time enough

this is just me cutting-and-pasting a couple of comments from jayman…’cause they’re AWEsome comments! (^_^)

they’re from the discussion to my outbreeding and individualism post, and they’re a response to a question from our resident skeptic (skepticism is good!) jtgw:

“…just a couple of centuries or so. Is that really enough time to effect that much genetic change according to your theory?”

jayman responded here [bolding by me]…

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).

…and here

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.

and that, dear readers, is how you make hbd chick smile. (^_^)

edit: oh! jayman promises that there’s gonna be more like this in an upcoming mega-post on his blog, so stay tuned!

(note: comments do not require an email. break open the bubbly!)

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24 Comments

  1. Survival vs. Self-Expression = Honesty-Humility on the HEXACO scale
    Traditional vs. Rational-Secular Values = Openness

    Reply

  2. I definitely agree a couple or few hundred years are enough. I feel that it is a mistake to think significant evolution as something that occurs over the very long term. My most recent example of this is obesity. It only took 50 years to become a very predominant percentage of the population.

    The big key to me was a study that spoke of how little obesity there was in South Asia except for a pocket in Mumbai where it was becoming epidemic. And the same source spoke of how it was quite prevalent in the middle east. So then I checked two things: Divorce and Abortion. And despite what most western women would believe both have been both available and widely used in both the Middle East and in the larger cities with affluence in South Asia.

    I have to confess it is a set of data that validates a hypothesis I really want to have that divorce and abortion, create a declining birth rate, which leads to obesity. I confess I am biased, and I really want the data that I find to support my hypothesis. But even if I am selective in data, it appears there is quite a lot of data that supports it.

    But in fact, divorce is running wild in Mumbai compared to the very low rate with most Indian arranged marriages. And it is evidence of hypergamy and its effect on causing the premise of my hypothesis, attractive women to delay child birth until the last possible moment.

    The source said that the rate of divorce was highest in three occupations, IT, Healthcare, and Call Centers. Two, IT and Call Centers are the thrust of Indias “export” to the world and HealthCare is the by product of that affluence. It and management jobs in Call Centers are creating a surplus of men with the means to support families, and also the beta mentalities in a majority of the men. Healthcare employs women and gives them economic independence so they may “shop”. So women are given far more options and they take them, manifesting in deferred marriage and divorce.

    Those more overweight women and obese women lack these same options and so tend towards child birth as a means of locking in a male provider. Or failing that, they use childbirth as some means of moving up in the female “hierarchy”. Better a fat single mom than a fat single cat lady.

    So Mumbai offers a specific situation as a small region within a larger one with the same fundamental genetic traits, yet an entirely different ecological environment. And as its “evolution” following the patterns of the west, given the same social and economic/ecological environment of the west, it provides a good view into cause and effect.

    People generally lack the ability to perceive of the effect exponentiation. Even a small growth or decay per period has a dramatic effect over time. Some growth/decay of 5% might appear to be slight yet there is doubling/halving in only 14 periods.

    So a small increase per year in babies from fat moms coupled with a small decrease per year in the babies from “fit moms” will exponentially have a dramatic effect over the physical characteristic of a population over just a few generations.

    And it makes a mockery of the whole idea of “Fitness” at least as we view it, that evolution involved “progress”, improvement.

    So carry this forward, with exponentiation over 300 years, and the results will be quite awful.

    So it is completely reasonable to cast Outbreeding in the same light. It needn’t even confer the idea of “success” or at least not much. In no way would you consider obese people to be more “successful” in any means today. But just the mere fact of them having some slightly higher percentage of the overall birthrate, and then some other group having slightly lower, then compounded over time, that higher birthrate group becomes predominate.

    Reply

  3. So if the Islamic world is indeed living in the 14th century according to their own calculations, does this they could theorectically reach our 20th century in just 600 years? They better get on it, then, and the sooner the better.

    More seriously, human progress is measured in centuries, not individual lifetimes, which is why it is so difficult to see.

    Reply

  4. “the population mean would move one whole standard deviation in just 7 generations (or about 200 years)”. Fascinating. If generations lasted in the low twenties of years rather than the high, that means that things could change rather a lot in 150 years. Which is roughly the time lapse since the end of slavery in the USA.

    Reply

  5. The axes on the plot are completely unintelligible. It is impossible to determine what is being plotted. Standard deviations of what pray tell?

    If Tufte were to write a revised edition of “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” this plot would be among the bad, do not do examples.

    Reply

  6. @bob – “The axes on the plot are completely unintelligible. It is impossible to determine what is being plotted. Standard deviations of what pray tell?”

    oh, sorry! i guess i could’ve included some links to some explanatory information. (*^_^*) (i just presume you guys can read my mind by now. =P )

    – Inglehart–Welzel Cultural Map [see Findings and Insights]
    Inglehart–Welzel cultural map of the world
    – Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence [pg. 48+]

    Reply

  7. @Mark Minter:

    “I definitely agree a couple or few hundred years are enough. I feel that it is a mistake to think significant evolution as something that occurs over the very long term. My most recent example of this is obesity. It only took 50 years to become a very predominant percentage of the population.”

    “So a small increase per year in babies from fat moms coupled with a small decrease per year in the babies from “fit moms” will exponentially have a dramatic effect over the physical characteristic of a population over just a few generations.”

    No. See the breeder’s equation above.

    The rise in obesity is an example of a grand-scale environmental change. It couldn’t be the result of genetic change, because there hasn’t been enough time.

