eastern germany, medieval manorialism, and (yes) the hajnal line

(update 11/07/15: added a map and some comments to the third section below.)

if you’re a wise person who doesn’t fritter away their time on twitter, then you will have missed the short discussion the week before last about communism and east germany which was prompted by this tweet…

https://twitter.com/MaxCRoser/status/657871407918030848

as in the convos regarding russia and eastern europe in general which i mentioned in my last post, many tweeps attributed the very high rates of non-religious people in eastern germany versus western to that region’s years under communism. it was, in fact, this debate about east germany which reminded me that i had intended to post about the case of russia and civicness and corruption, etc. (which i then did!), but i wanted to address the matter of eastern germany in a separate post since there are several interesting nuances related to the question of europe’s east-west divide to be uncovered here which are particular to germany/central europe. (or at least i think they’re interesting!). so, here we go…eastern germany, medieval manorialism, and (yes) the hajnal line…
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again, just as in the case of russia, in order to try to settle the debate about whether or not communism left any long-lasting effects on the behavioral patterns (and beliefs, in this case) of east germans, i think we should start by asking if there were any similar such differences between east and west germans before the gdr existed. if yes, then i’d say we could pretty quickly rule out the communist state as having been much of an influencing force. at the very least, that premise would start to look pretty shaky. another approach might be to check the actual history: did the powers that be of the gdr actually suppress religious belief during the forty or so years of its existence? let’s look at the latter question first.

the consensus among historians (as much as such a thing can ever exist) appears to be, no — for most of time that the gdr was in existence, the communist authorities were fairly tolerant of christianity under a system known as “church in socialism” (“kirche im sozialismus”). here from Eastern Germany: the most godless place on Earth by peter thompson:

“Different reasons are adduced for the absence of religion in the east. The first one that is usually brought out is the fact that that area was run by the Communist party from 1945 to 1990 and that its explicit hostility to religion meant that it was largely stamped out. However, this is not entirely the case. In fact, after initial hostilities in the first years of the GDR, the SED came to a relatively comfortable accommodation with what was called the Church in Socialism. The churches in the GDR were given a high degree of autonomy by SED standards and indeed became the organisational focus of the dissident movement of the 1990s, which was to some extent led by Protestant pastors.”

while it’s true that religious education was banned in schools, theology faculties remained open at the major universities — although spies were deployed into those departments (like everywhere else, i suppose). but, also…

“…the Protestant Youth Committees, with their open-minded and different approach, attracted large numbers of young people from outside the church as well as from within it. The ‘Open Youth Work’ carried on by some pastors was an especially powerful draw for disaffected youths.” [pg. 51]

…and…

“Throughout its existence, there was a continuity in the basic policy of the GDR *Kirchenbund* towards the GDR authorities, summed up by the phrase ‘church within socialism’, avoiding the extremes of total assimilation or outright resistance to the policies of the SED [socialist unity party of germany]. The policy was only possible, however, because the GDR authorities themselves were prepared to tolerate the existence of a church which was not fully integrated into the SED dominated system of ‘democratic centralism’…. This created a space for the development of a limited ‘civil society’ and the growth of political disaffection….” [pg. 100]

…and…

“[I]n the early years of the GDR the state had made moves to diminish the importance of church festivals by turning days such as Christmas Day and Good Friday into ordinary work days. This meant that only Christians who were prepared to declare their faith in public by asking for special permission for leave could take time off to go to church. The Christmas holidays were turned into ‘New Year holidays’, but more fanciful attempts to blot out Christmas by calling Christmas trees ‘end of year trees’ and the Christ Child the ‘Solidarity Child’ seem to have fallen by the wayside.

