“core europe” and human accomplish-ment

uncle bob beat me to this (hey uncle bob! *waves* (^_^) ). i’ve been meaning to post about human accomplishment in core europe ever since agnostic posted about it last month on his blog.

here, from charles murray’s Human Accomplishment, is a map of “concentrations [of accomplishment] within the european core”:

charles murray - human accomplishment map - european core

from murray (via agnostic):

“The colored regions in the European core (light and dark blue together) account for the origins…of fully 50 percent of the total European significant figures. Just the five regions colored dark blue — Ile de France, Southeast England, Tuscany, Belgium, and the Netherlands — account for 26 percent of the European total. The other 24 percent come from (in order of their contribution) Bavaria, Venetia, Southwest England, Switzerland, Lowland Scotland, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Baden-Wurttemberg, Northeast Austria, the Italian Papal States, and Brandenburg….

“Or you can think of it another way: 80 percent of all the European significant figures can be enclosed in an area that does not include Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, East and West Prussia, Ireland, Wales, most of Scotland, the lower quarter of Italy, and about a third of France.”

*ahem*

the dark blue area of belgium, the netherlands, ile de france, and southeast england is definitely the core area of europe that — thanks to the early enthusiasm of the franks for christianity and the church’s cousin marriage bans AND the franks’ invention of manorialism — has been outbreeding for the longest amount of time out of all the europeans. (see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column for more details.) belgium + the netherlands + ile de france = austrasia, which is where manorialism got started. the franks brought the manor system, and the cousin marriage bans, with them on their trek across/conquest of the east — the light blue bits in germany. there is also evidence for the manor system early on in kent and the south of england, not to mention some very early secular laws against cousin marriage in those parts of england. the manor system was introduced in lowland scotland — along with many actual lords of those manors from normandy — by king david. (no, not that onethis one.)

these areas — along with parts of northern italy (the flat parts) — are what i’ve been calling my “core europe” — the most outbred of the europeans (who are, in turn, the most outbred of almost anybody on the planet). although northern italy — tuscany — i’m not 100% sure about. i have found a little evidence suggesting that medieval northern italians maybe avoided marrying their cousins — and perhaps the genetics backs that up — but Further Research is RequiredTM.

as uncle bob said: “Where there was the most outbreeding there was the most accomplishment. Look specifically at northern Italy, England, and central Europe. I find this astonishing.”

me, too!

map of the “concentrations [of accomplishment] within the european core” with the hajnal line? but of course:

charles murray - human accomplishment map - european core + hajnal line

see also: How Inbred are Europeans? from jayman!
_____

update 09/25: another map from murray’s book [source]:

charles murray - origins of significant figures 1800-1950
_____

previously: medieval manoralism and the hajnal line and behind the hajnal line

(note: comments do not require an email. stomp, stomp, stomp.)

98 Comments

  1. @chris – “Also made me think of the ‘Blue Banana’ (!)”

    yup! definitely the blue banana region. (^_^)

    there’s also something of lotharingia about this area, too. or, at least, blue banana=lotharingia. more or less.

    it’s the interface between the germanics and the non-germanics, isn’t it? the western interface.

    Reply

  2. @james – “How seriously are we supposed to take an article that doesn’t count the invention of whisky as a landmark achievement in human history?”

    shhhhhhh! yes! you found the fatal flaw in murray’s book. well-spotted! (~_^)

    Reply

  3. @luke – “Well, then, a little bit of England, a little bit of France, a little bit of Germany . . .”

    but not ANY part of spain or portugal, or greece, or scandinavia, or ireland, or the slavic lands….

    Reply

  4. Doesn’t the political importance of certain regions, especially southeast England and the Ile de France, Vienna and Brandenberg, obscure the results a bit, since those regions attracted talented young men from all over their respective kingdoms?

    Reply

  5. @bleach – “…since those regions attracted talented young men from all over their respective kingdoms?”

    not sure. Human Accomplishment is another book i haven’t read, so i don’t know if mr. murray took this into account. anybody know?

    Reply

  6. > anybody know?

    The fact can barely be doubted. Michaelangelo or whoever might have moved to Florence, or not — but some generous fraction of his forebears might have moved there in the time after its greatness dawned. Surely they were wealthy, mobile, and high-O on average.

    Europe without Slavland? Unbearable! Everyone watch ZERKALO, greatest art of the 20th century.

    Lieber Deutschland, how is your cheek so turquoise? This is the best heritage in Europe, even if by just a couple degrees. Murray is probably based mainly on English sources, so we may expect some slant toward England, France, and England’s continental satellites. Music, the queen of the arts along with film, is almost as German as evo bio is Anglo. Not quite. However, a few philosophers seem to derive from this breed, and one Copernicus (whose ethnicity is somewhat mixed/disputed).

    However, today I think we must look to Russia and other eastern races for leadership.

    Reply

  7. From England and Switzerland respectively we have the great John Locke and Jean-Jaques Rousseau. The best men Europe can boast of SO FAR.

    Reply

  8. but not ANY part of spain or portugal, or greece, or scandinavia, or ireland, or the slavic lands….

    Hamilton (the Irish mathematiciasn) and Copernicus come to mind. Tycho Brahe was Danish, Mendeleev and Lobachevsky were Russian (to say nothing of Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Chekov). Abel was Norwegian, Tesla Serbian, Bolyai Hungarian, and so on.

    Admittedly they were few and far between, which is the point I think you are trying to make.

    Reply

  9. “From England and Switzerland respectively we have the great John Locke and Jean-Jaques Rousseau. The best men Europe can boast of SO FAR.”

    Surely you jest. They are not even in the same league as Thomas Hobbes or David Hume.

    Back on point, Durer was Hungarian, Copernicus a Pole, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and Magellan are all Portuguese. not to mention my favorite Castillian Hernan Cortez.

    I find Charles Murray’s petit-bourgeois snobbishness to be insufferable. I can no longer read him.

    Reply

  10. As mentioned already there are a number of possibilities here.

    1) The outbreeding had a direct effect on innovativeness through increasing some kind of thinking-outside-the-box-ness trait or indirectly through creating the hajnal marriage form and that marriage form’s voluntary assortative mating and truncation selection increasing average IQ.

    2) The outbreeding created greater group synergy and prosperity and that prosperity drew innovative people from outside.

    3) Manorialism + cousin ban -> outbreeding -> protestantism -> literacy -> headstart on inventiveness

    Or a mixture of all three.

    (2) must be part of it but the Scottish lowlands are an example of the opposite – a relatively poor area that supplied inventors rather than received them so (2) can’t the whole story.

