outbreeding and individualism

northern europeans began to think of — or at least write about — themselves as individuals beginning in the eleventh century a.d. [pgs. 158, 160, and 64-67 – bolding and links inserted by me]:

The discovery of the individual was one of the most important cultural [*ahem*] developments in the years between 1050 and 1200. It was not confined to any one group of thinkers. Its central features may be found in different circles: a concern with self-discovery; an interest in the relations between people, and in the role of the individual within society; an assessment of people by their inner intentions rather than by their external acts. These concerns were, moreover, conscious and deliberate. ‘Know yourself’ was one of the most frequently quoted injunctions. The phenomenon which we have been studying was found in some measure in every part of urbane and intelligent society.

“It remains to ask how much this movement contributed to the emergence of the distinctively Western view of the individual…. The continuous history of several art-forms and fields of study, which are particularly concerned with the individual, began at this time: auto-biography, psychology, the personal portrait, and satire were among them….

“The years between 1050 and 1200 must be seen…as a turning-point in the history of Christian devotion. There developed a new pattern of interior piety, with a growing sensitivity, marked by personal love for the crucified Lord and an easy and free-flowing meditation on the life and passion of Christ….

“The word ‘individual’ did not, in the twelfth century, have the same meaning as it does today. The nearest equivalents were *individuum*, *individualis*, and *singularis*, but these terms belonged to logic rather than to human relations….

“The age had, however, other words to express its interest in personality. We hear a great deal of ‘the self’, not expressed indeed in that abstract way, but in such terms as ‘knowing oneself’, ‘descending into oneself’, or ‘considering oneself’. Another common term was *anima*, which was used, ambiguously in our eyes, for both the spiritual identity (‘soul’) of a man and his directing intelligence (‘mind’). Yet another was ‘the inner man’, a phrase found in Otloh of Saint Emmeram and Guibert of Nogent, who spoke also of the ‘inner mystery’. Their vocabulary, while it was not the same as ours, was therefore rich in terms suited to express the ideas of self-discovery and self-exploration.

“Know Yourself

“Self-knowledge was one of the dominant themes of the age…. These writers all insisted on self-knowledge as fundamental. Thus Bernard wrote to Pope Eugenius, a fellow-Cistercian, about 1150: ‘Begin by considering yourself — no, rather, end by that….For you, you are the first; you are also the last.’ So did Aelred of Rievaulx: ‘How much does a man know, if he does not know himself?’ The Cistercian school was not the only one to attach such a value to self-knowledge. About 1108 Guibert of Nogent began his history of the Crusade with a modern-sounding reflection about the difficulty of determining motive:

“‘It is hardly surprising if we make mistakes in narrating the actions of other people, when we cannot express in words even our own thoughts and deeds; in fact, we can hardly sort them out in our own minds. It is useless to talk about intentions, which, as we know, are often so concealed as scarcely to be discernible to the understanding of the inner man.’

“Self-knowledge, then, was a generally popular ideal.”
_____

there seem to be two broad sociobiological/genocultural packages when it comes to average nepotistic vs. not-so-nepotistic altruistic behaviors in human populations — these are not binary opposites, but rather the ends of some sort of continuum of behavioral traits [click on table for LARGER view]:

nepotistic vs. not-so-nepotistic

the common thread running through the not-so-nepotistic groups of today (primarily northwest europeans) is a long history of outbreeding (i.e. avoiding close matings, like cousin marriage). (and a long history of manorialism. yes, i WILL start my series on medieval manorialism soon!) while individualism and guilt cultures may have been present in northern europe in paleolithic or even mesolithic populations, these behavioral traits and mindsets were definitely not present in the pre-christian germanic, british, or irish populations of late antiquity. those populations were very much all about clans and kindreds, feuding and honor, shame, and group consensus. guilt/individualistic cultures (i.e. not-so-nepostic societies) can come and go depending at least partly on long-term mating patterns. human evolution can be recent as well as aeons old.

the individualistic guilt-culture of northwest (“core”) europeans today came into existence thanks to their extensive outbreeding during the medieval period (…and the manorialism). the outbreeding started in earnest in the 800s (at least in northern france) and, as we saw above, by 1050-1100 thoughts on individualis began to stir. around the same time, communes appeared in northern italy and parts of france — civic societies. violence rates begin to fall in the 1200s, especially in more outbred populations, i would argue (guess!) because the impulsive violence related to clan feuding was no longer being selected for.

by the 1300-1400s, after an additional couple hundred years of outbreeding, the renaissance was in full swing due to the “wikification” of northern european society — i.e. that nw europeans now possessed a set of behavioral traits that drove them to work cooperatively with non-relatives — to share openly knowledge and ideas and labor in reciprocally altruistic ways. the enlightenment? well, that was just the full flowering of The Outbreeding Project — an explosion of these not-so-nepotistic behavioral traits that had been selected for over the preceding 800 to 900 years. individualism? universalism? liberal democracy? tolerance? reason? skepticism? coffeehouses? the age of enlightenment IS what core europeans are all about! hurray! (^_^) the Project and its effects are ongoing today.

it could be argued that the fact that certain mating patterns seem to go together with certain societal types is just a coincidence — or that it’s the societal type that affects or dictates the mating patterns. for example, i said in my recent post on shame and guilt in ancient greece that:

“shame cultures are all tied up with honor — especially family honor. japan — with its meiwaku and seppuku — is the classic example of a shame culture, but china with its confucian filial piety is not far behind. the arabized populations are definitely shame cultures with their honor killings and all their talk of respect. even european mediterranean societies are arguably more honor-shame cultures than guilt cultures [pdf].

“if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’ll recognize all of those shame cultures as having had long histories of inbreeding: maternal cousin marriage was traditionally very common in east asia (here’re japan and china); paternal cousin marriage is still going strong in the arabized world; and cousin marriage was prevelant in the mediterranean up until very recently (here’s italy, for example).”

perhaps, you say, the causal direction is that nepotistic, clannish shame-cultures somehow promote close matings (cousin marriage or whatever). well, undoubtedly there are reinforcing feedback loops here, but the upshot is that both ancient greece and medieval-modern europe clearly illustrate that the mating patterns come first. (possibly ancient rome, too, but i’ll come back to that another day.) the pre-christian northern european societies were clannish shame-cultures until after the populations switched to outbreeding (avoiding cousin marriage) in the early medieval period. late archaic-early classical greek society was rather (a bit borderline) universalistic, individualistic [pg. 160+] and guilt-based until after they began to marry their cousins with greater frequency (at least in classical athens). the not-so-nepotistic guilt-culture we see now in northwest european populations is particularly resilient, i think, because the outbreeding has been carried out for a particularly long time (since at least the 800s) and thanks to the complementary selection pressures of the medieval manor system (which ancient greece lacked), but it did not exist before the early medieval period.

so, the direction of causation seems to be: (long-term) mating patterns –> societal type (nepotistic vs. not-so-nepotistic).

i think.

previously: there and back again: shame and guilt in ancient greece and big summary post on the hajnal line and individualism-collectivism

(note: comments do not require an email. earliest formal self-portrait, jean fouquet, 1450.)

