorders, and demographic and attitudinal questions. Students aspiring to technical majors (science/mathematics/engineering) were more likely than other students to report a sibling with an autism spectrum disorder (p = 0.037). Conversely, students interested in the humanities were more likely to report a family member with major depressive disorder (p = 8.8×10−4), bipolar disorder (p = 0.027), or substance abuse problems (p = 1.9×10−6). A combined PREdisposition for Subject MattEr (PRESUME) score based on these disorders was strongly predictive of subject matter interests (p = 9.6×10−8). Our results suggest that shared genetic (and perhaps environmental) factors may both predispose for heritable neuropsychiatric disorders and influence the development of intellectual interests.”

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0030405

    The post agrarian eusocial human phenotypes are *adaptive*! Why do Cochran and the other HBDers not acknowledge this? Do they seriously think there’s, like, a cognitive phenotype that’s just the “best,” intellectually speaking? Do they read biographies of history-making geniuses? Those people were weird as shit and would probably be locked up by folks who assume that “MAH NEUROTYPE IS BEST NEUROTYPE BECAUSE I SAY SO!”

    Reply

  2. @elyhek rue – “Do they read biographies of history-making geniuses? Those people were weird as shit….”

    heh! yeah, that’s for sure!

    Reply

  3. So you agree that when Cochran rags on alternative neurotypes, it may be because he’s blissfully unaware of the fact that a species made up of superoganismically complimentary phenotypes may never really have a specific cognitive peak that can be reasonably discerned? (I know your egalitarian-oriented womanly bits are down there somewhere. Let them chew on the idea that humanity ain’t a pyramid, even in Wechsler’s universe.) Autistics measure low on standard IQ tests, but I’m reasonably certain that they’re a prerequisite for civilization as we know it… so Cochran’s probably wrong. About some stuff. And he might have to begrudgingly acknowledge this at some point in the future.

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  4. @elyhek rue – “So you agree that when Cochran rags on alternative neurotypes, it may be because he’s blissfully unaware of the fact that a species made up of superoganismically complimentary phenotypes may never really have a specific cognitive peak that can be reasonably discerned?”

    well, i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t agree with that part — particularly the “superorganismically” bit.

    @elyhek rue – “I know your egalitarian-oriented womanly bits are down there somewhere.”

    i think you must be thinking of some other hbd chick. (~_^)

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  5. @Rue: You misconstrue Cochrans hierarchies of performance on g-tasks as “ragging”.

    IQ is just another QT, like height. It’s not “ragging” to study the comparative performance of tall people at basketball.

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  6. “i wouldn’t agree with that part — particularly the “superorganismically” bit”

    Sweety, look around. There’s a reason we’re so nekked compared to other primates, and it’s probably the same reason heterocephalus glaber colonies resemble rodent burn wards. Just because Cochran prefers the easy math (Hamilton) doesn’t mean he’s right, or even close :P Look at the ants. Then look at us. Then look back at the ants. What other species conducts assassinations and domesticates other organisms?

    “i think you must be thinking of some other hbd chick”

    NO! THERE IS SWEET WOMANLY EMOTIONAL FRAILTY IN YOU YET AND I WILL EVOKE IT VIA INTERNETS!

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  7. @HBD Chick:

    “Some guys get all the babes – not exactly – from jayman. (luv the photo! (~_^) )”

    I figured you might. ;)

    Reply

  8. @elyhek – “There’s a reason we’re so nekked compared to other primates, and it’s probably the same reason heterocephalus glaber colonies resemble rodent burn wards…. Look at the ants. Then look at us. Then look back at the ants. What other species conducts assassinations and domesticates other organisms?”

    sooooo … you’re saying that hairlessness in mammals is a good indicator of eusociality, is that it? hippopotamuses, then, are also eusocial?

    i’m not convinced that we’re as social (or superorganismic) as (most) ants. we’re obviously very, very social, and there are some similarities when it comes to things like division of labor in our and eusocial insect societies, but i don’t think we’re as social as they are. and anyway, the mating patterns are really different.

    @elyhek – “NO! THERE IS SWEET WOMANLY EMOTIONAL FRAILTY IN YOU YET AND I WILL EVOKE IT VIA INTERNETS!”

    heh! (^_^) ok. well, your best bet is to just link to some clips from “lassie.” and by “lassie” i mean the original movie with elizabeth taylor and the guy that used to play dr. watson in all those old b&w sherlock holmes movies.