“At their midnight services on Christmas Eve, churches were always full. Werner Krusche says he will never forget the cathedral in Magdeburg overflowing, with around 5,000 people coming to the different services, despite the icy cold. Many among them were not even members of the church. ‘Why did they come?’, he asks. ‘Perhaps they themselves didn’t exactly know. Enough that they were there and joined the celebration.'” [pg. 74]

so although the state did exercise a lot of control over the churches in east germany, it didn’t impact much on the religiosity of the populace — at least not according to the historians.
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here, however, is more from thompson [my emphasis]:

“Another factor is that religion in eastern Germany is also overwhelmingly Protestant, both historically and in contemporary terms. Of the 25% who do identify themselves as religious, 21% of them are Protestants. The other 4% is made up of a small number of Catholics as well as Muslims and adherents of other new evangelical groups, new-age sects or alternative religions. The Protestant church is in steep decline with twice as many people leaving it every year as joining.”

this brings us back to the first of my questions: were there any similar such differences between east and west germans before the gdr existed? and the answer is: yes, indeed. and precisely in the department of religion! jayman’s also previously pointed out that in the 1920s and 30s (north-)eastern germans voted quite differently than (south-)western germans. now we also have a religious divide — one that goes right back to at least the 1600s. here’s a map of the religious divisions in germany in 1610 (taken from here) on which i’ve attempted (*ahem*) to draw the borders of east germany [click on map to see a LARGER view]:

germany_religious_1610 + east germany border 02

as you can see, in 1610 the vast majority of the population in the area that would centuries later become east germany was protestant (either lutheran or calvinist), and in general protestantism was more prevalent in the northern part of what is today germany than in the south. again, this is very much in accordance with what jayman blogged: that there’s a north-south as well as an east-west divide in germany.

edit (11/07):

following a suggestion by margulon who commented

“One problem with your argument is that whether the reformation took long-term roots in a particular territory was not only decided by the local population within any territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but by the principle ‘cuius regio, eius religio.’ In other words, it was mainly the ruling princely family – members of a supra-regional elite – that decided about the religion in their respective territories according to their respective preferences. This also led to population exchanges of holdouts refusing to convert. I would therefore hesitate to draw conclusions from the predominant religion after 1648 or so.”

…here’s a map of the state of the reformation in germany from earlier in the period — 1560 — with the gdr outlined (roughly!) by me [map source — click on map for LARGER view]:

Confessional Divisions 1560 + east germany

even as early as 1560, then, the region that would become east germany was almost entirely populated by protestants — mostly lutherans, but also some anabaptists. there doesn’t appear to be much of a calvinist population at this point, for whatever reason, unlike by 1610 (the map above). and again, on the whole, the northern parts of what would become germany had greater numbers of protestants than southern germany. the website from which i sourced this map, german history documents and images, says much the same:

“The map shows where the Reformation had been introduced by 1560. The most important areas lay in the Empire’s northern and central zones: Lutheranism in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Hesse, Saxony, and (though outside the Empire’s boundary) Prussia. In the south, Lutheranism was established in Württemberg, parts of Franconia, and numerous Imperial cities. After c. 1580, the Catholic Church experienced a massive revival, which halted the advance of Protestantism and even allowed the old faith to recover some episcopal territories and most of the Austrian lands and the kingdom of Bohemia. Catholicism remained predominant in the western and southwestern portions of the Empire, including most of Alsace and all of Lorraine, as well as Bavaria. The third, Reformed confession spread via Geneva to France, the Netherlands, and some of the German lands. The outcome was a religious geography which survived both the demographic shifts caused by both the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the Second World War.”

end edit.
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the root cause behind these regional differences is not, i don’t think, simply religious or political or some other set of cultural practices, but rather lies in the recent evolutionary histories of these subgroups. as i said in my last post:

“the circa eleven to twelve hundred years since the major restructuring of society that occurred in ‘core’ europe in the early medieval period — i.e. the beginnings of manorialism, the start of consistent and sustained outbreeding (i.e. the avoidance of close cousin marriage), and the appearance of voluntary associations — is ample time for northwestern europeans to have gone down a unique evolutionary pathway and to acquire behavioral traits quite different from those of other europeans — including eastern europeans — who did not go down the same pathway (but who would’ve gone down their *own* evolutionary pathways, btw).

