linkfest – 01/20/13

Feeling Threatened Makes Us Nicer“Perceived menace makes people kinder to their kin but nastier to outsiders. Whether they use this strategy depends on family size.” – hmmm. maybe. part of the study was done on WEIRD students, so … hmmm.

Implicit Race Bias Increases the Differences in the Neural Represen-tations of Black and White Faces“[T]he ways in which Black and White faces are represented in this brain region [fusiform face area] differ for people with a stronger, implicit race bias compared to people with less or no bias. This implies that people with stronger, negative implicit race attitudes may actually perceive Black and White faces to look more different.” – or maybe people who perceive black/white faces to look more different have stronger, negative race attitudes? – original research article here.

Gene flow between Indian populations and Australasia ~4,000 years ago – from dienekes. see also A Three-Hour Tour from greg cochran. (i loved that show! (^_^) )

Genealogy Databases Enable Naming of Anonymous DNA Donors – oops. see also: Matching names to genes: the end of genetic privacy?

HBD: An Abbreviated History of Quisqueya and the Rise of Today’s Dominicans (and Haitians) – from nelson!

The Human Varieties Global IQ Dataset“I’m going to try and use Human Varieties to tabulate a more thorough, immediate, and accurate dataset of international intelligence studies. A dataset that is participatory, updated frequently, and available for download.” – jason malloy’s excellent goal to (single-handedly!) make global iq data open source. yay! (^_^)

Study Discovers DNA That Tells Mice How to Construct Their Homes“The research could eventually lead to a better understanding of what kind of internal reward system motivates mice to dig, or tells them to stop. And although humans do not dig burrows, that, said the leader of the three-person research team, Hopi E. Hoekstra of Harvard, could ‘tell us something about behavioral variation in humans.'”

‘Adventurous’ Woman Needed as Surrogate for Neanderthal Baby – holy cr*p! – via charles!

The Danger of Making Science Political“Many more scientists identify as Democrats than as Republicans…. [B]y some polls only 6 percent of scientists are Republican, and in the recent U.S. Presidential election, 68 science Nobel Prize winners endorsed the Democratic nominee Barack Obama over the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.”

People with low risk for cocaine dependence have differently shaped brain to those with addiction“New research from the University of Cambridge has found that recreational drug users who have not developed a dependence have an abnormally large frontal lobe, the section of the brain implicated in self-control.”

Many researchers taking a different view of pedophilia“Pedophilia once was thought to stem from psychological influences early in life. Now, many experts view it as a deep-rooted predisposition that does not change.”

Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will

Like Lance Armstrong, we are all liars, experts say“During a 10-minute conversation between two strangers, 60% lied at least once, Feldman reported in a 2002 study in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology…. Though men were more likely to lie to make themselves feel good, women more often lied to make their conversation partner feel good. Either way, Feldman said, the urge to make oneself likable and competent was a powerful motivator.”

Got milk? Then you might get a Nobel Prize, study suggests“[C]ountries in which people drink the most milk, per capita, also win the most Nobel Prizes, per capita….” – (~_^)

The Truth behind the HBD cult prt 1 – << only good for a laugh. no, really! – via jayman!

bonus: Portraits of ‘sworn virgins’ of Albania fascinate“Northern Albanian women … live and dress as men in order to provide for their families.”

bonus bonus: Great Oxidation Event: More oxygen through multicellularity

bonus bonus bonus: There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written – cool!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Chinese migration to Angola tops 250,000

(note: comments do not require an email. albanian sworn virgin.)

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16 Comments

  1. “Got milk? Then you might get a Nobel Prize, study suggests”

    Possibly a coincidence between the earliest hajnal line countries and western europe’s relative suitability for producing milk.

    (Personal theory that as agriculture spread north it was blocked / slowed down for a long time while mediterranean-suitable crops were adapted to the cold and wet hence a long period in north and central europe dominated by dairy farming – hence very high levels of lactose tolerance among european descendents).

    .
    “Adventurous’ Woman Needed as Surrogate for Neanderthal Baby”

    Stories like this maximize my two halves at once: the side that says no, this is immoral, wrong and unnatural and should be stopped and the other side that says wow, do it, i wanna see what it looks like!

    Reply

  2. “or maybe people who perceive black/white faces to look more different have stronger, negative race attitudes?”