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76 Comments

  1. Mhmm emphaiszing two phrases:
    “by the 1300-1400s, after an additional couple hundred years of outbreeding, the renaissance was in full swing due to the “wikification” of northern european society”

    “and cousin marriage was prevelant in the mediterranean up until very recently(here’s italy, for example).”

    The renaissance was mostly an italian phenomenon that gradually expanded to other places, northern Italy’s merchant cities (florence,venice) were at the time far more prosperous and more economically advanced than other european metropolis.

    How do you reconcile that with the fact that clannish mariages were more common there?

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  2. well, that was just the full flowering of The Outbreeding Project — an explosion of these not-so-nepotistic behavioral traits that had been selected for over the preceding 800 to 900 years. individualism? universalism? liberal democracy? tolerance? reason? skepticism? coffeehouses? the age of enlightenment IS what core europeans are all about! hurray! (^_^) the Project and its effects are ongoing today.

    possible exemptions from the above christian dystopian process:

    –the monarchies, the aristocracies, the great banking houses
    — the guild ethno-religious ghettos both high and low ( gypsies , Jews)
    –the military-security elites legal apparatchiks ( not sure if this is documented)

    ie

    those who see the disintegrating masses through instrumental ethics, a host ready to to be fed upon

    a utopia for mercurials

    so is the disintegration a natural exogenous progression, or endogenous to a expansion of social parasitism destroying natural host defenses in an expanding biosystem’s organization?

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  3. “individualism? universalism? liberal democracy? tolerance? reason? skepticism? coffeehouses? the age of enlightenment IS what core europeans are all about!”
    A jury of one’s peers? The rule of law in general?

    Here is Orwell on the English
    “Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for
    constitutionalism and legality, the belief in ‘the law’ as something
    above the State and above the individual, something which is cruel and
    stupid, of course, but at any rate INCORRUPTIBLE.

    It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that
    there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one
    accepts the implications of this, everyone takes it for granted that the
    law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when
    it is not. Remarks like ‘They can’t run me in; I haven’t done anything
    wrong’, or ‘They can’t do that; it’s against the law’, are part of the
    atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling
    as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred
    Macartney’s WALLS HAVE MOUTHS or Jim Phelan’s JAIL JOURNEY, in the solemn
    idiocies that take place at the trials of conscientious objectors, in
    letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that
    this or that is a ‘miscarriage of British justice’. Everyone believes in
    his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be
    impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such
    thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the
    intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory.

    An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a
    face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is ‘just the
    same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism never take account of this
    fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same
    as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective
    truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are very
    powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct, national life
    is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where
    are the rubber truncheons, where is the castor oil? The sword is still in
    the scabbard, and while it stays there corruption cannot go beyond a
    certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but
    open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest
    of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the
    public mind, it cannot become COMPLETELY corrupt. You do not arrive at
    the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to
    vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even
    hypocrisy is a powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man
    in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig, whom nothing short of dynamite will
    ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate
    interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances
    take a money bribe, is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a
    symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and
    privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by
    which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.”

    I don’t know what you do with rubber truncheons and castor oil (ooh-err as they say in Britain :P)

    Another feature of old time English life was the town gossip and gossiping in general. Do we find this equally in all societies? Or do women (and men to lesser degree) from certain types of society have a greater predilection towards gossiping?

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  4. “these behavioral traits and mindsets were definitely not present in the pre-christian germanic, british, or irish populations of late antiquity. those populations were very much all about clans and kindreds, feuding and honor, shame, and group consensus”

    I’m not sure about the clans and kindreds part when it comes to the vikings.

    Recent research (since the 1970ies) emphasize friendship as opposed to kinship as the most important building block in (late pre christian and early christian) viking society. This is in contrast to earlier research that emphasized clans and kinship. I’m not saying you’re wrong but I’d be interested in knowing what you think about this research. Btw: I have no citation for this but my professor who has published a lot on viking society claimed they had quite strong anti-intermarriage norms (6 degrees) also before the introduction of Christianity.

    Check out the last paragraph here using google translate:
    https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86ttesamfunn

    “Ideology and Power in the Viking and Middle Ages: Scandinavia, Iceland, Ireland, Orkney and the Faeroes”
    See page 6 via google books (search for friendship).

    Unpredictability and Presence: Norwegian Kingship in the High Middle Ages
    Search for friendship via google books.

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  5. Great work.

    “because the outbreeding has been carried out for a particularly long time (since at least the 800s) and thanks to the complementary selection pressures of the medieval manor system (which ancient greece lacked), but it did not exist before the early medieval period.

    so, the direction of causation seems to be: (long-term) mating patterns –> societal type (nepotistic vs. not-so-nepotistic).”

    Addressing causation is a key issue.

    I personally don’t see much more room to argue with your general theory now, but of course a few others might disagree, and that’s fine – bring the (intelligent) criticism!

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  6. So this means that mating patterns themselves are not genetically determined, since otherwise an inbreeding society could not switch to an outbreeding society simply by externally imposed cultural change. Have I got that right? The nepotistic or individualistic behavior is genetic, not cultural, but this behavior itself is determined by whether the society has been inbreeding or outbreeding for a long time, and that can easily change.

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  7. A problem with your theory of ancient Greece is that there is a not a lot of time between the Archaic and Classical periods: just a couple of centuries or so. Is that really enough time to effect that much genetic change according to your theory? It took about a thousand years for the outbreeding begun around 800 AD in Europe to bring about the highly altruistic and individualistic society of the Enlightenment, but I imagined even you would be skeptical of genetic accounts that only took a few hundred years to cause significant cultural change.

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  8. @jtgw:

    “So this means that mating patterns themselves are not genetically determined, since otherwise an inbreeding society could not switch to an outbreeding society simply by externally imposed cultural change.”

    Well, remember, it’s gene-culture co-evolution. Genes affect culture, which then (through selective pressures) affect genes, which shapes culture, and so on.

    Just as we see today with the rise of atheism and move toward social acceptance of previously unacceptable things (e.g. gay marriage), certain aspects of the landscape at the time can interact with certain temperaments to produce certain results. NW may never have been too attached to their cousins (so to speak), so were willing to accept outbreeding (and then, what role did manoralism play in forcing the issue?). Even then, it took off only slowly, eventually spreading to much of the planet.