“what i think happened was that the newly created socioeconomic structures and cultural (in this case largely religious) practices of the early medieval period in northwest ‘core’ europe introduced a whole new set of selective pressures on northwest europeans compared to those which had existed previously. rather than a suite of traits connected to familial or nepostic altruism (or clannishness) being selected for, the new society selected for traits more connected to reciprocal altruism.

the “core” of “core” europe was the frankish kingdom of austrasia (from whence the pepinids or carolingians hailed), and this is both where the (bipartite) manor system originated in the 500s and where the avoidance of close cousin marriage (outbreeding) became de rigueur in the 800s. here’s a map indicating (as best as i could manage!) the austrasia of the 400s-800s as well as the much later gdr [click on map for LARGER view]:

westerneurope-physical-map + austrasia + east germany

most of east germany (the gdr) lies outside of the region formerly known as austrasia, as does large parts of both today’s northern and southern germany. southeast germany was incorporated into the frankish kingdom quite early (in the early 500s — swabia on the map below), but both northern germany and southwestern germany much later — not until the late 700s (saxony and bavaria on map). eastern germany, as we will see below, even later than that. the later the incorporation into the frankish empire, the later the introduction of both manorialism and outbreeding. and, keeping in mind recent, rapid, and local human evolution, that should mean that these more peripheral populations experienced whatever selective pressures manorialism and outbreeding exerted for shorter periods of time than the “core” core europeans back in austrasia. here’s a map of the expansion of the frankish kingdoms so you can get yourself oriented [source – click on image for LARGER view]:

austrasia

in Why Europe?, historian michael mitterauer has this to say about the expansion of the frankish state and the spread of the manor system [pgs. 45-46 – my emphasis]:

“The most significant expansion of the model agricultural system in the Frankish heartland between the Seine and the Rhine took place toward the east. Its diffusion embraced almost the whole of central Europe and large parts of eastern Europe…. This great colonizing process, which transmitted Frankish agricultural structures and their accompanying forms of lordship…”

…not to mention people…

“…took off at the latest around the middle of the eighth century. Frankish majordomos or kings from the Carolingian house introduced manorial estates (*Villikation*) and the hide system (*Hufenverfassung*) throughout the royal estates east of the Rhine as well — in Mainfranken (now Middle Franconia), in Hessia, and in Thuringia…. The eastern limit of the Carolingian Empire was for a long time an important dividing line between the expanding Frankish agricultural system and eastern European agricultural structures. When the push toward colonization continued with more force in the High Middle Ages, newer models of *Rentengrundherrschaft* predominated — but they were still founded on the hide system. This pattern was consequently established over a wide area: in the Baltic, in large parts of Poland, in Bohemia, Moravia and parts of Slovakia, in western Hungary, and in Slovenia. Colonization established a line stretching roughly from St. Petersburg to Trieste….”

i think you all know what that line is by now. (~_^)

“The sixteenth century witnessed the last great attempt to establish the hide system throughout an eastern European region when King Sigismund II of Poland tried it in the Lithuanian part of his empire in what is now modern-day Belarus. The eastward expansion of Frankish agrarian reform therefore spanned at least eight centuries. The basic model of the hide system was of course often modified over such a long period, but there was structural continuity nevertheless.”

here’s a map of the carolingian empire between 843-888 [source] with the gdr (roughly!) indicated. from mitterauer again: “The eastern limit of the Carolingian Empire was for a long time an important dividing line between the expanding Frankish agricultural system and eastern European agricultural structures.” that “eastern limit” is the lilac border on the map, and as you can see something like two-thirds of what would become the gdr lay outside of that border [click on map for LARGER view]:

carolingian empire + east germany
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in the earliest days of manorialism — back in austrasia in the 400-500s — manor life was a bit like living on a kibbutz — labor was pooled and everyone ate their meals together in the manor’s great hall. this was a holdover from the roman villa system which was run on the backs of slaves who lived in dormitories and were fed as a group by the owner of the villa. the manor system in core austrasia changed pretty rapidly (already by the 500s) to one in which the lord of the manor (who might’ve been an abbot in a monastery) distributed farms to couples for them to work independently in exchange for a certain amount of labor on the lord’s manor (the demesne). this is what’s known as bipartite manorialism. and from almost the beginning, then, bipartite manorialism pushed the population into nuclear families, which may for some generations have remained what i call residential nuclear families (i.e. residing as a conjugal couple, but still having regular contact and interaction with extended family members). over the centuries, however, these became the true, atomized nuclear families that characterize northwest europe today.