    (3) can’t be the whole story either – at least not entirely – as some of the disproportionate sources of inventors are hubchik’s inbetweeners from marginal terrain without much manorialism e.g. the East Anglian and Dutch wetlands, Scottish Lowlands (which would be classed as uplands elsewhere), Swiss uplands etc. The protestantism -> literacy part might still be true but there would need to be an explaantion for why – if it’s correct that manorialism acted as a magnifier for the cousin ban in some regions – the inbetweener regions took the cousin ban more seriously without the magnifier of manorialism.

    #

    I’m coming round more to the idea that the Germannics already had some kind of more assortative marriage form (rather than arranged by the family to maintain family property) and that led to them having less resistance to the cousin ban.

    In which case the strength of the outbreeding pressure would go

    Strength 1:
    just cousin ban (no manorialism, no germannics)

    Strength 2:
    cousin ban + manorialism (no germannics)
    *or*
    cousin ban + germannics (no manorialism)

    Strength 3:
    cousin ban + manorialism + germannics

    If so i’d guess it was something to do with the agricultural form further north not being suitable for family level inheritance e.g. land held in common by a whole village.

    Reply

  11. “If so i’d guess it was something to do with the agricultural form further north not being suitable for family level inheritance e.g. land held in common by a whole village.”

    By this i mean i think they may have had a cultural marriage form suited to the form of agriculture in the regions *they had come from* which might under normal circumtances have gradually adapted to a more clannish marriage form suited to the regions they had conquered but this process was short-circuited by conversion to Christianity.

    Reply

  12. “it’s the interface between the germanics and the non-germanics, isn’t it? the western interface”

    I think you’re right about Lotharingia / Burgundy but i think it represents the upside-down triangle of germannic (or more generally, northern latitude) expansion southwards with the base of the triangle stretching along the north european plain from eastern england to western poland and the tip in northern italy.

    from

    http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/wiseman/Burgundy/MiddleKingdoms.html

    I think what you’re basically looking at here is the overland trade route from the baltic to the med – hence the southward drift.

    Reply

  13. Has anyone here ever taken a basic science course? This is a perfect time to remind people that correlation doesn’t imply causation. There could be an infinite other number of reasons for why those areas produce high achievement rather than outbreeding.

    And then how do you explain away anomalies of high-achieving populations that are also highly inbred? Best example is obviously Ashkenazi Jews. I would also suggest that lots of the high-achieving people from the core of Europe came from aristocratic or otherwise elite or wealthy families that tend to be more inbred than the middle class majority.

    A recently published paper shows that higher inbreeding rates correlate with higher cognitive ability. I’m aware you discussed this paper previously but reached no conclusions — so how about it?

    http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejhg2013155a.html

    I commend you for doing some interesting and novel research into this subject, but you’re treading in dangerous territory when you liberally use data that seems to confirm your hypothesis while explaining away data that doesn’t want to fit.

    Reply

  14. It would be interesting to see how that map looked if adjusted for population density. If people from Western Europe are clever, then London and Paris will be really clever since there are so many Western Europeans living there. And Scotland looks like that central belt from Edinburgh to Glasgow where all the Scots live.

    And I’m not just saying that because I’m from a sparsely populated country with lots of technological innovations : )

    Reply

  15. Witelo (half Polish, half-German).

    And, of course, we have a lot starting with XIX century. Czochralski, Skłodowska, mathematicians…

    With philosophy we have Włodkowic, Polish brethren, which were widely read and circulated, then also Goslicki, whose works were forbidden in England and even burnt on stake. Basically, this is not so much map of human accomplishment, but a map of who is known in western Europe. We have the teacher of Copernicus (forgot his name :D),

    Reply

  16. The cleverest man in history was Newton, who wasn’t born in either light or dark blue territory.

    Reply

  17. In my mind Archimedes gives Newton a run for the money although this model doesn’t include the Ancients. Bach, da Vinci et. al. all fall within the shaded region I believe.

    Reply

  18. That sarcastic dig at the American worship of the Founding Father demi-gods certainly made me chuckle.

    Reply

  19. ” I would also suggest that lots of the high-achieving people from the core of Europe came from aristocratic or otherwise elite or wealthy families that tend to be more inbred than the middle class majority.”

    Aristocrats tend to produce fewer offspring than the prosperous gentry. Read Cochran & Haroending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion as to why a prosperous middle class led to the astounding productivity (and concomitant population explosion) of the Industrial Revolution.

    Reply

  20. @pf – “A recently published paper shows that higher inbreeding rates correlate with higher cognitive ability.”

    just looking through my post again to find the bit where i said that all the outbreeding in nw europe somehow affected the cognitive abilities of the population….

    no. no, i can’t seem to locate it.

    that’s because i never said — or even suggested — it.

    all i did was to point out the correlation: murray’s high achievement areas in europe seem to be the same high outbreeding areas that i’ve found.

    full stop. thankuverymuch.

    Reply

  21. dearieme
    09/24/2013 at 12:49 PM

    That sarcastic dig at the American worship of the Founding Father demi-gods certainly made me chuckle.

    I love you dearieme but I wasn’t being sarcastic. Though he was born in a back water and only had one year of formal education, the number of of Franklin’s achievements is too long to list. I will mention that after retiring at age 42 he became a world famous physicist in his spare time. I also heard a beautiful string quartet he composed on the radio the other day. He was a skilled politician and diplomatist, I think everybody knows that, but did you know he did pioneering research in oceanography, meteorology, geology (continental drift hypothesis) and a few other areas I’ve forgotten. He was a talented satirist from the age of sixteen, a shrewd psychologist all his life, maintained correspondence with hundreds of friends in Europe in America, was a highly successful publisher, pioneered the franchise form of business organization, invented a counterfeit-proof form of paper money (using the vein structure of natural tree leaves), was a great humorist, had a way with the women, said sensible things about trade and economics, helped design the constitution, made several important inventions (lightning rod), etc., etc., etc.. He was not a very good father or husband however.

    Newton, along with Einstein, was one of the two greatest physicists in history. F=MA and the theory of universal gravitation are epochal achievements, greater than anything Franklin did in the way of the physical sciences. But besides that what did Newton achieve? He wasted half his life on alchemical magic, made lots of enemies, and managed the mint.

    Reply

  22. Oh, and I forgot, because of his silly priority dispute with Leibnitz over the invention of Calculus he set back English mathematics by 200 years. The Leibnitzean notation was so far superior and the English were reluctant to use it.

    Reply

  23. Aristocrats tend to produce fewer offspring than the prosperous gentry.

    From the American General Social Survey, income, which positively correlates with what Greg Clark identified as wealth and which he positively correlated with reproduction in the past, still correlates positively with number of offspring in the Twen Cen, for men, and neutrally for women.