    It still hasn’t caught on in certain parts of the world (the Arab world, India), for what that’s worth.

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  9. @jtwg:

    “Is that really enough time to effect that much genetic change according to your theory?”

    Yes:

    One of the simplest models of directional selection, truncation selection, where the bottom (or top) x% for a trait fail to reproduce is easy to model and produces something that closely fits observed situations.

    Say those 1 standard deviation below average for a trait fail to reproduce – roughly the bottom 16%. (In terms of numbers, this isn’t far off from the fraction of people that fail to reproduce in modern America.)

    The breeder’s equation gives us the selective effect:

    [R = h^2 * S]

    R = response to selection (mean of trait in following generation. S = selection differential (mean of trait of parental population). h^2 = additive heritability of trait.

    If we assume those 1 s.d. below average fail to reproduce, then the mean of the parental population (assuming trait in question is normally distributed) is the mean of truncated bell curve cut at -1 s.d. which you can find (with some … fancy math) to be +0.29 sd.

    Since the additive heritability of most traits is 0.5, the response to selection in that case is 0.29 * 0.5 = 0.145 sd/generation. If this were IQ, that would correspond to a ~2.2 point gain per generation. Assuming sustained selection, the population mean would move one whole standard deviation in just 7 generations (or about 200 years)! I mentioned IQ, but this will work just as well for any quantitative trait with a similar additive heritability, including the personality traits associated with a fine manorial serf – which you [could] model collectively as a “manorial quotient” (MQ)

    I have links to relevant posts over at West Hunter in the original comment.

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  10. The World Values Survey gives us a neat way to quantify overall mean clannishness around the world:

    It’s even mapped in standard deviations.

    Outbreeding has produced an evolutionary shift to the right (maybe to the upper right) for NW Euros on this map. If we assume they started about where the Slavs are now, that means they moved +2 or +3 s.d. over the course of the relevant evolutionary time. Such a change (given the case of strong, sustained directional selection) could take as little as 400-600 years, given the formula above.

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  11. Regarding gene-culture co-evolution, I think the model does make more sense if certain behaviors, like mating patterns, are treated as culturally, not genetically contingent. Otherwise you have to explain how the mating patterns themselves change. Since you prefer to give purely cultural accounts for change in mating patterns, e.g. conversion to Christianity, then you should be explicit that in your model that particular behavior is not genetically determined. It makes it easier for skeptics in the audience, like me, to follow.

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  12. OK so mating patterns are heritable. What then is the genetically based explanation for the changes in mating patterns discussed here? You can’t say it’s the nepotism because then you’re stuck in circular reasoning: nepotism is caused by inbreeding, so what causes inbreeding?

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  13. @jtgw:

    Did I not already tell you?

    Just as we see today with the rise of atheism and move toward social acceptance of previously unacceptable things (e.g. gay marriage), certain aspects of the landscape at the time can interact with certain temperaments to produce certain results. NW may never have been too attached to their cousins (so to speak), so were willing to accept outbreeding (and then, what role did manoralism play in forcing the issue?).

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  14. I see speculation, Jayman, that they “may never have been too attached to their cousins”, but I see no evidence to back this up. What I’ve learned on this blog is that, by all accounts, NW Europeans were clannish and inbreeding until they converted to Christianity, at which point under specifically cultural pressure to change to outbreeding, they did so, which could only be possible if mating patterns were susceptible to non-genetic cultural changes. Only once this cultural shift had effected changes in mating patterns could the change in mating patterns itself effect the switch from nepotism to individualism through specifically biological mechanisms.

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  15. @jtgw:

    “NW Europeans were clannish and inbreeding until they converted to Christianity, at which point under specifically cultural pressure to change to outbreeding”

    Your biggest mistake is thinking “culture” exists divorced from genetics. It doesn’t; indeed, it cannot. As our venerable host would ask, where does culture come from?

    The fact that the spread was slow (and indeed, incomplete) should be a clue.

    Your other big mistake is thinking genetically influenced = immutable, which is incorrect.

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  16. @jtgw:

    “NW Europeans were clannish and inbreeding until they converted to Christianity”

    Peter Frost offers something quite helpful here with his post A Fruitful Encounter. While he is wrong in the notion that NW Euro guilt culture predates the middle ages, he makes a great point in that there were aspects of these people that made them amenable to Christianity and the ban on cousin marriage. In order to go along with something, the people must have the genetic capacity to do so.

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  17. I read Frost’s article and thought it was poorly argued. He offered absolutely no evidence that prior to conversion to Christianity the NW Europeans were individualists or driven by guilt. The closest he comes to providing evidence is that very soon after conversion you have these Anglo-Saxon penitentials detailing the penances individuals must undertake after confessing certain sins. The problem is that such penitentials are not unique to the Anglo-Saxons and were common to the entire Christian world, so that doesn’t show anything special about the Anglo-Saxons (see Eva Levin “Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs”). So unfortunately it still looks like culture, independent of genes, effected a huge change in behavior in the NW European world.

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  18. What I’m trying to get you to do is just to admit that human behavior can be affected in significant ways by non-genetic factors. I don’t understand why you are so reluctant to do so. There is NO evidence you have provided that the switch to outbreeding was genetically caused; all you have to offer is speculation that there was “potential”. But isn’t that itself an aspect of human nature, that it is quite plastic and susceptible to cultural, non-genetic changes?

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  19. @jtgw:

    “I read Frost’s article and thought it was poorly argued. He offered absolutely no evidence that prior to conversion to Christianity the NW Europeans were individualists or driven by guilt.”

    Indeed. I did say he was wrong on that point.

    “So unfortunately it still looks like culture, independent of genes, effected a huge change in behavior in the NW European world.”

    The problem is there’s no such thing.

    “What I’m trying to get you to do is just to admit that human behavior can be affected in significant ways by non-genetic factors.”

    We were in agreement in that point from the beginning. The rise in atheism and acceptance of homosexuality are examples. But those too ultimately have genetic underpinnings – the genetic potential must be there, even if certain realities on the ground are needed for expression.

    “But isn’t that itself an aspect of human nature, that it is quite plastic and susceptible to cultural, non-genetic changes?”

    But that’s just it: it doesn’t seem like it is. Otherwise, HBD-bloggers would be out of business.

    Racial differences within nations of traits that have shifted considerably over time (like say obesity) should be a clue that while change happens, it’s pretty tightly genetically bounded.