    “I have to confess it is a set of data that validates a hypothesis I really want to have that divorce and abortion, create a declining birth rate, which leads to obesity.”

    Absolutely not, son.

    Reply

  8. @lion of judah – “Survival vs. Self-Expression = Honesty-Humility on the HEXACO scale — Traditional vs. Rational-Secular Values = Openness”

    ah! hmmmm. good thinking! yes, you’d think personality traits are involved here somehow.

    Reply

  9. @luke – “So if the Islamic world is indeed living in the 14th century according to their own calculations, does this they could theorectically reach our 20th century in just 600 years?”

    yeah, sure. absolutely! (~_^)

    @luke – “More seriously, human progress is measured in centuries, not individual lifetimes, which is why it is so difficult to see.”

    that’s true. but if you (we) start thinking more in terms of generations instead of centuries — or maybe generations+centuries — i think that’ll lead to better insights. at least i hope so! the most important thing is to think in terms of evolution — selection, migration, etc.

    Reply

  10. While I am a big fan of Inglehart’s work, just a reminder that he does tend to play a little bit loose with these cultural maps. Categories change and countries hop from one to another a fair bit.

    Recall his 2005-2008 data wave, 1999-2004 data wave, 1990-1998 data wave, and 1981-1990 data wave versions. Again, I’m a huge WVS fan, but I notice that:

    1) ‘Odd man out’ countries need a little circle drawn around them, like here with Greece and Israel. But he’s not done so this year: Notice Poland and Malta appear in ‘Latin America,’ Cyprus in ‘South Asia,’ Greece in ‘Catholic Europe,’ and Bosnia and Albania in ‘Orthodox.’ This is visually misleading.

    2) Inglehart’s categorization of the Middle East / Asia / Africa is, to put it gently, erratic. Back in 1990, 1998, and 2004, he simply had ‘Africa’ and ‘South Asia.’ Then in 2008 he added an ‘Islamic’ category. This year, he seems to have thrown up his hands–presumably when the dots didn’t do as he liked–and gone with the grab-bag ‘African-Islamic.’ I wish he would choose categories, stick with them, and let the chips fall where they may.

    3) Category-jumping: Over the years Armenia and Georgia jump from ‘Orthodox’ to ‘South Asia’ and back again; the Philippines from ‘South Asia’ to ‘Latin America,’ Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania are ‘Baltic’ or not as the mood strikes. Again, as the values being measured are the same each year, I wish he would stay consistent with these.

    But I’m very sympathetic because I and anyone who makes a lot of graphs and maps know how tempting this sort of thing is. I’ve been guilty of it myself; it’s nice to have a tight visual! I’m also hugely indebted to Inglehart and WVS for their wealth of interesting data I’ve used countless times. I just feel that out of all his excellent work, these cultural maps have some weak points we should be aware of.

    Reply

    1. @M.G.

      I agree with you on the stylistic issues like highlighting the outliers and the silliness of lumping non-Muslim Africa with the Muslim countries when they are clearly two distinct clusters.

      Also you might notice the Y-axis is compressed for no good reason whatsoever.

      That said, otherwise, I like the design of this latest map.

      What I find the most interesting about these maps from the previous waves is the overwhelming consistency from year to year. Sure, there is some variability. (I bet a good bit of this variation is simple sampling error.) But the clear patterns remain. That’s what makes this map incredibly powerful – in addition to the considerable agreement to so much other data.

      Reply

  11. @m.g. – “While I am a big fan of Inglehart’s work, just a reminder that he does tend to play a little bit loose with these cultural maps. Categories change and countries hop from one to another a fair bit.”

    ah! thanks for that review. i’ve never sat down and scrutinized the inglehart-welzel cultural maps. guess i need to! =/ thanks!

    Reply

  12. JayMan–

    I agree, believe me, it’s because I’m such an Inglehart junkie that I’ve been through all these with a fine-toothed comb. There’s no other graphic I’ve seen that gives such a clean and succinct picture of relative group values at the planetary level.

    But when I see something good, I want it to be perfect. Maybe, as they say, ‘The perfect is the enemy of the good!’

    Reply

  13. Russians with cars are fatter than Russians without cars. That is not genetic.Gary Taubes deals with this.

    Wouldn’t the distribution become skewed if the bottom SD was removed, even if the genetic component was only 50%?

    Reply

  14. Concerning the map; Would Tunisia’s concern with Survival be environmental? As in Arab Spring.

    Reply

  15. @Lion of Judah:

    “Survival vs. Self-Expression = Honesty-Humility on the HEXACO scale
    Traditional vs. Rational-Secular Values = Openness”

    I think you’re very close, as aforementioned post discussed. However, I’m not sure Slavs and East Asians are all that high on Openness to experience (and I mean the HEXACO version).

    Reply

  16. @Kolchak:

    “Russians with cars are fatter than Russians without cars. That is not genetic.Gary Taubes deals with this.”

    Really? Why do some Russians have cars while others don’t?

    Don’t listen to Taubes on everything.

    “Wouldn’t the distribution become skewed if the bottom SD was removed, even if the genetic component was only 50%?”

    That’s not the impression I get. But ask Cochran & Harpending.

    Reply

  17. @Jayman

    Maybe. Although I’m willing to bet that Slavs and East Asians are high Openness on the old OCEAN measure if only because that scale had a moderate correlation with intelligence (IQ).

    Reply

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