    Education and IQ related variables don’t. The former negatively for both men and women, the latter negatively only for women (IQ is neutral for men). Apparently IQ doesn’t relate to reproduction for women when IQ-education links are removed.

    I expect that these dynamics would hold in the past as well – more wealth = more kids, particularly for men, IQ leads to more wealth, while more education = fewer kids, particularly for women, and IQ tends to lead to more education.

    Some other historical characteristics such as concern over inheritance for offspring, i.e. there are only so many titles to go round, may also decrease family size.

    Where aristos as a well-educated, but not especially wealthy group, and education was shared with women, I expect they had low fertility, while where they were wealthy but uneducated, and women did not partake in education, they may have had high fertility. I don’t know how Europe in the past was divided on this.

    Reply

  24. “And then how do you explain away anomalies of high-achieving populations that are also highly inbred? Best example is obviously Ashkenazi Jews.”

    Were they and are they?

    I wonder (but don’t know) if Ashkenazi adopted the north euro marriage model to fit in when they started drifting back from eastern europe to western europe. If so they would be more like the Danes or the Icelanders (or groups like Quakers in the past) – exogamous within a relatively small endogamous limit. Jews may have been high-achieving in trade and finance before then but in terms of general innovation? I wonder if that is more recent.

    It’s just a thought with no evidence but if correct there wouldn’t be an anomaly.

    Reply

  25. “Aristocrats tend to produce fewer offspring than the prosperous gentry”

    I think people with physical capital – like land – will tend to arranged marriages as a way of preserving it while people who only have human capital e.g. artisans, might tend more to assortative marriages.

    The thing about assortative marriage where the sorting is on overall attractiveness – including cognitive ability but not solely – is if attractiveness ~ fertility/survivability then the couples are really sorting on fertility/survivability.

    The question then is a couple’s combined fertility an average of there individual or the lower of the two scores i.e. does a 10 marrying a 5 produce a fertility of 5 (lowest score) or 7.5 (average of the two scores). If it’s the former then pre-education, assortative mating with the 10s marrying 10s, 9s marrying 9s etc ought to have produced maximal (healthy) fertility.

    On the other hand wealthy arisos could marry peasant 10s from time to time.

    (thinking aloud)

    Reply

  26. “The cleverest man in history was Newton, who wasn’t born in either light or dark blue territory.”

    But he did come from the exogamously marrying yeoman farmer / preacher / artisan class.

    If the base idea is correct the significance of the light and dark blues patches is simply in the *proportion* of people from those areas who sprang from that marriage form.

    Reply

  27. @Matt:

    “From the American General Social Survey, income, which positively correlates with what Greg Clark identified as wealth and which he positively correlated with reproduction in the past, still correlates positively with number of offspring in the Twen Cen, for men, and neutrally for women.

    Education and IQ related variables don’t. The former negatively for both men and women, the latter negatively only for women (IQ is neutral for men). Apparently IQ doesn’t relate to reproduction for women when IQ-education links are removed.”

    No one, AFIAK, has discussed this more than I have. See here:

    Who’s Having the Babies? | JayMan’s Blog

    Fertility is not exactly neutral by IQ or education with men. It’s so because it’s positive for conservative men and negative for liberal men.

    It’s overall negative for women, but this follows much the same pattern, but this is because the smartest conservative women don’t reproduce much; it’s the ones just above average (the Palins and Bachmanns of the world).

    Reply

  28. @PF:

    “Has anyone here ever taken a basic science course? This is a perfect time to remind people that correlation doesn’t imply causation.”

    Let’s get it right. Correlation does “imply” (or at least suggests) causation; it’s that correlation ≠ causation.

    “And then how do you explain away anomalies of high-achieving populations that are also highly inbred? Best example is obviously Ashkenazi Jews.”

    It’s not clear how inbred Ashkenazis actually are.

    And what HBD Chick said.

    Reply

  29. More on Ashkenazi marriage brokers

    It doesn’t appear that close relatives were a major consideration. If anything the opposite. On the other hand, if the founding population of European Jewry were only 400 or so (hat tip Peter Frost), marrying fairly close relatives would seem to have had to have been the case early on. Except that it was mostly men in the beginning, which implies it was mostly shicksas they were marrying in the beginning.

    Reply

  30. “The shared genetic elements suggest that members of **any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins** in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City, Dr. Atzmon said.”

    Reply

  31. @james – “‘The shared genetic elements suggest that members of **any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins** in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City, Dr. Atzmon said.'”

    yes. but that really suggests that ashkenazi jews haven’t been marrying their close cousins, because if they had, the genetic structure of their population should look more like a collection of small, unrelated groups, not one big, related group.

    like the druze, for instance, who marry their cousins a lot — the genetic structure of their population looks like a series of separate pockets of somewhat unrelated groups (see the bottom chart for the druze on this post from henry harpending vs. the bottom charts for the french and japanese). the druze are all a bunch of mini, unrelated clans — they’re not all fourth or fifth cousins to one another. but still, on the whole, they are, of course, unrelated to other middle eastern groups.

    Reply

  32. @ Jayman – Interesting point about the Liberal-Conservative divide here.
    Fertility is not exactly neutral by IQ or education with men. It’s so because it’s positive for conservative men and negative for liberal men.

    Education seems slightly negative for White men and women both though.

    http://tinypic.com/r/24muflf/5 – White men, mean children by education, 40 to 60 years old
    http://tinypic.com/r/egennd/5 – White women, mean children by education, 40 to 60 years old
    http://tinypic.com/r/2zidjsy/5 – White men, mean children by wordsum, 40 to 60 years old
    http://tinypic.com/r/e6dkzt/5 – White women, mean children by wordsum, 40 to 60 years old
    http://tinypic.com/r/34hz2g2/5 – White men, mean children by wealth, 40 to 60 years old
    http://tinypic.com/r/246m1pe/5 – White women, mean children by wealth, 40 to 60 years old

    With regards to present day dys/eu genics, one thing I noticed on the GSS today which may interest you, is that members of the sample report the number of siblings as well as their number of children.

    The GSS analyser allows custom calculated variables, so by dividing children by (number of siblings + 1), a ratio I clumsily named RatioFamSize, you can compare a person’s number of offspring to their parents.

    When this variable is broken down by wordsum and education, both for men and women, interestingly there is a trend where all people have smaller family sizes than their parents (by about half), but highly educated and high wordsum people have closer family sizes to their parents.