    Or that region of the brain is the bit that recognizes genetic similarity?

    It would be interesting to see a study of a population that has only recently come from a clan-warfare culture to see if this region is more developed in them and also as a result if they are able to perceive even very small differences?

    Reply

  3. I posted this simplistic and condensed defense of HBD on the website of the person calling it a cult. It’s not the best defense, but it’s good enough for 10 mins of writing.

    A psychoanalysis (which is wrong, btw) of those who espouse HBD is not a cogent argument that refutes HBD.

    HBDers believes that, on average, black people are less intelligent than white people. So far, this gap is empirically indisputable. The only way to argue that the gap is meaningless is as follows:

    1. Race does not exist.
    2. IQ is meaningless
    3. The gap is 100% environmental(or impossible to compartmentalize).

    1. This is very easy to address, namely because I do not even need to disprove Lewontins’s claim (which is actually misleading) that there is more within group variation than between.

    Lewontin concludes that 7% of genetic variation is between races. He concluded (a) that race is meaningless (which was later refuted by A.W.F. Edwards, and (2) that therefore, there can be no racial differences.

    (2) is clearly Wong, since if there is non-zero difference between races, then that implies that their is room for differences between races in cognitive ability. In other words, that 7% of difference between races could manifest itself in intelligence differences.

    (2) The claim that IQ is meaningless is made in several ways:

    (1) The Flynn effect refutes IQ.
    (2) IQ does not measure intelligence

    (1) is wrong, since not even Flynn believes that the existence of the Flynn effect refutes the validity of IQ. For example: If you are just looking at one generation, then the problems that arise from the Flynn effect are non-existent. Its only when you look at multiple generations that the Flynn effect is non-trivial.

    (2) This is true in the sense that IQ does not measure Intelligence at 100%, but hardly any socially constructed test does. However, IQ is the best predictor of school performance, income and jog performance, so IQ is clearly not meaningless, and it clearly measures, to a degree, what is required to succeed in the West.

    (3) Is definitely the best argument that is put forth by critics of hereditarianism. Stuff like gene-environment interaction is cited to show that one cannot measure the heritable component when there is a significant amount of interaction present.

    Well, this is actually wrong in some cases, so you need to look at it on case by case basis . Secondly, the claim that most phenotype(including IQ) are a result of interaction is empirically unsound.

    Environmentalists may also cite racism. Well this is is wrong, since jews were discriminated against, yet they are more successful than the power who discriminated against them. IF discrimination was such a huge factor in the gap, then the jew-wasp success ratio would be impossible.

    Environmentalists also cite differences in SES. This is probably their strongest argument, and i think that time will tell if this really is true.

    Anyway, this is a very condensed and simplistic overview , but an overview none the less. My point in writing it was to show that the evidence for HBD is quite sound.

    Reply

  4. Re: People with low risk for cocaine dependence have differently shaped brain to those with addiction“New research from the University of Cambridge has found that recreational drug users who have not developed a dependence have an abnormally large frontal lobe, the section of the brain implicated in self-control.”

    I’m reading the abstract for the paper but I don’t really get how it lines up to the stated description

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23273722

    Results: “Increased sensation-seeking traits and abnormal orbitofrontal and parahippocampal volume were shared by individuals who were dependent on stimulant drugs or used cocaine recreationally.” (i.e. abnormal (enlarged / reduced?) orbitofrontal (part of prefrontal cortex / limbic system) and parahippocampal volume were shared between dependent users and non-dependent users).

    “By contrast, increased levels of impulsive and compulsive personality traits and limbic-striatal enlargement were shared by stimulant-dependent individuals and their unaffected siblings.” (i.e. limbic system enlargement was shared between dependent users and their unaffected sibs).

    The abstract seems to describe abnormal (?) prefrontal areas and parahippocampal areas driving users to seek out drugs (mediated via increased sensation seeking), while it is the limbic system enlargement that makes drugs much more rewarding or soothing (which has the effect of increased impulsivity and compulsivity) and keeps users taking them.