    (d*mn! note to self: refrain from revealing achilles’ heel on innerwebs….)

    Reply

  9. @Elyhek Rue:

    “So you agree that when Cochran rags on alternative neurotypes, it may be because he’s blissfully unaware of the fact that a species made up of superoganismically complimentary phenotypes may never really have a specific cognitive peak that can be reasonably discerned?”

    I think Cochran is off on that, as there is so much evidence that “alternative neurotypes” have enjoyed their own selective advantages, even if they become problematic in large doses.

    But, strictly speaking, anyone claiming that there is one optimal form of human behavior and that alternative temperaments are all mistakes can easily shown to be wrong. The very fact that there is variance in personality is itself evidence that “alternative neurotypes” play an important role.

    That said, I don’t buy this “superorganism” idea. That is clearly building a bridge too far…

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  10. About that “Children suffer effects of parents’ divorce into adult life” study, when are they going to bother controlling for heredity before they force people like me to look at their nonsense studies?

    They can call me when they’ve shown that divorce negatively impacts adopted children. Then we might have something to talk about.

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  11. @jayman – “when are they going to bother controlling for heredity before they force people like me to look at their nonsense studies?”

    very good point. i’m pretty sure (or at least i’d bet) that kids with different personality types would react differently.

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  12. @HBD Chick:

    “very good point. i’m pretty sure (or at least i’d bet) that kids with different personality types would react differently.”

    Well, it’s not just that. It goes to the cause of the divorce itself. People who get divorced are going to be genetically different from those who stay married. Divorced people have higher impulsivity, lower conscientiousness, and are more antagonistic, on average (among other things), than those whose marriages remain solid. Since their children will inherit these traits, we’d expect to see more children with problems among divorcees.

    In general, it’s bad science to compare qualities of parents with their biological children to infer the effect those qualities on the children. Heredity completely confounds this. Looking at adopted children may be helpful, but even that is only of limited help, thanks to child-to-parent effects (difficult and presumably problematic children might in fact be one of the causes of their parents’ split).

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  13. @jayman – “It goes to the cause of the divorce itself. People who get divorced are going to be genetically different from those who stay married.”

    yup, yup! absolutely.

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  14. @hbdChick – “you’re saying that hairlessness in mammals is a good indicator of eusociality”

    When it shows up this quickly, yes. Look at all our close relatives.

    “there are some similarities when it comes to things like division of labor in our and eusocial insect societies, but i don’t think we’re as social as they are”

    Read: “two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data. The researchers are calling it the ‘anternet.'”
    http://engineering.stanford.edu/news/stanford-biologist-computer-scientist-discover-anternet

    Also: http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/645849-human-societies-starting-to-resemble-ant-colonies

    “the mating patterns are really different.”

    Yes, which is why we get to enjoy the confusing social consequences of what I call “phenotypic vectors” rather than the hymenoptera’s discrete phenotypes. Eusocial insects have a different set of rules, but it’s still one big fractal all the way back to the first euokaryotes (and, frankly, earlier):
    “I propose that the origins of animal development lay in the mobilization of physical organizational effects that resulted when certain gene products of single-celled ancestors came to operate on the spatial scale of multicellular aggregates.”
    https://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6104/217.abstract

    If some of the math is the same at both the multicellular level and the superorganismic level, then perhaps the latter evolutionary stage is reusing material in a manner that can be considered adaptive.

    At this point I’ve had too much Capt. Morgan to proofread. To the permanent interwebs with ye! POST COMMENT!

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  15. @elyhek – “If some of the math is the same at both the multicellular level and the superorganismic level, then perhaps the latter evolutionary stage is reusing material in a manner that can be considered adaptive.”

    i’m a natural born reductionist so this sort of thinking reeeeeally appeals to me. not that i would ever be able to understand the maths for sh*t, but it’s nice to know that there’s cool stuff out there like the fibonacci sequence underlying everything, and that ants are operating with (almost) the same algorithms that make the innerwebs work. (^_^) (i still don’t buy the naked humans=eusociality thing, tho.)

    @elyhek – “…the easy math (Hamilton)….”