    That is family size has reduced for everyone, but highly intelligent people who already tended to come from small families haven’t had as much shrinkage in family size.

    http://tinypic.com/r/wu2ejq/5 – White men, education
    http://tinypic.com/r/2qb82h4/5 – White women, education
    http://tinypic.com/r/2mw5uo9/5 – White men, wordsum
    http://tinypic.com/r/ojjy1f/5 – White women, wordsum

    I wonder whether this apparent trend (faster shrinking of low wordsum and low education family size) will continue or not.

    (Unless this apparent trend is just due to regression to the mean, where low end people tend to be smarter than their parents and high end people are dumber than their parents, but this seems intuitively not correct to me – the child of any two high end persons will likely be dumber than their parents, on average, but a high end person in general doesn’t seem likely to be dumber than their parents, and vice versa).

    Reply

  33. @luke – “re: Ashkenazi inbreeding: I guess it depends on the criteria of the marriage brokers”

    thanks for those references! (^_^)

    i would bet a lot of money ($1.50!) that the story is going to be different for different jewish populations in different parts of europe. i predict, for instance, that jews from france and germany married cousins much less than jews from further east in russia or jews down in the iberian peninsula. that’s my bet.

    Reply

  34. @grey – “I wonder (but don’t know) if Ashkenazi adopted the north euro marriage model to fit in when they started drifting back from eastern europe to western europe. If so they would be more like the Danes or the Icelanders (or groups like Quakers in the past) – exogamous within a relatively small endogamous limit.”

    yes to both of those, i think — but note that i don’t know for sure.

    my friend mitterauer says [pg. 72]:

    “We find it difficult to comprehend today just how preoccupied the era was with the fear of incest — and not only in the various Christian churches but in Jewish circles as well.”

    the era he’s talking about is the high middle ages. unfortunately, that’s all he says about jews and cousin marriage, and he doesn’t even offer a reference (d*mnit!), so i don’t know what, exactly, he’s talking about. (maybe one of these days i’ll have to bother him with an email….)

    Reply

  35. @rs – “Lieber Deutschland, how is your cheek so turquoise? This is the best heritage in Europe, even if by just a couple degrees. Murray is probably based mainly on English sources, so we may expect some slant toward England, France, and England’s continental satellites. Music, the queen of the arts along with film, is almost as German as evo bio is Anglo.”

    @luke – “Admittedly they were few and far between, which is the point I think you are trying to make.”

    @james – “Back on point, Durer was Hungarian, Copernicus a Pole, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and Magellan are all Portuguese. not to mention my favorite Castillian Hernan Cortez.”

    @szopeno – “And, of course, we have a lot starting with XIX century. Czochralski, Skłodowska, mathematicians…

    “With philosophy we have Włodkowic, Polish brethren, which were widely read and circulated, then also Goslicki, whose works were forbidden in England and even burnt on stake. Basically, this is not so much map of human accomplishment, but a map of who is known in western Europe. We have the teacher of Copernicus (forgot his name :D),”

    @dearime – “The cleverest man in history was Newton, who wasn’t born in either light or dark blue territory.”

    let’s try that quote from murray again, shall we?:

    “The colored regions in the European core (light and dark blue together) account for the origins…of fully 50 percent of the total European significant figures.”

    50 percent. not all — or even most.

    i’ve added another map from murray to the post. hope that makes some of you feel better! (my people still don’t feature — but i don’t take it personally. i also know that the absence of my people from murray’s maps/book is pretty much right. (~_^) )

    Reply

  36. @rs – “Michaelangelo or whoever might have moved to Florence, or not — but some generous fraction of his forebears might have moved there in the time after its greatness dawned. Surely they were wealthy, mobile, and high-O on average.”

    and we’re all out-of-africa, too, but you have to settle on some sort-of cut off at some point.

    i don’t know what murray based his evaluations on, because (like i said) i haven’t read the book, but apparently michaelangelo’s father’s family were bankers in florence for several generations — but michaelangelo, himself, wasn’t born in florence because his dad’s bank failed, so they were living elsewhere at the time of his birth.

    i’d be glad enough to consider The Big M a florentine, but i guess it could be debated. (^_^)

    Reply

  37. @grey – “(3) can’t be the whole story either – at least not entirely – as some of the disproportionate sources of inventors are hubchik’s inbetweeners from marginal terrain without much manorialism e.g. the East Anglian and Dutch wetlands, Scottish Lowlands (which would be classed as uplands elsewhere), Swiss uplands etc.”

    i wonder if the great combination for inventiveness is, yes, a good deal of outbreeding (more than you’d find anywhere in the muslim world), but stopping somewhere within the inbetweeners range (whatever exactly that is) so that you still have a good deal of that stubborn, obstinate, contrarian, independent-mindedness.

    go too far with the oubreeding, and you wind up with (admittedly a very nice) population of individuals who reeeaally like being part of the collective. but i think you might lose a bit of that contrarian “i know that there’s a better way of doing this and i’m going to try it my way” spirit.

    dunno. just thinking aloud. (^_^)

    Reply

  38. “i’ve added another map from murray to the post. hope that makes some of you feel better!”

    I certainly do when I see his geographical borders for Germany!

    Reply

  39. @grey – “I’m coming round more to the idea that the Germannics already had some kind of more assortative marriage form (rather than arranged by the family to maintain family property) and that led to them having less resistance to the cousin ban.”

    hmmmm. maybe. i’ll have to think about that some more.

    i definitely think that the pre-christian germanics just didn’t have a very close set of mating patterns. everything i’ve seen suggests that the closer you marry, the closer the clannish ties, and by all accounts the germanics just didn’t have that (they had the looser kindreds rather than clans).

    they must’ve been marrying cousins somewhat, though, otherwise you wouldn’t have had the church/tptb going through all the trouble of banning cousin marriage left and right. my guess is that they stuck to maternal cousins when they did marry cousins.

    i want to/need to read more about other populations that just have kindreds — find out what their mating patterns look like. i really don’t know.

    Reply

  40. @grey – “I think you’re right about Lotharingia / Burgundy but i think it represents the upside-down triangle of germannic (or more generally, northern latitude) expansion southwards with the base of the triangle stretching along the north european plain from eastern england to western poland and the tip in northern italy.”

    ah ha! neat! thanks for those links. (^_^)

    Reply

  41. @grey – “I was going to put this on the open thread but am too dumb to find it :)”

    (all the way at the top! ↑ where it says “open thread.” (~_^) )

    yeah, that looks really cool! i haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but i saw steve sailer’s post about it. thanks!

    @grey – “I think it’s relevant as i think a lot of the stuff discussed here e.g. the effect of relatedness patterns, will have an underlying mathematical model also.”

    heh. if only i could DO some math. (*^_^*)

    Reply

  42. hubchik
    ““We find it difficult to comprehend today just how preoccupied the era was with the fear of incest — and not only in the various Christian churches but in Jewish circles as well.””