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  20. Great post, as always : )

    Regarding the gene-culture thing, as Jayman says there is no purely cultural causation. The fact that outbreeding didn’t catch on so much in Southern Europe despite Christianity is perhaps due to a genetic difference between the Northwest and the South.

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  21. @Staffan:

    Exactly! If anything Italy, the home of the Vatican itself, should be the most striking example. Outbreeding was embraced in the north, but not the in south.

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  22. Another modern example is probably the preference for cute versus bad boys. The cute boy bands are mainly found in Northwestern Europe and East Asia. A matter of neoteny perhaps.

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  23. So you’re sure that outbreeding was adopted in NW Europe only because they were genetically predisposed to do so? I think you’ll need more evidence than just that southern Europe was more inbreeding even though they were also Christian. There are all sorts of other possible variables, and it’s possible there’s just random historical contingency. Not everything in history has a neat explanation. I get that HBD is kind of a cult and everyone has to believe it’s all in the genes, but outsiders want to know why it’s necessarily the genes and not something else. I’m perfectly prepared to believe that some aspects of human behavior and culture are genetically determined, but it’s going to take a lot more to get me to believe that it’s all determined in that way. The correlation between outbreeding and individualism strikes me as very plausible and certainly meshes with e.g. Dawkins’ selfish gene theory. But as I said, to get the outbreeding it looks like you also need to allow culture some space to change independently of the genes. With respect to toleration of homosexuality, as you note, it’s clear that gene-independent cultural change is possible, so why not with respect to mating patterns?

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  24. @jtgw:

    You should probably start with reading my posts on behavioral genetics:

    All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable
    Environmental Hereditarianism
    The Son Becomes The Father
    More Behavioral Genetic Facts

    There you see why we make the proclamations we do about the pervasiveness of genetic influence.

    “I get that HBD is kind of a cult and everyone has to believe it’s all in the genes”

    If it’s a cult, it’s one around the evidence, which is sorely needed in my opinion.

    You’re stuck on the problem a lot of people have: in their minds genetic = fixed & unchanging, so they can’t understand how rapid (and environmental mediated) change can take place over a genetic backdrop. But as we see, rapid change can occur when new incentives present themselves to individuals with certain genetic temperaments.

    “With respect to toleration of homosexuality, as you note, it’s clear that gene-independent cultural change is possible, so why not with respect to mating patterns?”

    But that’s just it. Geographic patterns (and behavioral genetic evidence) shows that it’s not “gene-independent”. That’s the kicker. Why some and not others? Saying “it just does” is almost equivalent to saying “God did it.” We want to know why.

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  25. If one were to take the view that to a first approximation, the places that really mattered for Europe’s recovery from the Dark Ages to become the greatest civilisation yet seen were (i) Italy, and then (ii) The Dutch, and then (iii) the British, what follows? Were they equally unclannish? Were they manorialised in the same way? Maybe the two North Sea cultures were, but surely not the Mediterranean one?

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  26. @Daniel Gonzalez Buitrago:

    “The renaissance was mostly an italian phenomenon that gradually expanded to other places, northern Italy’s merchant cities (florence,venice) were at the time far more prosperous and more economically advanced than other european metropolis.

    How do you reconcile that with the fact that clannish mariages were more common there?”

    Outbreeding was the rule in Northern Italy.

    Southern Italy, on the other hand…

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  27. @daniel – “How do you reconcile that with the fact that clannish mariages were more common there?”

    right. as jayman said above, outbreeding has, for a long time, been much more prevalent in northern versus southern italy — at least as far back as the 1700s. but that’s not the renaissance era, of course.

    if we go farther back to the 14th-16th centuries, there are some data to suggest that northern italians — in particular in the florence area — did, indeed, avoid close marriages. northern italy also experienced some very intense ecclesiastical manorialism (which i plan to discuss in a forthcoming post), and since the cousin marriage bans were rather strictly enforced on religious manors, i think it’s safe to assume that, over the course of the medieval period, northern italians by and large avoided close marriages.

    but, there were some big, extended families in northern italy during the renaissance — we especially know quite a bit about some of the urban, merchant ones — and they really were pretty clannish in their behaviors. the montagues and capulets were based on reality.

    if you look at the marriage data from the 14th-16th centuries in northern italy, it’s interesting to note that the people living in the towns/cities appear to have practiced greater endogamy than the countryside folk. going by this, and some other reading i’ve done about marriage practices in these renaissance merchant families, i suspect that these urban northern italians may have done exactly the same thing as the classical athenians had done: they began to practice close marriages with greater frequency, more than their ancestors had done, probably as a way of making important alliances and to keep the wealth in the (extended) family. and this return to greater inbreeding might’ve cost them quite a bit in terms of a loss in civicness and a return to greater nepotistic altruism, etc.

    note that i’m not sure of this yet. Further Research is RequiredTM!

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  28. @penitenziagite – “the monarchies, the aristocracies, the great banking houses”

    yes. the european aristocracy stuck to close marriages — well, after about 1000 or 1100. before that, they very much toed the canon law line. (at least the frankish ones did.) the european aristocracy may, indeed, have to be considered separately. like a mini-caste? i have been thinking about this, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    @penitenziagite – the guild ethno-religious ghettos both high and low (gypsies , Jews)

    wrt mating patterns: yes and no, in both the cases of the gypsies and the jews.

    many gypsy groups practice very close cousin marriage — a handful do not. and the handful that do not (i think they’re in slovakia, iirc — i can go look it up) are better integrated into the community (eg. less criminal).

    wrt ashkenazi jews: i strongly suspect (but Further Research is RequiredTM) that there are two mating pattern histories here — western vs. eastern ashkenazi jews. western ashkenazi jews have, i think, avoided close cousin marriage since the medieval period almost to the same degree as the rest of western europeans. eastern ashkenazi jews — the ones in poland/russia — did not. again, i’m not at all sure about this — this is just what i’ve gleaned from my readings so far. (i will be posting on this one of these days.)

    where western ashkenazi jews differ from the rest of the western european populace is that they were not squeezed through the manorialism meat grinder. in that regard, they must’ve experienced some different selection pressures during the medieval period.

    @penitenziagite – “the military-security elites legal apparatchiks (not sure if this is documented)”

    not sure, either. surely much(? some?) of the military elite down through the centuries have been drawn from the upper classes — the second sons of the aristocracy? perhaps from a more inbred group, then. dunno.

    Reply

  29. Jayman, the problem is NOT that I believe genetic endowment can’t change. The problem is that when we talk about evolution most of the time, we’re talking about some external change in the environment causing genetic change. The environment itself is not caused by the genetics, which is why it can adequately explain the genetic change: the reasoning is not circular. But if human culture is ALWAYS caused by genes, as you argue, then you are stuck in circular reasoning: cultural change causes genetic change, but according to you, the change in culture is ITSELF caused by genetic change. What started the causal loop, though? You’re going to need to explain that.