    “If some of the math is the same at both the multicellular level and the superorganismic level….”

    perhaps the hamiltonian math could be viewed as the sort-of newtonian physics of biology while what you’re talking about is more “quantum” stuff? and that they both might be right in their own arenas?

    thanks for all those links, btw. really cool!

    since you seem to be all mathy, i got a maths question for ya (for when you’re sober — feel free to answer anybody else who might know this): any idea if anybody ever looked at whatever the h*ll the maths are that describe herding behavior in animals (say, wildebeast jumping willy-nilly off a riverbank straight into the mouths of crocodiles like you always see in the nature programs) and compared/contrasted them to this sort of thing? that’s what i’d like to see….

    @elyhek – “At this point I’ve had too much Capt. Morgan….”

    good choice! as long as it’s the dark captain morgan. (~_^)

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  16. “not that i would ever be able to understand the maths for sh*t”

    D’awww :P

    “i still don’t buy the naked humans=eusociality”

    It’s a hint. Certainly not a perfect indicator. It makes more sense when you realize how rough nonsocial or minimally social animals have it, exterior-wise. If you have any sociality at all, as a species, you can allogroom away the whole visible range of parasites (so less need for a rough, crusty exterior). That has group effects that are as locally negligible and globally powerful as, say, circumcision.

    “perhaps the hamiltonian math could be viewed as the sort-of newtonian physics of biology while what you’re talking about is more “quantum” stuff? and that they both might be right in their own arenas?”

    Marry me. Now.
    http://www.frontiersin.org/Plant_Genetics_and_Genomics/10.3389/fpls.2011.00010/abstract

    “any idea if anybody ever looked at whatever the h*ll the maths are that describe herding behavior in animals (say, wildebeast jumping willy-nilly off a riverbank straight into the mouths of crocodiles like you always see in the nature programs) and compared/contrasted them to this sort of thing?”

    The two papers that come to mind:
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1773169
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.1448

    Herd behavior is probably driven by pure group selection, which might explain why it’s quantumee:
    “This study reveals the magnetic alignment in large mammals based on statistically sufficient sample sizes.”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13451

    “This quantum-assisted magnetic sensing could be widespread. Not only birds, but also some insects and even plants show physiological responses to magnetic fields — for example, the growth-inhibiting influence of blue light on the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana is moderated by magnetic fields in a way that may also use the radical-pair mechanism”
    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110615/full/474272a.html

    The relatively minor individual selection pressures would explain why herd behaviors so often lead to individually silly or grotesque demises. It’s probably the same reason penguins are so sexually deviant, and adolescents are so freaking retarded sometimes. The mismatch between the math of the group and the math of the individual is also the source of literary awesomesauce in certain post-agrarian cultural roles like soldier, secret agent, cop, actor, fireman, hobo, etc.

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  17. “Herd behavior is probably driven by pure group selection, which might explain why it’s quantumee”

    If you’re wondering what that hangover-induced sentence means, it has to do with world lines, epigenetics, the physical consequences of each of the competing interpretations of quantum mechanics, and the scales at which self-replicating/quasiperiodic phenomena are atomized in open thermodynamic systems.

    Reply

  18. @elyhek – “It makes more sense when you realize how rough nonsocial or minimally social animals have it, exterior-wise. If you have any sociality at all, as a species, you can allogroom away the whole visible range of parasites (so less need for a rough, crusty exterior).”

    but, but, but … are you saying that the more social, the more allogrooming? so if you’re eusocial (i.e. über-hypersocial) you ought to be doing lots of allogrooming? ’cause naked mole rats don’t really engage in autogrooming (pg. 68 – pdf).

    @elyhek – “The two papers that come to mind….”

    awesome! thanks. the first one lost me at the abstract, but the one @arXiv looks interesting!

    @elyhek – “‘This study reveals the magnetic alignment in large mammals based on statistically sufficient sample sizes.'”

    i live in a rural area and, ever since i read about cows all lining up to face north when they graze, i’ve been (very unscientifically) keeping my eye on them. it cracks me up, ’cause they really do almost always wind up all facing more or less north when they’re out grazing!

    @elyhek – “‘…also some insects and even plants show physiological responses to magnetic fields….'”

    cool!

    @elyhek – “Marry me. Now.”

    (^_^) i’ll have to run that by my husband first. i don’t know if he’d be up for a little polyandry, but hey … never hurts to ask, right?