for the first couple (few?) hundred years of this manor system, sons did not necessarily inherit the farms that their fathers worked. when they came of age, and if and when a farm on the manor became available, a young man — and his new wife (one would not marry before getting a farm — not if you wanted to be a part of the manor system) — would be granted the rights to another farm. (peasants could also, and did, own their own private property — some more than others — but this varied in place and time.) over time, this practice changed as well, and eventually peasant farms on manors became virtually hereditary. (i’m not sure when this change happened, though — i still need to find that out.) finally, during the high middle ages (1100s-1300s) the labor obligations of peasants were phased out and it became common practice for farmers simply to pay rent to the manor lords. this is the Rentengrundherrschaft mentioned by mitterauer in the quote above. [see mitterauer for more details on all of this. and see also my previous post medieval manorialism’s selection pressures.]

so here we have some major differences in the selection pressures that western+southwestern versus eastern+northern+southeastern germans would’ve experienced in the early and high middle ages:

– western and southwestern germans of austrasia and swabia (see this map again) would’ve experienced both kibbutz-style and bipartite manorialism from very early on beginning in the 400-500s. contrasted with this, northern (saxony) and southeastern germans (bavaria) wouldn’t have experienced any sort of manorialism until after the late 700s at the earliest — three to four hundred years after the more western germans. so for a dozen or more generations, western germans (some of them would later become the french, of course) were engaged in bipartite manorialism, in which they had to delay marriage (if they wanted to take part in the system), and they were living in nuclear families.

– the region that would one day become east germany (the gdr) didn’t see any manorialism or nuclear families at all until germanic peoples (and some others) migrated to those areas during the ostsiedlung in the high middle ages, at least some six or seven hundred years after the populations in austrasia began experiencing these new selection pressures. and when manors were finally established there, they were based upon the rent system rather than being bipartite.

one important feature of the ostsiedlung — the migration of mostly germanic peoples from the west to central and parts of eastern europe — is that the subgroups of germanics from various regions in the west moved pretty much on straight west-to-east axes:

“As a result, the Southeast was settled by South Germans (Bavarians, Swabians), the Northeast by Saxons (in particular those from Westphalia, Flanders, Holland, and Frisia), while central regions were settled by Franks.”

so, the regions that would eventually become northern and east germany (the gdr) were populated by people not only from saxony (the one on the map above), who were a group late to manorialism and christianity (and, therefore, outbreeding), but also by people from places like frisia (and ditmarsia, iirc). i don’t know if you remember the frisians or not, but they never experienced manorialism. ever. and i suspect that the ditmarsians didn’t, either, but i’ll get back to you on that. (along with the peripheral populations of europe, there are other pockets inside the hajnal line where manorialism was weak or entirely absent, for example in the auvergne.) finally, the slavs (or wends) native to northern and eastern germany would not have been manorialized in the early medieval period, and most likely would’ve still been living in extended family groups, so any incorporation of slavs into communities newly settled by the germans (either by marriage or just direct assimilation of slavic families) would’ve again amounted to introgression from a population unlike that of the austrasian germans.

to conclude, when east germany was eventually settled by germanic peoples in the high middle ages, it was comparatively late (six or seven hundred years after the germans in the west began living under the manor system); the manor system in the region was not of the bipartite form, but rather the more abstract rental form; and the migrants consisted primarily of individuals from a population only recently manorialized or never manorialized. in other words, the medieval ancestors of today’s east germans experienced quite different selection pressures than west germans. so, too, did northern germans on the whole compared to southern germans. these differences could go a long way in explaining the north-south and east-west divides within germany that jayman and others have pointed out.
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what does any of this evolutionary history have to do with the fact that eastern germans today are much less likely to be religious than western germans, or that greater numbers of northern germans voted for the nazi party in the inter-war years than southern germans?