    Yes, that’s the quote that made me wonder. I think the Jewish history on this is likely to be very convoluted and varying over time but i think that last bit in central europe *may* have followed the north euro model which would fit the Ashkenazi Jews are 4th cousins thing. A population practising exogamous marriage within an endogamous limit the endogamous limit doesn’t have to be geographical like in Denmark, Iceland etc – it could be religious also and have similar effects – very high group synergy.

    .
    not hubchik
    “The colored regions in the European core (light and dark blue together) account for the origins…of fully 50 percent of the total European significant figures.”

    Just to stress this.

    If all these things are the effects of practising a particular marriage form over a long time frame then the shaded portions simply represent populations with varying proportions of people who fit that criterion e.g. the dark blue might be 15%, light blue 10%, elsewhere 5%.

    The interesting question imo is what proportion of the people on the accomplishment list are the product of an long-term endogamously-exogamous marrying preacher / artisan / yeoman farmer class.

    .
    To add to and modify my earlier list of possible causes there’s another one i.e.

    4) Exogamously marrying within an endogamous limit creates a high level of large group inter-relatedness and that creates a high level of group synergy and that high level of group synergy maximizes the inventiveness within the population i.e. if you have two populations with the same average IQ but different levels of group synergy then the one with higher group synergy would have more innovation. This could occur from better recognizing talent, easier access to funding etc.

    Taking that idea i think you could say things like literacy levels were basically a function of group synergy and attracting external inventors would be also so i’d change my list of possible causes to:

    1) The percentage of a population’s latent inventiveness that comes to fruition is proportional to that population’s group synergy mediated via things like literacy levels, ability to gain finance, availability of neccessary auxiliary skills etc so if exogamous marriage within an endogamous limit increases group synergy then you should expect higher levels of innovation.

    2) The north euro marriage form raised average IQ through truncation selection.

    3) The outbreeding increased some kind of thinking-outside-the-boxness trait.

    Or a mixture of all three.

    .
    hubchik again
    “i wonder if the great combination for inventiveness is, yes, a good deal of outbreeding…but stopping somewhere within the inbetweeners range (whatever exactly that is) so that you still have a good deal of that stubborn, obstinate, contrarian, independent-mindedness.”

    Yes it might be that they had a population size such that after the exogamous marriage process they were more closely related than larger groups and so had a higher pullme-pushyou group synergy score – which might correlate with those groups being so fanatical about literacy.

    Another possibility i wonder about is if a certain level of aggressive and violent traits are useful for innovation either directly for some odd reason or indirectly through the innovator not backing down when people laugh at their dumb new idea. If so then there might be a separate independent correlation i.e.

    1) outbreeders in relatively marginal, low population density regions end up with higher average relatedness and higher group synergy as a result of the lower total population size.

    2) marginal regions tend to have a more recent history of violence through raiding

    If so then having a *bit* of hill-tribe raider or swamp-tribe pirate in recent ancestry might be a factor.

    I’m inclined to think inventiveness is a product of
    1) average IQ
    2) thinking-outside-the-boxness
    3) average levels of aggression

    I think the history of innovation in China will give clues to this as i’m guessing it occurred in distinct golden ages as a result of these factors.

    .
    and again
    ” definitely think that the pre-christian germanics just didn’t have a very close set of mating patterns. everything i’ve seen suggests that the closer you marry, the closer the clannish ties, and by all accounts the germanics just didn’t have that (they had the looser kindreds rather than clans).

    they must’ve been marrying cousins somewhat, though, otherwise you wouldn’t have had the church/tptb going through all the trouble of banning cousin marriage left and right. my guess is that they stuck to maternal cousins when they did marry cousins.”

    My reason for thinking they may already have had a looser marriage culture comes from Tacitus and your posts about kindreds etc. I’m wondering if there was a northern latitude forest agriculture marriage form separate from what we have discussed before but closer to the exogamous form although for different reasons.

    Tacitus mentions three things
    – german tribes burning the forest*
    – people not being hurried into marriage
    – villages dividing their land according to rank

    (*he thinks it was a defensive thing whereas i think it was slash and burn agriculture)

    It makes me wonder if pre heavy plow the agriculture in the northern forest latitudes may have involved whole villages owning sections of forest and they’d migrate from section to section every few years using slash and burn. The reason being low crop yield required them to also have lots of spare forest for hunting and grazing pigs etc.

    If a whole village owned their land collectively and divided it into plots for each family – like pre-manorial anglo-saxon villages allocating strips of land for each family – then you wouldn’t need family level inheritance and if you don’t need family level inheritance you don’t need arranged marriages – leading maybe to the kindred model you mentioned. So they’re not explicitly marrying cousins and not explicitly *not* marrying cousins either – exogamous but within a small tribe. Maybe?

    Anyway, a population like that which didn’t have a long-term culture of preserving familial inheritance through close-cousin marriage – which existed in the south – might have less resistance to the cousin ban.

    So basically i’m saying the overall marriage model might be something like
    1) Hunter-gatherer
    – assortative but within a low population size
    2) Semi-nomadic, slash and burn forest agriculture with village level inheritance
    – assortative but within a low-medium population size
    3) Settled agriculture with family level inheritance
    either
    3a)
    – clannish
    or
    3b)
    – hajnal

    and part of the story may be that a population that had recently been in stage (2) suddenly expanded south and were converted to a particular religion before their culture had adapted to being in a stage (3) environment so they became 3b instead of 3a.

    Anyway this is just for future reference if more comes to light about the pre heavy plow agriculture in the northern forests.

    .
    “if only i could DO some math”

    heh, yes

    i keep meaning to swot up but so many things to read…

    Reply

  43. Just saw this. I’m delighted to have the maps used. Everybody understands (right?) that I’m referring to where the significant figures grew up, not where they did their mature work (which makes the concentrations much more interesting). And I covered only the period back to 800 BCE, which post-dates the invention of whiskey. I would never have excluded it if it had occurred during my time frame.
    Charles Murray

    Reply

  44. >> Michaelangelo or whoever might have moved to Florence, or not — but some generous fraction of his forebears might have moved there in the time after its greatness dawned. Surely they were wealthy, mobile, and high-O on average.”

    > and we’re all out-of-africa, too, but you have to settle on some sort-of cut off at some point.

    Well I agree, how bout four generations. Any single individual further back than that will hardly influence Mr. Angelo’s traits (as compared to the traits of contemporaneous countrymen) — except where one of them is his forbear two or three or four times over.