    Reply

  30. @harold – “‘An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is ‘just the same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are very powerful illusions.”

    yeah. ages ago here on the blog several of us wondered out loud if nw europeans require greater amounts of ideologies — idealized ideologies — in order for the society to work well (and it does work awfully well compared to a lot of other societies!). (pretty sure greying wanderer was in on that discussion.) might just be how the nw “core” europeans think. i’ve been wondering lately if core europeans are particularly gullible. don’t have anything concrete on which to base that — just a small idea.

    Reply

  31. @jtgw:

    “The environment itself is not caused by the genetics,”

    Ummm, not true.

    “which is why it can adequately explain the genetic change: the reasoning is not circular. But if human culture is ALWAYS caused by genes, as you argue, then you are stuck in circular reasoning: cultural change causes genetic change, but according to you, the change in culture is ITSELF caused by genetic change.”

    It’s not called “gene-culture co-evolution” for no reason.

    “What started the causal loop, though? You’re going to need to explain that.”

    I’m trying to figure out where the links aren’t connecting in this chain for you, but I’m having a hard time. Geographic factors, technological change, economic factors – all those things factor in to the (selective) “environment” as well (which changes gene frequencies long term), as well as the landscape of the day (which moderates gene expression).

    Genes influence (but not completely determine) culture, which affects genes (through selection acting over several generations), which affects culture, etc. This cycle has been going on for as long as humans have been social creatures (and obviously longer than that).

    Reply

  32. @arthur – “Recent research (since the 1970ies) emphasize friendship as opposed to kinship as the most important building block in (late pre christian and early christian) viking society.”

    dunno, because i haven’t read any of it! yet. (^_^) i’m doubtful, though, because pre-christian scandinavian society sounds suspiciously like the other pre-christian germanic societies with wergild and blood feuds, etc. — and those features are generally found in inbreeding populations (i.e. populations with cousin marriage).

    maybe pre-christian scandinavian society was some sort of exception, tho! either one the proves or disproves the rule. (~_^) dunno. i will endeavor to find out!

    (unless late pre-christian scandinavia picked up on the cousin marriage bans before conversion? that would’ve be odd, tho, i think….)

    @arthur – “I have no citation for this but my professor who has published a lot on viking society claimed they had quite strong anti-intermarriage norms (6 degrees) also before the introduction of Christianity.”

    that six degrees prohibition pops up in quite a few societies — from the turkic populations of the “-stans” (kazakhstan, etc.) to albania to the caucasus — but it very often refers to six degrees within the paternal line, so cousins on the mother’s side are possible marriage partners. so i’d want to know if this prohibition in viking society applied to both sides of the family (and where your professor got that from).

    thanks for the references! (^_^)

    Reply

  33. @jayman – “Great work.”

    thanks! (^_^)

    and THANKS for all the invaluable input, too — you and all the rest of you out there who have been thinking this through with me. you know who you are! (~_^)

    @jayman – “Addressing causation is a key issue.”

    yes. been (a little) worried about demonstrating this. the case of nw europeans seems very clear (particularly because it’s so well documented), but i was searching for another convincing example. archaic-classical greeks are a pretty solid second example, i think — especially after all the “circumstantial” evidence is taken into consideration (there’s more — i just haven’t posted about it yet).

    it is possible that the east-west divide in ashkenazi jews might be a third example.

    Reply

  34. @jtgw – “A problem with your theory of ancient Greece is that there is a not a lot of time between the Archaic and Classical periods: just a couple of centuries or so. Is that really enough time to effect that much genetic change according to your theory? It took about a thousand years for the outbreeding begun around 800 AD in Europe to bring about the highly altruistic and individualistic society of the Enlightenment, but I imagined even you would be skeptical of genetic accounts that only took a few hundred years to cause significant cultural change.”

    well…

    1) don’t know for sure when the archaic greek outbreeding began. (don’t even know how extensive it was. note, tho, that the outbreeding appears to have happened over the course of the archaic period, not somewhere in between the archaic and classical periods.) did it start in 800 b.c.? before? after? maybe they had more than 300-400 years of outbreeding before the height of classical athens. dunno.

    2) the shift towards greater individualism/guilt/not-so-nepotistic appears to have been incomplete in archaic greece. that was dodd’s conclusion, anyway. so, if we had a shorter period of outbreeding in archaic greece than in medieval-modern northern europe, maybe we had a less complete evolutionary process towards a population of guilty individuals.

    Reply

  35. @jtgw – one more thing:

    3) the point of this post was to show that, after just ca. 300 years of outbreeding in medieval europe, ideas/sentiments on individualism started popping up in nw “core” europe. maybe same thing happened in ancient greece (but process was aborted by increasing frequencies of close marriages in classical athens).

    Reply

  36. @jayman – “Outbreeding has produced an evolutionary shift to the right (maybe to the upper right) for NW Euros on this map. If we assume they started about where the Slavs are now, that means they moved +2 or +3 s.d. over the course of the relevant evolutionary time. Such a change (given the case of strong, sustained directional selection) could take as little as 400-600 years, given the formula above.”

    AWESOME! =D

    Reply

  37. @jtgw – “I get that HBD is kind of a cult and everyone has to believe it’s all in the genes….”

    no, it’s not (see definition of hbd here — and then see here). please, expunge that thought from your mind! thankuverymuch. (^_^)

    Reply

  38. dear hbd hick,

    Since you seem to show some interest for Emmanuel Todd’s findings, let me suggest that you should (as far as you can read French) take knowledge of the content of “L’Origine des Systèmes Familiaux”, a thick book he published in 2001 (see http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Origine_des_syst%C3%A8mes_familiaux).

    Todd’s central point is that —contrary to popular assumption— the modern symmetrical exogamic nuclear family as we know it doesn’t result from the decaying of earlier patriarchal extended families, but that it’s been the other way around: the nuclear family was the original model for all mankind, the advent of patrilinearity took subsequently place in some areas, leading to stem-family and then community family patterns to show up.

    Societies based on the community principle were very successful at first. Each extended family group was like a military unit, the whole society looked like an army under a central command. Such cultures have built enormous empires in the heart of Eurasia — the Romans, the Mogols, India, China, the Arabs, the Russians. Small Asian tribes were therefore even able to impose their non IE-languages upon modern-day Turks, Hungarians, Finns.

    But then comes the downside. In community-based societies the age of marriage and the status of women tends to be low to very low, which impedes any efficient culture transmission to the next generation. This is certainly the reason why those cultures proved unable to evolve beyond a certain level.