in my opinion, the latter question is more easily answered — or speculated about (in an informed and educated sort-of way) — than the first one. since northern germans have a shorter evolutionary history of manorialism and nuclear families and even outbreeding (due to their later conversion to christianity), then they may very well be more clannish, or exhibit more nepotistic altruism, than southern germans who are descended from the austrasian franks. thus, nationalsozialismus — not the most universalistic of political philosophies — might’ve appealed. dunno. Further Research is Required™.

with regard to the religious differences, i’m not sure. but here’s something that i think i’ve noticed which may or may not be relevant. here’s a map of the religious divisions in europe at the time of the reformation (1555 – source) onto which i’ve (sloppily!) drawn austrasia and neighboring neustria which was swallowed up by austrasia early on (486). if you look away from peripheral europe (places like ireland, spain, italy, greece, russia), it looks to me as though the protestant reformation happened in the regions immediately surrounding austrasia/neustria — at least that’s where the protestant movements largely began:

religious divisions of europe map + austrasia

i really don’t know what to make of this, and don’t have much to say about it right now, except to repeat myself: the “core” core europe region of austrasia (+neustria) experienced bipartite manorialism, outbreeding, and small family types for the longest period, beginning as early as the 500s (for the manorialism and small families — 800s for the beginning of serious outbreeding), whereas the regions bordering this “core” core would’ve done so for shorter periods of time (and they saw different forms of manorialism as well). and way out in peripheral europe, these “westernization” selection pressures were present for very, very short periods of time (for instance, manorialism barely arrived in russia in the modern period, and then it was of a very different form from that of western europe). for whatever reasons, the protestant reformation appears to have happened in the middle zone. and the middle zone is where the former east germany lies.
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in 1965, john hajnal published his seminal finding that historically the populations of northwest europe were marked by late marriage — many even remained single — with a concomitant low birthrate. populations in eastern europe (and elsewhere) were not. the border between these two zones has become known as the hajnal line. subsequent research has found that other parts of peripheral europe — finland (parts of?), southern italy, the southern part of the iberian peninsula, and ireland — also lie outside the hajnal line:

hajnal line

michael mitterauer, who spent his career studying (among other things) the history of family types and structures from the middle ages and onwards, has connected the hajnal line to both the extent of bipartite manorialism and the western church’s precepts against cousin marriage. according to him, the hajnal line basically indicates where the bipartite manor system was present in medieval europe and where the cousin marriage bans were most stringently enforced — from the earliest point in time.

here on this blog, i’ve been posting about the apparent connection between the hajnal line and a whole slew of behavioral patterns and traits including (but very probably not limited to): family size, iq, human achievement, democratic tendencies, civicness, corruption, individualism (vs. collectivism), and even violence. see this post for more on all that: big summary post on the hajnal line. the primary factor connecting hajnal’s line to all these traits, i think, is the evolutionary histories of the populations found within and outside of the line. the basic outline of those different evolutionary histories is in the post above. “core” europeans and peripheral europeans vary in their average social behaviors thanks to the selective pressures they’ve experienced ever since the early middle ages, and the variances in those social behaviors impact many areas of those societies, from the highest levels of government and industry to everyday interactions between neighbors.

keep in mind that the hajnal line as indicated on the map above is schematic. it is NOT a perfectly straight line. the real border is fuzzy — a gradient, like most distributions of genes are (here’s lactase persistence in europe, for example). Further Research is Required™ to figure out where the border really is. also keep in mind that the hajnal line has no doubt been shifting over time, from west to east mainly, but also to the north and south, with the spread of manorialism from the “core” of core europe. that’s because human evolution can be recent, fairly rapid, localized…and is ongoing!