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  19. @elyhek – “If you’re wondering what that hangover-induced sentence means, it has to do with world lines, epigenetics, the physical consequences of each of the competing interpretations of quantum mechanics, and the scales at which self-replicating/quasiperiodic phenomena are atomized in open thermodynamic systems.”

    yes, that cleared up all my questions, thankuverymuch. (~_^)

    (annoyingly, i’m not firing on all cylinders today, so i’ll have to contemplate your explanation another day. not that that will make a difference, prolly…. (~_^) )

    Reply

  20. “are you saying that the more social, the more allogrooming?”

    I think the relationship is nonlinear. Eusocials are able to handle parasites (both visible (via allogrooming) and invisible) through a proxy (any tribemate) that is *always* available (and has been for all of the species’ recent evolution) because the unit of reproduction has shifted up to the group level (so almost no evolution happens in a socially solitary environment anymore). If proto-eusocial species are fissioning and fusing in the process of evolving eusociality, as opposed to simply evolving ever greater sociality in a straightforward fashion, then nakedness might be part of a step in that process (e.g. some period of extremely high population density that magnified the effects of parasite load) that is no longer apparent.

    Also, that paper says that they do allogroom on page 61.

    “i’ll have to run that by my husband first. i don’t know if he’d be up for a little polyandry, but hey … never hurts to ask, right?”

    Lemme know how that goes (~_^)

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  21. @elyhek – “I just Googled ‘phenotypic vectors’ to see if I had actually neologized it. Biggest synchronicity wtf moment of the whole morning”

    cool!

    @elyhek – “I promise, I am not John Hawks.”

    ah, but do you wear a fedora?

    Reply

  22. @elyhek – “I think the relationship is nonlinear…. If proto-eusocial species are fissioning and fusing in the process of evolving eusociality, as opposed to simply evolving ever greater sociality in a straightforward fashion, then nakedness might be part of a step in that process (e.g. some period of extremely high population density that magnified the effects of parasite load) that is no longer apparent.”

    ah! gotcha. well, i’ll think about it some more…. (^_^)

    @elyhek – “Also, that paper says that they do allogroom on page 61.”

    no, that was the damaraland mole rat, which is also eusocial apparently (who knew?), but is furrier! (well, i guess almost all animals are furrier than the naked mole rat.)

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  23. “no, that was the damaraland mole rat, which is also eusocial apparently (who knew?), but is furrier! (well, i guess almost all animals are furrier than the naked mole rat.)”

    Yes. Humans have similarly transitioned from the standard varieties of allogrooming seen in our fuzzier relatives. Massage might be one of the results. Hygiene (easier when nekked) is indirectly social, as it becomes quite a bit more important when one’s individual alliances with surface microbiota are constantly being bridged to other members of your species (who may share a lot of your genes) through contact.

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  24. A study in Britain The determinants of serum vitamin D levels in participants in a melanoma case-control study living in a temperate climate., found lower vitamin D levels in fair skinned people. Only partly explained by avoiding sunburn. As the leader of the study commented “But some fair-skinned individuals also appear to be less able to make and process vitamin D in the body, regardless of how long they sit in the sun for” Here So red hair/pale skin evolved to give you lower vitamin D levels if you go out in the sun, and cancer even if you don’t go out in the sun.

    Scotland isn’t very cloudy according to the IoM panel of experts.

    HERE: “More recent data may call into question current assumptions about the effect of latitude. In fact, Kimlin et al. (2007), using computer modeling, concluded that it may no longer be correct to assume that vitamin D levels in populations follow latitude gradients. Indeed, the relationship between UVB penetration and latitude is complex, as a result of differences in, for example, the height of the atmosphere (50 percent less at the poles), cloud cover (more intense at the equator than at the poles), and ozone cover. The duration of sunlight in summer versus winter is another factor contributing to the complexity of the relationship. Geophysical surveys have shown that UVB penetration over 24 hours, during the summer months at Canadian north latitudes when there are many hours of sunlight, equals or exceeds UVB penetration at the equator (Lubin et al., 1998). “

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  25. i watched more minutes than i wanted to of schenk’s youtube TEDtalk video linked above. he has problems with “the more similar we make environments for all, the more their differences will be due to genes.” hmm, so let’s make creatures more similar on genetics – take ants fr’instance – they’re all sisters – let’s try ’em out in different environments – gee, they still act like ants. schenk seems to be an apologist (defender) of PC-ness (b/c that’s what a nice person should do). Create any argument possible to defend reducing the importance of biology/genes & promote environment. …So, clearly if you raise an ant just right it will grow up to speak English! yay environment! cheerleaders for environment are nice humane people! (they want to be accepted by the group:) bahh!