    > but i don’t take it personally. i also know that the absence of my people from murray’s maps/book is pretty much right. (~_^) )

    Oh, I’m not German (or Slavic) myself . . . maybe in spirit.

    I would like to have had a proper Heimat or two, but I’ve got about eight, which is to say none. But I may be a bit heterotic that way for one thing, and if I’ve known any sort of estrangement in life that is hardly one of the real reasons. –Plus, as admonishing Virtue will cheerfully rejoin, however comical or slamming the trouble of the moment, if that’s the worst thing that ever happens to you you’ll be pretty lucky!

    Reply

  45. I agree with Staffan, and not just because I hail from the same, sparsely populated country. A city of a million is more likely to produce great talents than a population of a million peasants toiling the earth, spread over a large area. Furthermore, the list of great people is a bit biased – not where science is comcerned, of course, but when it comes to art and literature, and to some extent music. There is a consensus, generally speaking, about who is really great, but when it comes to minor classics, there are many writers, artists and composers who are virtually unknown outside their own countries.

    Reply

  46. “A city of a million is more likely to produce great talents than a population of a million peasants toiling the earth, spread over a large area. Furthermore, the list of great people is a bit biased – not where science is comcerned, of course, but when it comes to art and literature, and to some extent music.”

    Your former point only raises the question of why certain countries developed a sophisticated urbanized culture and others did not. Those cities and their institutions didn’t spring out of the earth. And places like Greece and South Italy have had cities since long ago, what happened to them? The cities are still there, but the people who live in them now don’t invent much.

    Your latter point can be

    Reply

  47. As for you latter point, don’t you notice that the map with objective criteria (science) overlaps heavily with the subjective ones? Why do you suppose that is? Even if you discard the maps of artistic achievement, you are still left with the massive and obvious scientific disparity between NW Europe and the rest of the world.

    Reply

  48. @ hbd_chick

    You are drawing a correlation between the outbreeding areas of europe and the achievement areas of europe. There is a clear implication that somehow the former relates to the latter. I guess what you’re trying to argue now is that “cognitive ability” isn’t the same thing as and/or doesn’t affect “achievement.” If you actually believe this then we can stop the discussion right here since I’m not willing to casually throw away decades of research into intelligence and life outcomes.

    Thus the recent genetics paper related to inbreeding and cognitive ability is *highly* relevant here, as it directly contradicts the notion that the outbred parts of europe meaningfully relate to the high achievement parts of europe. They can’t both be true.

    Look, we all know that those blue parts of europe are awesome. *Why* they are special is the question here. So where we differ is that I believe outbreeding is an effect, not a cause. I prefer the hypothesis that some other forces caused the changes that made these areas unique, and outbreeding was perhaps a by-product of these “x” causes. I mean how did people get the idea to start outbreeding in the first place?

    @ all, re: Ashkenazi inbreeding

    That’s a tough one. I don’t have enough technical knowledge of genetics to argue this so I’ll leave it alone. All I’ll say is what I do know: *many* Jews in 19th-century Russia practiced cousin marriage. This is a fact. Remember that the Russian Empire was huge at that time so it’s Jewish population represented a large percent of total European Jewry. And that the vast amount of Jewish immigrants to the US came from the former Russian Empire. Their children, these “American” Jews, are the ones that became the great scientists, jurists, writers, businessmen, innovators, Ivy grads, etc. that are today associated with Jewish achievement. Meanwhile Western European Jews were more integrated and had much less incentive to immigrate. Basically what I’m arguing is that the (extremely) high-achievement 20th-century American Jews descend mostly from inbred 19th-century Russian families, which in turn could be another data point that contradicts the premise of this post.

    But I don’t know. It’s all very interesting, complicated, and arriving at the truth is hard work. So let’s keep mulling it over.

    Reply

  49. @PF:

    “@ hbd_chick

    You are drawing a correlation between the outbreeding areas of europe and the achievement areas of europe. There is a clear implication that somehow the former relates to the latter.”

    Perhaps it does.

    “I guess what you’re trying to argue now is that “cognitive ability” isn’t the same thing as and/or doesn’t affect “achievement.”

    First of all, let’s get it right (again). Cognitive ability is not the same thing as achievement. That said, the former clearly affects the latter. It’s helpful to not to confuse your concepts.

    It’s equally helpful to not put words in other people’s mouths. HBD Chick has not stated that cognitive ability doesn’t affect achievement. All this post shows is a potential relationship between outbreeding and European accomplishment. It says absolutely nothing about the nature of any causal relationship.

    Reply

  50. @pf – “You are drawing a correlation between the outbreeding areas of europe and the achievement areas of europe. There is a clear implication that somehow the former relates to the latter. I guess what you’re trying to argue now is that ‘cognitive ability’ isn’t the same thing as and/or doesn’t affect ‘achievement.‘”

    first of all, what jayman said (thanks, jayman!): i have NOT said that cognitive ability doesn’t affect achievement. but, again, i also didn’t say anywhere in my post that i think the connection in this case of high achievement in europe to be outbreeding>>high iq>>high achievement.

    what i have hinted around about a few times here on the blog — including in my post about that inbreeding and iq research — is that, perhaps, it’s not — or not only — inbreeding that reduces iq (there is a correlation between inbreeding in societies and average national iqs — see here). the prevailing wisdom is that deleterious mutations arise and hang around too much in inbred populations, thus low iqs — but surely those with that idea are forgetting about selection.

    as you point out, there was probably a good deal of cousin marriage amongst russian jews — i think that’s right, although i wish i had some actual numbers on that — and, yet, european jews, including russian jews, have a pretty high average iq. we think we know why that is — strong selection pressures for high iqs amongst jews in northern medieval europe a la cochran and harpending — so, obviously inbreeding is not (always) the whole story wrt high or low iqs. (i don’t see why this hasn’t been obvious to everybody since inbreeding is how we get thoroughbreds, after all! inbreeding can be good for you.)

    what i’ve said about inbreeding and iq is:

    “i’ve suggested a couple of times one way in which inbreeding might result in a low average iq in a population, and that is if the inbreeding leads to clannish, altruistic behaviors between extended family members which then result in the deleterious mutations NOT being weeded out.