    Western Europe had the opportunity to take advantage from culture assets developed in the Middle-east and the Mediterranean region while still enjoying the nuclear family model as well as the individualistic ethos and the inner dynamics that are correlated to. Hence, after some short brief dark ages, the continuous, ceaseless, uninterrupted civilisational development we have the joy of being the humble heirs of.

    The question Todd doesn’t answer is: “Why the hell was the nuclear family the primary family model, originally shared by all humanity?” Is it inwritten in our genes? IMHO the answer is yes. Long time ago, among hunters-gatherers, the capability of cumulative cultural acquisition linked to outbreeding and nuclear family groups made the difference and dictated which groups were the fittest.

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  39. @staffan – “The fact that outbreeding didn’t catch on so much in Southern Europe despite Christianity is perhaps due to a genetic difference between the Northwest and the South.”

    @jayman – “Exactly! If anything Italy, the home of the Vatican itself, should be the most striking example. Outbreeding was embraced in the north, but not the in south.”

    @jtgw – “What I’ve learned on this blog is that, by all accounts, NW Europeans were clannish and inbreeding until they converted to Christianity, at which point under specifically cultural pressure to change to outbreeding, they did so, which could only be possible if mating patterns were susceptible to non-genetic cultural changes.”

    the question “Was there something special about the Germanics?” — because it certainly seems to have been the germanics that ran with the outbreeding idea, even though it was introduced to them primarily by gallo-romans — has been knocked around here on the blog a few times. and it’s an important one. the franks, the dutch, the (southern) english, the germans (during and after the ostsiedlung), the northern italians, the scandinavians, even the northern spaniards (early on) — these are the hard-core outbreeders.

    the hotspot of early medieval outbreeding was clearly centered in the frankish kingdoms (possibly followed almost immediately by some southern english kingdoms — kent, etc.). there were ecclesiastical and secular calls for the populace to quit marrying their cousins beginning in the early 500s, but still in the 700s most of the populace ignored the bans. then, boom! by the 800s, all the right-thinking frankish people felt that cousin marriage — even second cousin marriage — was abominable. what on earth happened?! some sort of trend shift clearly occurred — what, exactly, the people were thinking in their heads, i don’t know. (yet. (~_^) )

    but, again, was there something special about the germanics that led them to (eventually) eagerly adopt outbreeding? maybe. one characteristic of pre-christian germanic populations that was special was that their societies were based around kindreds rather than clans, per se. kindreds, while still large groupings of extended family members, are a bit looser than proper clans. the pre-christian germanics relied more on both the paternal and maternal sides of their families, rather than primarily the paternal (as is typical in truly clannish societies like in the arab world or pre-christian ireland or the highlands of scotland, for instance).

    if the pre-christian germanics were not quite as clannish as other pre-christian europeans, maybe this means that they had favored broader cousin marriage practices, too — mother’s brother’s daughter vs. father’s brother’s daughter, for instance. maybe they weren’t as inbred as other european pops. maybe, thanks to this, they were behaviorally predisposed to the idea of outbreeding — more so than other more inbred groups, i mean.

    lots o’ maybes there. but that’s the nature of it. (~_^)

    Reply

  40. I didn’t expect you to have read it already, but hope you’ll have the time to look into this sometime. The foreword of “Unpredictability and presence” has a lot on what they call the socioanthropological turn in research on norse society. I’m not sure if this changing perception of how the norse society worked is also relevant for other germanic societies, maybe not.

    In the norse society has been described as a bilateral descent system in the books I’ve read, it could be that they had some special rule for marriage though.

    Thanks for an interesting blog. I read pretty much everything! :)

    Reply

  41. Ah. I see you’ve written about the questions I’ve been thinking about in the last comment now.

    Reply

  42. I must look further at the evidence that Europeans invented the individual that late. My first reaction is that Christianity makes no sense at all if you don’t assume that there are individuals. All right, maybe you think it makes no sense at all anyway, but you still have to deal with remarks like “even the hairs on your head are numbered’ and “as a man thinketh in his heart so it he” and “when you pray, go do your room and do it in secret.” I could have sworn that St. Columba brought Christianity to Britain long before you suggest and St. Malo brought it to the continent not so long after.

    Reply

  43. Humans and especially Europeans, it seems, tend to be more behaviorally plastic. That is, if you are in a society and in this society, a group of people can dominate and impose their policies through social coercion or by imposing, then you’ll likely to adapt to these circumstances. The personality is not like a plateau is like a typical volcanic mountain, there is a certain plasticity, which is quite limited, but existing. Without it, individuals would perish immediately when changes occurred in the environment.

    The Russian case. Did the Russians have had previous predispositions to ” accept ” the Russian revolution *** No. The Russians were ” well suited ” to an aristocratic and extremely unequal society, because of domestication.

    If you play a domesticated dog in the forest, he re-adapt wildlife **

    Jgs mean, i think, is that, yes, after all have a major genetic basis, indirectly genetic factors, which we may call directly cultural factors, can be key to change the dynamics in long-term of a society.

    The case of the Arab nations, enriched by its oil reserves. There is more tolerance to dissenting behaviors because of the wealth provided by oil reserves. This is an example of the way the ” culture ” can influence the genetic landscape, is variable.

    Environmental factors are more to geopolitical factors, especially to account for large bio-cultural events.

    Reply

  44. Great post hbd chick. I am now convinced that outbreeding was a major factor in the rise in individualism. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but am sure that some of the behavioural differences seen between inbred and outbred populations might be due to differences in 5-HTTLPR alleles, MAO-A genes, CDH13 genes, DRD4 genes, androgen receptor genes, cortisol receptor genes, oxytocin receptor genes, serotonin, dopamine, etc. I know that 5-HTTLPR ‘l’ vs. ‘s’ alleles have been implicated in individualism versus collectivism. And no doubt there are differences in many other genes for empathy, iq, time preference, aggression and violence, sensation seeking, libido, etc etc. between the inbred and the outbred. I also wonder if outbreeding was also partly a by-product of a population boom caused by agriculture, or better immunity due to a change in gut flora with increased dairy consumption (lactic acid bacteria) after selection for lactase persistence alleles in European populations.

    Reply

  45. I think that in NW Europe outbreeding has always been there (except for peripheral exceptions like Scotland or Brittany, where clannish structures probably appeared late in history), furthermore encouraged by Christianity. But at some point, from an ancestral social practice it turned into an explicit, conscious ideology, and gave birth to individualism as we know it. The 11th-12th centuries is the correct timeframe.