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  26. I’m a bit out of my depth here but as I understand it Gregory Cochran says that Black Africans have a very heavy genetic load of deleterious mutations, and he suggests that genetic load is responsible for a significant part of the IQ difference between blacks and whites.

    My problem with that is that on average Black African populations in the West seem to equal or exceed whites in the qualities that ancestral Blacks have been selected for. IMO people with genetic problems causing Intellectual disability shouldn’t seem normal untill they try to do something intellectually chalenging. But that is true of Blacks, they do not move or act like they have generally degraded brainpower. I think they equal or exceed whites in some mental qualities which are types of intelligence (even if IQ tests don’t measure them).

    Arthur Jensen believed that blacks equalled whites at rote memorization of simple facts and skills. (eg learning people’s names) Jensen found that in person low IQ black children seemed smarter in some (perhaps superficial but nonetheless real) ways than white children of the same IQ. He retested some Blacks for that reason.

    ‘Alvergne et al. (2009, 2010a, 2010b) found no correlation among Senegalese men between mating success and most personality traits, i.e., neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness. One trait, however, showed a strong correlation. This was extraversion, defined as “pro-social behavior which reflects sociability, assertiveness, activity, dominance and positive emotions.” ‘ Here

    That kind of thing is not a higher conceptual function, but don’t tell me mutations wouldn’t have an effect on it.

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  27. And the other side of the coin, Cochran has explicitly made the argument that someone without any mutations would be extraordinarily personable, athletically gifted and brainy . “WHAT would a spelling-checked person, one with no genetic typos, be like? Since no such person has ever existed, we have to speculate. I figure that kind of guy would win the decathlon, steal your shirt and your girl – and you still couldn’t help liking him.”

    The closest we can come to ‘that kind of guy’ in a real person would be one with an exceptionally well functioning brain (the brain is ‘ a big mutational target’, hence superbrains would presumable have have fewer mutations hindering their brain function) .

    But in line with what Elyhek Rue pointed out the great geniuses tended to be seriously odd and eccentric (like Newton was), fathered schizophrenic children (like Einstein did) . Or were peculiarly shy with an intense interest in religion (like Clerk Maxwell who married his minister’s daughter who was several years older than him).

    If anything, being personable (social intelligence) seems inversely correlated with intellectual giftedness, as Elyhek Rue said.

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  28. Cochran dealt with the above objection, sort of ‘MANY great scientists and mathematicians have likely had relatively low levels of genetic noise combined with some fairly deleterious de novo mutations; with the net effect of a powerful mental engine strangely focused on some particular topic not directly related to fitness. ‘

    (Hmmm, Newton spent an vast amount of time trying to interpret the bible. Einstein was very interested in women.)

    GC ends “We know that IQ is associated with a number of good outcomes – greater longevity, for example. Some of that, maybe most, may be people practicing good health habits, but having less genetic noise could help in a more direct way”

    If anything having a high sex drive is the heathiest thing (for a man) ‘HAVING the occupation of “farmer” and a large number of children
    (4 or more) at age 30 increased the chances of exceptional longevity’

    I’ll shut up now.

    [edit: this comment was stuck in the spam box — sorry! i have no idea why. – h.chick]

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  29. @luke – “Can someone summarize that how to raise a prodigy piece?”

    the gist of it was (i think):

    1) start off with an actual prodigy,
    2) make sure to have a lot of money (’cause your prodigy is going to want things like a proper grand piano when he’s five, and he’ll be attending julliard at age eight),
    3) make sure you’re smart enough yourself to know/understand that prodigies need special treatment (i.e. like spending lots of money on/devoting your life to them), otherwise they’re going to lose out.

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  30. @Sean:

    “But in line with what Elyhek Rue pointed out the great geniuses tended to be seriously odd and eccentric (like Newton was), fathered schizophrenic children (like Einstein did) . Or were peculiarly shy with an intense interest in religion (like Clerk Maxwell who married his minister’s daughter who was several years older than him).

    If anything, being personable (social intelligence) seems inversely correlated with intellectual giftedness, as Elyhek Rue said.”

    The incidence of certain mental illnesses appear to be positively correlated with IQ. I suspect that, fundamentally, the reason that this is so is that type of environments that select for modern levels of IQ (which may have reached an average of 105 in 19th century Europe) also select for “odd” ways of thinking. You simply can’t have this type of “insanity” in a pre-civilized world.