    “one real world example i’ve offered is how life works in egyptian villages and how the more successful and affluent (and, presumably, more intelligent) members of a clan are obliged to help out their less successful and poorer (and, presumably, less intelligent) clan members. so, apart from mentally retarded individuals not reproducing, where is the negative selection for deleterious mutations here? there is none. or it’s a lot weaker than in more individualistic societies (like gregory clarks’ medieval england) where it’s more every man for himself — in clannish societies, deleterious mutations might be able to hang around for a long time, riding on the coattails of those with fewer deleterious mutations.”

    if you have different sorts of selection pressures — like with jews in northern medieval europe — presumably your inbreeding can have a different effect wrt iq.

    mating patterns are important, i think, because they alter social structures which, in turn, alters selection pressures.

    i truly wasn’t suggesting in this post that europe’s Outbreeding Project led to higher iqs in europe which, therefore, led to higher achievement. that’s one possibility, but i can think of others. for example, that loosely configured societies — which, i think, you get in oubred societies — open up more possibilities for individuals to be inventive. (obviously, though, you need some amount of iq points.) in fact, they might have to be, since they don’t have extended families/clans to fall back on — then, perhaps the more inventive ones are more successful (and, therefore, that sort of personality is selected for). this is rather the opposite of that east asian thing of hammering down the nail that sticks up. i think there might be less “hammering down” in outbred societies.

    remember: there’s more to human biodiversity than just iq! (~_^)

    Reply

  51. @charles – “And I covered only the period back to 800 BCE, which post-dates the invention of whiskey. I would never have excluded it if it had occurred during my time frame.”

    there! see? i KNEW there must be a perfectly sound reason for why mr. murray didn’t include the invention (discovery?) of whisky — clearly the apogee of human achievement — in his book!

    (~_^)

    Reply

  52. Bleach, those cities DID rise out the soil – fertile soil in countries with a clement climate, which produced a surplus that allowed people to specialize and to experiment. You may of course ask how come some people ended up in a harsh clime that only allows one harvest a year, but the climate has changed over the millennia. The Germanic tribes who moved south to an uncertain destiny during the bronze age and the early iron age may well have been seen as the losers at the time. And, I would like to add in blatant disregard of Occam’s razor, arts and inventions and such may be great, but it doesn’t beat keeping the riffraff out. Not that we have.

    Reply

  53. PF
    “I mean how did people get the idea to start outbreeding in the first place?”

    Thomas Aquinas thought it would reduce conflict.

    Reply

  54. “Bleach, those cities DID rise out the soil – fertile soil in countries with a clement climate, which produced a surplus that allowed people to specialize and to experiment. ”

    I see. So that explains why Eastern European countries with good soil and climate, such as the Ukraine, also stand out for their ingenuity.

    Reply

  55. Bleach, the fertile soil only provides you with an opportunity. You need a head on your shoulders as well.

    Reply

  56. Regarding Jews, whether or not they’re “inbred”, “clannishness” has been argued here to be caused by inbreeding, not that “clannishness” is the same thing as inbreeding. “Clannishness” refers to certain behaviors, attitudes, dispositions, etc.

    Whether Jews are inbred or not, they’ve generally been characterized as being “clannish” by Europeans.

    Reply

  57. The Scottish side of the borders ( especially the west) appears to be within the achievement area. The City of Edinburgh is only 56 miles from the English coastal town of Berwick on Tweed by road

    Reply

  58. @sean – “The Scottish side of the borders ( especially the west) appears to be within the achievement area.”

    yup. i think that’s all scotland there, isn’t it? lowland scotland. that area is darkly shaded on the “science” map [added to bottom of post].

    Reply

  59. I’ve always been interested in the Scottish Enlightenment (my last name, you know). There were a lot of clubs where the men would get together and discuss things. I figure a lot of them were at taverns. So, in my opinion, get a bunch of smart guys together, get them tipsy, and let the conversation go where it will.

    Reply

  60. @bob – “There were a lot of clubs where the men would get together and discuss things. I figure a lot of them were at taverns.”

    oh, presumably ALL the meetings were in pubs! (~_^) i agree: we probably never would’ve got the modern world without the invention of the public house. (^_^)

    Reply

  61. Murray maps individuals both by birth and where their career peaked.

    Basically you can draw a line extending the Rhine River northwestward and southeastward, from lowland Scotland to Naples — a remarkable fraction of high achievers come from somewhere within a few hundred miles on either side of that line.

    Reply

  62. The map is well known in EU economic development circles as the “Hot Banana” which is a shift from the Blue Banana. It contains the main concentration of population. It conventionally stops at Milan. By virtue of the concentrated market and good water borne communications, it has also tended to be the richest zone as well as the most populated, therefore reaching the problems of advanced society soonest. Thus it is no suprise that this is where most solutions to those problems have been found. It is also no surprise that this is where patrons for music and art and literature of a particular kind are found. The printing press found its early home here. The only close competitor in Europe is the Mediterranean Arc from Granada to Naples which Murray has failed to map. The Islamic invention of a significant proportion of the Arabs contribution to modern medicine and maths in this area (astronomy and optics was mostly elsewhere) is perhaps deemed insignificant by this particular author who has picked his time scale to coincide with the NW European spurt. Lothingaria was previously the German speaking area of the Roman Empire. So it was also an area of intercultural exchange, again an engine for innovation. The Arabs opened the boundary between Rome and Persia and reaped a huge cultural advance for hundreds of years which reverbated as far as Spain. Economic and cultural factors can explain this map without invoking IQ. The concentration of fame in England and Wales into the South of England can be explained by the duopoly of Oxford and Cambridge in the University sector until well into the 19th Century. Scotland had more Universities, widely spread. Trinity College Dublin was founded earlier than most English Universities thus Dublin and literature. Wales contributed steel, industrial methods for producing copper, tin, nickel, steel wheels on steel rails, steam locomotives, silver halide photography and concrete (a post Roman reinvention) and doesn’t figure. And indeed Marconi did much work there. Some of those inventors are not known in English. The same thing applies to Eastern European acheivements. Russia had the technology to fight Napoleon, not just in Russia but to chase him back to France. There has been no language of transmission for many of the spaces not included. No IQ based explanation is necessary.

    Reply

  63. @philip – “…this particular author who has picked his time scale to coincide with the NW European spurt.”

    the time scale in Human Accomplishment runs from 800 b.c. to 1950 a.d.

    @philip – “Economic and cultural factors can explain this map without invoking IQ.”

    who said anything about iq? (well, somebody did, but it wasn’t me!)

    @philip – “Trinity College Dublin was founded earlier than most English Universities….”

    yes, but founded by the anglo settlers there. (get a grip!)

    @philip – “Russia had the technology to fight Napoleon, not just in Russia but to chase him back to France.”

    i’ll grant you that the russians are clever, but how much of their “technology to fight Napoleon” was thanks to all the germans settling there? (i honestly don’t know the answer to that question…something i’ve been curious about for a while now.)

    Reply

  64. @hbd chick. The map “Origins of significant figures” clearly says 1800-1950.

    Even Anglo settlers had culture. And Irish and Old English reacted to it.