    Although it seems intuitive to me that PFC enlargement or efficiency improvement supports self control and prevents drug addiction, it does not seem to be an actual result found by this paper, which seems to locate the difference between addicted and non-addicted users in the level of reward provided by the drug, as mediated by the limbic striatum (e.g. http://brainmind.com/BasalGanglia.html“The limbic striatum (e.g. the nucleus accumbens) and the mesolimbic DA system which projects to these nuclei also appear to be highly involved in mediating feelings of pleasure including the rewarding effects of amphetamine, cocaine and opiates (see Ellison, 1994; Hakan et al. 1994; Koob et al. 1991). These effects (including the aversiveness of opiate withdrawal) are probably due not only to the presence of opiate, DA, and related receptors, but the rich interconnections maintained with the amygdala as well as the lateral hypothalamus (Kelsey & Arnold 1994; Olton et al. 1991; Zaborszky et al. 1991) which constitute part of the “pleasure circuit” maintained by the medial forebrain bundle (Olds & Forbes, 1981; see also chapter 13).”

    Depending on what “abnormal orbitofrontal and parahippocampal volume” means, it may be that all drug users are reduced in this, which still supports a role for the PFC in helping avoid drug addiction but is not really the same as what these descriptions of this paper are stating, which seems to be more that non-addicated users are just as impulsive and sensation seeking but just generally don’t get that high from the same supply (whereas the unaffected sibs aren’t impulsive or sensation seeking but would be deeply affected by drugs).

    Reply

  5. @anon – “Gates of Vienna is down with the following message”

    yes. crazy. =/

    they’ve said on twitter that they’re going to start up somewhere else — presumably (hopefully) independently.

    Reply

  6. It always confused me to hear some PC idiot say that “race is just a matter of skin color”, I mean even just superficially there are clearly many other differences. Now I’m wondering if they are seriously not even able to tell.

    Reply

  7. hbd is much more interesting than the blank slate theory – which is oh… so… incredibly… excruciatingly… dull.

    Reply

  8. From

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/01/around-the-web-january-23rd-2013/#more-19814

    “GQ’s Hottest Women List Separates Out the Indian and Asian Chicks. One of the weird things as the 21st century progresses is that the public discourse holds that race blindness in attractiveness in normative, but in their personal lives people tend to go with their inner Bull Connor. In fact I’m 99% sure that my friends who admit privately that they are only attracted to race X (usually their own race) would express public outrage at this sort of thing.”

    I wonder if the behaviour from dating sites and such extends much further than race to national, regional and local physical similarities – i.e. instead of going race downwards it’s extended family upwards.

    Reply

  9. @g.w. – “I wonder if the behaviour from dating sites and such extends much further than race to national, regional and local physical similarities – i.e. instead of going race downwards it’s extended family upwards.”

    wouldn’t be surprised!

    Reply

  10. @bleach – “It always confused me to hear some PC idiot say that ‘race is just a matter of skin color’, I mean even just superficially there are clearly many other differences.”

    indeed!

    Reply

  11. @ben316 – “I posted this simplistic and condensed defense of HBD on the website of the person calling it a cult. It’s not the best defense, but it’s good enough for 10 mins of writing.”

    cool!

    Reply

  12. @g.w. – “Or that region of the brain is the bit that recognizes genetic similarity?”

    that could be.

    @g.w. – “It would be interesting to see a study of a population that has only recently come from a clan-warfare culture to see if this region is more developed in them and also as a result if they are able to perceive even very small differences?”

    yes! i’d like to see clannish vs. not-so-clannish people compared/studied in all sorts of way. neurological studies would definitely be cool!

    Reply

  13. @g.w. – “the side that says no, this is immoral, wrong and unnatural and should be stopped and the other side that says wow, do it, i wanna see what it looks like!”

    my ethical objection to something like this (i feel the same way about bringing the mammoths back) is that, if there was just one neanderthal in the world, he might feel awfully out of place (lonely, whatever). to assuage my concerns, i’d want them to bring ten or twelve neanderthals into the world at the same time! (^_^)

    ‘course then we’d probably discover that they were actually really, really smart, and they’d take over the world and do away with us. neanderthal revenge! (~_^)

    Reply

  14. “my ethical objection to something like this”

    heh, yes i have a million ethical objections – the “wow i want to see what it looks like” part is very destructive and is only beneficial in small quantities :)

    “i’d want them to bring ten or twelve neanderthals into the world at the same time”

    good thinking

    Reply

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