    Of course, as well, there is less opportunity for social-niche filling that Elyhek Rue seems to describe in simpler societies that have less division of labor. In many ways, being a thinker is a luxury that only the modern man can afford.

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  31. @elyhek – “Do they read biographies of history-making geniuses? Those people were weird as shit….”

    @sean – “Cochran dealt with the above objection, sort of ‘MANY great scientists and mathematicians have likely had relatively low levels of genetic noise combined with some fairly deleterious de novo mutations; with the net effect of a powerful mental engine strangely focused on some particular topic not directly related to fitness.'”

    @jayman – “type of environments that select for modern levels of IQ (which may have reached an average of 105 in 19th century Europe) also select for ‘odd’ ways of thinking.”

    @sean – “I’m a bit out of my depth here….”

    i’m outta my depth here, too, but i also can’t help thinking that greg cochran is missing part of the picture:

    Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed

    People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia. This according to researchers at Karolinska Institutet, whose large-scale Swedish registry study is the most comprehensive ever in its field.

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  32. I think Gregory Cochran is probably right that men reproducing at advanced age, through the polygyny historically epitomised by Black Africa, causes heavy genetic load. But looking at mental qualities which are the focus of selection in polygyny, and hence especially in Black Africans ( ie the reproductively advantageous adaptations ofmen’s brains), mutations don’t have much of an effect, as far as I can see. I conclude that either the deleterious mutations are largely burnt out by consanguineous marriage, or they’re buffered out and don’t come through to expression.

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  33. @sean – “I think Gregory Cochran is probably right that men reproducing at advanced age, through the polygyny historically epitomised by Black Africa, causes heavy genetic load.”

    just as an aside, i ran across this today — i didn’t realize that there were other genetic things connected to paternal age:

    Delayed paternal age of reproduction in humans is associated with longer telomeres across two generations of descendants

    longer telomeres are believed to be a good thing, longevity-wise that is.

    Reply

  34. @sean – “I think Gregory Cochran is probably right that men reproducing at advanced age, through the polygyny historically epitomised by Black Africa, causes heavy genetic load. But looking at mental qualities which are the focus of selection in polygyny, and hence especially in Black Africans (ie the reproductively advantageous adaptations of men’s brains), mutations don’t have much of an effect, as far as I can see.”

    well, yeah. that’s the thing, isn’t it? (or it should be, right?) — not just mutations, a lot or a little — but mutations+selection that should matter. no?

    Reply

  35. @sean – “Longer life link to low vitamin D. Surprising to some.”

    huh! interesting. thnx!

    edit: only thing is, longevity isn’t very long in scotland, is it? =/ or does that have to do with other health-related issues?

    Reply

  36. @sean – “I couldn’t find it again, but readit onna net that individuals in Senagalese families are remarkably alike looking due to consanguineous marriage.”

    cool! inbrededness and look-alike family members is now the topic of a (so far short) discussion over here.

    if you happen to run across that again about the sengalese, do let me know. i might try to rummage around on google myself to see if i can find it. (^_^)

    Reply

  37. Women not eating enough when pregnant See The Fetal Matrix: Evolution, Development and Disease “n fact the highest rates occurred in the North West and South Wales and in parts of Scotland, areas … They pondered why a so-called disease of afIluence such as coronary heart disease did not seem to occur most frequently in the currently most affluent areas … Barker suggested that this correlation, spanning events over 70 years apart in time, might be causal – that is heart disease might have a partial origin in early life.”

    There was a study done of Scottish working class women’s habits of a couple of generations ago when pregnant, they often were not eating enough, rushing of to work at mills ect without a proper breakfast. Conversely Biodemography of Exceptional Longevity: Early-Life and Mid-Life Predictors of Human Longevity says “Having the occupation of “farmer” [and a large number of children (4 or more) at age 30] increased the chances of exceptional longevity”. Farmers would tend to be the sons of farmer’s wives. Farmer’s wives would eat well. As I recall the Scottish research found farmers children were far healthier

    Reply

  38. @sean – “Women not eating enough when pregnant.”

    aaaaah. not good.

    i often (and by “often” i mean occasionally!) wonder this about celebrity women and their babies. the gwyneth paltrows of the world. they don’t, to me, look like they eat properly when they’re pregnant — they stay too slim. can’t be good for the baby.

    Reply

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