    Start a thread on Russia. I can write a lot of half remembered stuff and current observations on it (I spend more than 3 months a year there). It was not just, or even mostly, German influence on the technical side. Anatoly Karlin might join in too and provide a debate.

    Reply

  65. @philip – “The map ‘Origins of significant figures’ clearly says 1800-1950.”

    yes, but that is just one map from one section of one chapter in the book — the one (or one of the ones) dealing with european accomplishments.

    you said: “…this particular author who has picked his time scale to coincide with the NW European spurt.”

    that is incorrect. the entire book deals with the period 800 b.c. to 1950 a.d.

    @philip – “I can write a lot of half remembered stuff and current observations on it (I spend more than 3 months a year there). It was not just, or even mostly, German influence on the technical side.”

    you could use the “open thread” at the top of the page, if you like. or you could just put it in this comments thread. i don’t object to off topic comments — as long as they’re interesting/informative. (^_^)

    Reply

  66. Phillip Owen
    “The Islamic invention of a significant proportion of the Arabs contribution to modern medicine and maths in this area”

    A lot of the stuff that came to Europe from the Arab world came *via* the Arab world not *from* i.e. it was Indian or Chinese in origin. A lot of PC people tend to denigrate the Indian and Chinese contributions by ignoring that.

    Reply

  67. @GW I was particularly talking about Muslim Spain. Sorry if that was not clear. Part of the comment went missing. Zero and decimal position were intellectual transfers from India but even there Arabs enhanced the ideas.

    Reply

  68. @philip – “…Arabs enhanced the ideas.”

    was it the arabs or the persians? i have the impression that a lot of the mathematical/scientific achievements that came out of the caliphates were actually persian accomplishments. i could be wrong, though — not an area i know that much about.

    Reply

  69. The Persians did the transmission from India and China. Arabs traded with South India, even Bengal but the exchanges were practical. The cultural links between Persia and North India were strong. Indians, Persians and Arabs all shared a Greek heritage too. Nevertheless, Arab work in Damascus and Baghdad was also orginal. For example, optics was developed to the point that the Arabs knew of lenses, although the practical application is debateable. In Spain, the other major cultural centre, Maths was mostly Arab and orginal. Medicine was also orginal but Jews were important contributors. Jews had a reputation for medicine in early medieval times outside the Arab sphere. In medicine the Arab contribution was overwhelming and the foundation of what we do now; alchemy/chemistry was entirely Arabic as a discipline; in mathematics, astronomy and physics Arab work was ground breaking. Clearly, they must have had higher IQ’s at the time. :-) It may be significant that some of the earliest and most active translators of Arab works were based in England. Bath and Chester to be exact.

    Reply

  70. @philip – the difference between what you have to say about human accomplishments and what charles murray has said comes down to a matter of documentation, afaiac. murray has documented all of his sources (in his book) — you, on the other hand, haven’t provided a single reference. feel free to leave a link or two to some sources. until then (or until i have time to look these things up myself), i’ll rely on mr. murray.

    @philip – “Clearly, they must have had higher IQ’s at the time.”

    could’ve done! ca. 800-1000 years is plenty of time for natural selection to work on a trait like intelligence — plus all the inbreeding they’ve done in that time. the average iq of arabs may have, indeed, dropped since the medieval period. (remember that evolution is not a one-way street.)

    Reply

  71. I’m not trying to convert anyone. I think that the Jared Diamonds’ get to overstate the case for environment too much so I find your site arguing for genetics an interesting counterbalance. However, it is even easier to overstate the case for genetic determinism, particularly in something so elusive as IQ which is not particularly related to accomplishment anyway, above some minimum. There are taxi drivers in Mensa and CEO’s who just did it. A reverse Flynn effect could have disposed of the Arab Golden Age, for example. Biology need not be invoked. And yet there are varying tolerances to foodstuffs, different skin colours, different sporting accomplishments that seem to be ethnically tied. (Since when did race get defined as a group shared at least one UNIQUE gene? Cavalli Sforza?). I think your idea of humans tending to breed in clans is rather interesting. Evolution on a 10,000 year time scale needs strong selective pressures. In a big population a lot of pressures dissipate. Clans create smaller groups on which selection pressures can work. Perhaps you should try and think about clan size in this context. I come from an isolated valley in the Mid Wales mountains which has never had more than 5 or 6 000 people since the ice melted (or certainly since Hekla erupted in the late Bronze Age). I can point to intruders in my genealogy but not many. There is a physical, “Silurian” type. But nothing comes to mind behaviourally. Some parts of Wales, Merionethshire, were so isolated that the Black Death never came. Yet they seem normal people. Keeping track of your family is very important in rural Wales. Shakespeare noted in comments about Fluellen in Henry V that the Welsh were inodinately fond of genealogy. Native Welsh start with “how are we related” not “are we related”. So we are clans but I suggest that any ethnic biological difference (in1914 the average height of army recruits dropped by two inches across the River Severn – the genetic boundary to the clay forest soils only the heavy plough could make flourish) relates to our origins not the last 6000 years of evolution. Widespread endogamous marriage would seem to me to be a weakening of selective pressure. If it acheived some observable result (and I tend to agree that it did) perhaps it was because more high acheiving clan genes were spread, by luck, than low acheiving ones. However, the observable result could easily be explained by the socio-economic change. Biology, a more profound change, doesn’t have to be invoked. Occam’s razor at least.

    I have neither the time nor patience to look at original material and write my own book. I can look up Wikipaedia too but those are secondary, sometimes tertiary sources at best. Most of my sources are half remembered printed materials anyway or even verbal (family histories).

    Reply

  72. “Most of my sources are half remembered printed materials anyway”

    That’s quite important though because since 9/11 PC types in the media have been falling over themselves to assign things the Chinese, Indians or Persians did to the Arabs.

    Reply

  73. The Gulf Arabs did nothing. The Arabs who made breakthroughs were in areas of mixed culture. Damascus, Baghdad, Granada and surrounding areas. Interestingly, not much came out od Egypt, although there was a strong base of Greek intellectual culture there. The interfaces with the Persians and the Western Europeans were the most productive. Somewhere else here, there is a debate on why Byzantium didn’t produce an intellectual ferment. The common factor with Egypt would be Greek thought being considered by Greeks.

    Reply

  74. […] the north sea populations – the anglo-saxons and the dutch: – the anglo-saxons and america 3.0 – the saxons, the anglo-saxons, and america 3.0 – the importance of the kindred in anglo-saxon society – the transition from shame to guilt in anglo-saxon england (and “core” europe) – going dutch – “core europe” and human accomplishment […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s