    This coincided with an unprecedented cultural and psychological revolution: the invention of reciprocated romantic love, something unheard of so far, whereby lovers could legitimately choose themselves by themselves, which gave birth to the myth of Tristan and Iseult.

    hbdchick: “the hotspot of early medieval outbreeding was clearly centered in the frankish kingdoms (possibly followed almost immediately by some southern english kingdoms — kent, etc.).”

    The Norman link seems obvious here. Not by chance, the very first versions of Tristan and Iseult were composed by Norman writers (Béroul, Thomas of Britain and Marie de France) who all used the Anglo-Norman shade of Old French.

    Reply

  46. Good stuff. Also interesting is Alan Macfarlane’s Origins of English Individualism. He uses court documents to show, e.g., women suing as individuals in manor courts by the mid 12th century. Oh, and pretty well everyone chucked the kids out of the house at age 13 — into service or apprenticeship.

    Reply

  47. @jtgw

    What I’m trying to get you to do is just to admit that human behavior can be affected in significant ways by non-genetic factors.

    I’m in the middle of the argument in terms of how much wiggle room there is for culture to change in advance of genes particularly via religion (as conformity to group norms is one of those genetic factors) however leaving that aside there’s another possible explanation at least some of the time: geography.

    If you look at the physical map of Europe you can see that great swathe of North European Plain. Apparently a lot of that couldn’t be plowed until the heavy plow and the heavy plow required too many oxen for a single farmer to have their own ox team – hence the move to collective villages sharing an oxen team including a lot of new manors cut out of the forest leading to a dramatic population increase.

    The thing about that process is
    1) people moving to the new manors from lots of different clannish villages
    2) the population in the manors becoming a big percentage of the total population

    so you might get an increase in the out breeding thing as a mechanical result of new technology combined with geography.

    .

    @Italy

    nb the Po valley in this regard as well. A high density population might partially out breed purely through population density i.e. if there are 8 cousins to choose from instead of just 2 you get more out breeding by accident.

    .

    @anon

    I must look further at the evidence that Europeans invented the individual that late. My first reaction is that Christianity makes no sense at all if you don’t assume that there are individuals.

    Slavery might be another cause of accidental out breeding as a Roman estate could have slaves from Ireland, North Africa, Germany, Greece, Egypt and Persia all on the same spot so if the general theory is correct early Christian individualism might not be a contradiction.

    Although if clannishness is the human default then if those slave estates turned into villages after the fall of Rome the accidental phases of out breeding would revert back to the default.

    .

    @Arthur

    I’m not sure about the clans and kindreds part when it comes to the vikings.

    I think there might be two aspects to this: a social one and a military one.

    If you have a *maritime* raiding culture in a low population density society there might not be enough young male cousins in the same area for a full crew – a crew in the literal sense not the slang sense although it’s interesting the slang meaning is the same – basically a broderbund.

    IIRC hbdchick had a post some time ago where the English word “guild” had the same original meaning.

    So a “crew” of sea raiders might have to be a collection of small groups of brothers / cousins from different nearby settlements.

    So it seems to me the context might be important. Each little valley might be kindred based while the actual viking ship crewed from 3-4 of those kindreds might be friend / guild / broderbund based.

    Reply

  48. @Greying Wanderer :

    • About geography: natural conditions do not seem to play any significant role. Whilst the plains of Northern France were possibly the craddle of modern individualism (along with delayed marriage, nuclear family etc.), East of the Hajnal line people until modern times used to marry very early under their fathers and grand-fathers’ authority, which naturally increased the chances for inbreeding. Similarly flat landscapes do not necessarily generate similar social structures.

    • About *maritime* raiding cultures: a “crew” of sea raiders might have to be a collection of small groups of brothers / cousins from different nearby settlements. Or just the opposite… Actually, in view of the poor availability of additional agricultural land along the Norwegian coasts and the sandy moors of Denmark, in a context of increased demographic pressure, younger brothers were incited to seek their fortune overseas as Vikings. Which prevented any clannish organisation to appear.

    On the other hand, we know that in North Africa piracy and plundering raids had been a way of life for over a thousand years but went along just fine with inbreeding. Here again, similar premises do not result in the same effects depending on cultures.

    Reply

  49. @norbrelor – “I think that in NW Europe outbreeding has always been there (except for peripheral exceptions like Scotland or Brittany, where clannish structures probably appeared late in history)…”

    no. absolutely not. the historians are in full agreement on this point: the pre-christian germanics practiced cousin marriage. the only questions are: 1) how frequently? (enough that the early christian missionaries freaked out over it), and 2) what form? (i favor mother’s brother’s daughter marriage, but that really is a guess on my part).

    see these and other posts (links below ↓ in left-hand column under “mating patterns in europe series”) for more on this issue:

    mating patterns of the medieval franks
    anglo-saxon mating patterns
    inbreeding amongst germanic tribes
    more on inbreeding in germanic tribes

    Reply

  50. @Norbrelor

    “Whilst the plains of Northern France were possibly the craddle of modern individualism (along with delayed marriage, nuclear family etc.), East of the Hajnal line people until modern times used to marry very early under their fathers and grand-fathers’ authority, which naturally increased the chances for inbreeding”

    gulf stream

    hajnal line

    I agree it’s not just flat land; it’s the combination of factors that create different ecozones as those ecozones each have an optimal food-getting strategy (for the current level of technology) which effects the optimal cultural form for that good-getting strategy.

    imo

    Reply

  51. @Norbrelor

    “in view of the poor availability of additional agricultural land along the Norwegian coasts and the sandy moors of Denmark”

    That’s my point really. In a culture of small settlements (because of lack of land) filling a crew might require a contingent from multiple settlements.

    Fjords

    Whereas in a large village / small town it might be possible to fill a crew from the same clan.

    North Africa

    Just a thought.

    .

    Although on reflection that probably applies both ways – the need to cooperate across settlements to fill a ship implies the same need on most large activities.

    Reply

  52. nb might be interesting to compare the border between zone 6 and 7 on the gulf stream map with Jayman’s Polish voting map.

    Reply

  53. sorry, again, to anyone who’s experienced their comments getting stuck in the moderation queue lately (actually, they’re getting dumped into the spam box!). wordpress has been acting up over the past couple of weeks. dunno why. out of my control, unfortunately. (*argh!*)

    just know that your comment will get approved at some point by me. (^_^)

    Reply

  54. yeah i think it was staffan who first mentioned it? it was somebody here anyway. can’t remember now.

    it’s one of those things which are so obvious afterwards :)

    Reply

  55. @gw

    so you might get an increase in the out breeding thing as a mechanical result of new technology combined with geography.

    Yes, the population boom 1000-1300 that came from new farming tech, wider watermill use, climactic optimum, end of invasions, etc. also made the cities grow fast. It seems there’s often a connection between urban growth and new sciences/philosophies.

    Add to that the outbreeding push, where it becomes natural not to think of ‘my family group vs. your family group’ but ‘me as individual vs. you as individual,’ and it makes sense that it all began there and then.

    Also that gulf stream-Hajnal line comparison is really interesting, I wonder if there’s something to it?

    Reply

  56. @anonymous – “I must look further at the evidence that Europeans invented the individual that late.”

    me, too! (^_^) please note, though, that i specified northern europeans in the post — and (you might not know if you’re new here) when i say northern europeans, that’s really shorthand for my “core” europeans (which i describe later in the post).

    that doesn’t mean that other europeans (at other times) didn’t also invent the concept of individual — i linked to a previous post of mine about the ancient greeks. the romans are another likely group. what this post was about was how, it seems, that northern european populations were not individualistic until the medieval period.

    @anonymous – “…you still have to deal with remarks like ‘even the hairs on your head are numbered’ and ‘as a man thinketh in his heart so it he’ and ‘when you pray, go do your room and do it in secret.'”

    again, these comments are coming from a different part of the world — either ancient judea or the hellenized middle east/greece — not pre- or even post-christian northern europe, so i think we need to treat them differently from an evolutionary point of view. having said that, i think these passages are qualitatively different from the sort of things described in The Discovery of the Individual (the book i quoted in the post). in TDotI, the writings about the individual deal very much, as the author said, with ideas on introspection (and how important that was) as well as internal motivations (coming from the self or the anima or whatever). there’s sort-of a self-reflection on the self going on here. saying that god pays attention to all individuals is not really the same sort of thing. “as a man thinketh in his heart so it he” certainly is much closer.

    clearly Further Research is RequiredTM! (~_^)

    @anonymous – “I could have sworn that St. Columba brought Christianity to Britain long before you suggest and St. Malo brought it to the continent not so long after.”

    yes. but the celtic church in britain and ireland ignored many of the teachings from rome for a very long time, including the cousin marriage bans. what’s of interest here is when various european populations began following the church’s cousin marriage bans. in the frankish kingdoms, this was in the 800s — even though the earliest ban was from the early 500s. in england some of the earliest known bans were from the 600s, but exactly when these were widely adopted by the populace is another (unanswered) question.

    btw, sorry for the delayed response to your comment. i forgot about it! =o

    Reply

  57. @m.g.

    “Also that gulf stream-Hajnal line comparison is really interesting, I wonder if there’s something to it?”

    There was a recent post here about wheat growing regions in France.

    https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/crops-and-cousin-marriage-in-france/

    Assuming there is/was some ecozone type reason for that distribution then if you look at the european bio-geographical regions

    http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/biogeographical-regions-in-europe-1/map_2-1_biogeographical-regions.eps/image_original

    then you see the hajnal area is mostly on the “atlantic” and “continental” regions

    if you take the combined atlantic and continental regions and filter them by only including the lowland areas from the physical map

    then if’s a closer fit to the hajnal line except for the long stretch of lowland “continental” stretching out to the east

    but if you add the gulf stream map as a second filter and include only those areas up to say zone 7

    then you get a very close fit indeed.

    #

    So the correlation is hajnal ~ atlantic&continental bioregions + lowlands + gulf stream.

    (nb hbdchick’s core zone is pretty much at the westernmost point of the continental region just beyond the excessively rainy atlantic region so possibly the optimal point for this wheatifying process to begin)

    (nb the Po valley meets the conditions also)

    #

    If there is causation I’d say it would be:

    1) there were regions where the climate was viable for growing wheat (as above) but they were left as pasture because the heavy clay valley soils couldn’t be plowed

    2) the heavy plow made growing wheat viable in those regions but required a large oxen team which a small farmer couldn’t support alone

    3) manors were established which could support the large oxen teams

    4) settlers came from the traditional clannish villages to the manors

    #

    plausible imo

    Reply

  58. while I’m at it I’d also bet the heavy plow was developed in a monastery near hbdchick’s ground zero

    Reply

  59. I haven’t read the whole discussion here because it would probably be over my head in some cases; I’m not a science person. But I do know my own lineage pretty far back, it’s been well-documented, and I’ve read much genealogy material related to my ancestral countries and lineages. So I can say that Anglo-Normans, in particular, were not ‘outbreeding’ if I understand that term correctly, up until the time when the social order began breaking down into a more egalitarian pattern. Before that, the Anglo-Norman aristocracy married amongst themselves, and there were cousin marriages (though not close cousins, mind you; fourth or fifth cousins or something like that did marry.) They also married somewhat with continental lines who were also loosely related.

    Even in modern times I think that because people haven’t completely done away with social class (though the leveling forces are insistent) there is still some degree of intermarriage. So I don’t know how much validity there is to the idea that so-called inbreeding diminished greatly as time went on.

    Nowadays, too, many race-deniers oddly advocate for interracial matings because to marry within one’s own ethnicity or race makes one ”inbred” which is supposed to imply all sorts of horrible things. Anybody who is not miscegenating is ”inbred” and probably backward and genetically defective, in that view.

    -VA

    Reply

  60. Sorry, but this is bullshit. Cousin marriages were not disallowed by Christians, since the Bible doesn’t disapprove of them. As Luther knew, for example. Outbreeding leads to crappy genetics as the ones I have, to a host of illnesses, especially but not limited to mental ones. The Japanese are, for example, a population with more inbreeding, same for Iceland, but they are more individualistic.

    This outbreeding stuff is told by the HBD crowd because it is politically incorrect to assert that muslims are simply how they are because that’s how they are. They are also more hot-tempered. This won’t change, it’s their character. Their intelligence won’t change either, except if smart muslims breed more.

    My own view: convert the world to Christianity, so that every male becomes a monk, every female a nun, and this crap is finished. See also Augustine’s De bono viduitatis and De bono coniugali.

    The Bible nowhere teaches that life is a gift, and since life is more crap than not, it’s better to not exist (see also Matthew 26:24)

    But back to the outbreeding stuff: it’s true that Europeans were more clannish before converting to Christianity, but it’s not true that “outbreeding” had much or any effect on our behavior. What had an effect? What the German anthropologists call “Siebung”: the rewards in society changed, and this also led to the Europeans to become less violent. Certainly, this might work with other populations as well, but we should not try this crap in our own countries, we should send the annoying hordes that are invading our countries back and then let them do whatever they should do.

    I mean, 7 billion people alone is disgusting, it’s so insane, so sick, that I am at a loss for words.

    Reply

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