(^_^)
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footnote:

one issue which i didn’t take into consideration above is the possible effects of the post-wwii migrations on the population structure of east germany. to be honest with you, if it happened after 1066, my knowledge of it is usually kinda vague. (*^_^*) please, feel free to fill me in on the details of the modern migrations in the comments if you think they may have significantly affected the earlier population distributions. a couple of things that i do now know thanks to wikipedia are that: 1) four million germans entered east germany at the end of the war from east of the oder-neisse line; and 2) one quarter of east germans fled to the west between the end of the war and 1961. those are two very substantial migration/self-sorting events. with regard to those coming in from the east, presumably their evolutionary history would’ve been the same or very similar to the one i’ve just outlined for northern and eastern germans — late manorialism, Rentengrundherrschaft, later start of outbreeding, and late appearance of the nuclear family. and with regard to those east germans who fled to the west, given that one quarter migrated over the course of just fifteen or sixteen years, it wouldn’t surprise me if this had some effect on the average characteristics and behavioral traits of the remaining east german population. who left? who was left behind?
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postscript:

jayman tweeted this the other day — these are the cardiovascular mortality rates in european men from 2000:

cardiovascular mortality rates - euro men - 2000

his comment on this map was: “Great variation in the length of time peoples have had to adapt to agro pathogens.” you know what? i think this is exactly right. agro pathogens or, at least, agro something.

beginning in the early medieval period, northwest europe underwent an agricultural revolution. new grain crops were introduced — rye and oats (then, much later, wheat) — as well as some newfangled technological advancements (heavy plow, water mill). all of these spread through northern/western europe via manorialism. (see chapter 1 in mitterauer for more on all this.) i think you can see this dispersal on the map above. maybe.

italy and spain and parts of gaul would’ve grow wheat when they were a part of the roman empire, so those populations have been consuming wheat for quite a long time. they’re in the green with the lowest rates of cardiovascular mortality. the “founder crops” in europe — those that were introduced during the neolithic revolution from the middle east — were emmer (a two-grained spelt), einkorn (one-seeded wheat), barley, and naked wheat. these have been variously consumed in different parts of europe more or less since the neolithic (roughly speaking). the production of rye and oats (and again at a much later point modern wheat) was the mainstay of the manor system, and i think their arrival in different parts of europe is visible on the map above: france (austrasia) where manorialism started has the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality (plus the population prolly also benefits from its agri-evolutionary history stretching back to roman days); then you see the spread of manorialism (and rye and oats) to the yellow zones — the advancement of the carolingian empire into central europe and also across the channel to southeast england (and to scandinavia?); east germany remains orange since it was manorialized later than western germany (see above post!) — same with northern and western england and ireland (which wasn’t manorialized until something like the 1400s); finally, eastern europe is in the red zone, “manorialized” (barely) very recently.

that looks like a good fit, but, of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation. (~_^)
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previously: community vs. communism and big summary post on the hajnal line and medieval manorialism’s selection pressures and mating patterns of the medieval franks

(note: comments do not require an email. down on the manor.)

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61 Comments

  1. southeast germany was incorporated into the frankish kingdom quite early (in the early 500s — swabia on the map below)

    Hmmm?

    Reply

  2. @ihtg – “Hmmm?”

    yeah, sorry. it’s complicated. should’ve had better maps.

    swabia — here on this map — incorporated into the frankish kingdom of austrasia (as it was developing into the carolingian kingdom/empire) in 502. southeast germany today. stuttgart, etc.

    Reply

  3. So much to comment on. First cause it is related, take a look just at the cover of this pdf
    http://www.freetheworld.com/2015/economic-freedom-of-the-world-2015.pdf

    Basically it color codes the worlds economic freedom in to 4 1/4 by color. Funny that most of the economically freest countries are primarily in Western Europe, or of Western Europe decent (Australia, New Zealand, Israel) OR have been heavily influence in the last 70 years by the US guarding them. *** I couldn’t help but think the article debating if democracy brought safety and economic freedom/dynamism or if economic freedom and dynamism were a requirement for democracy. It is probably something of a ‘both and’ and misses the point that underlying culture and genetics should be shifted by breaking cousin marriages.

    I’m also not surprised that the Protestant area’s in 1610 are the area’s most likely to be non religious today. I am a little surprised that they lie closer to the Hajnal line. I would have expected the greater individuality to cause a lack of affection towards religion. But it seems the opposite. I suspect this is because religion becomes a voluntary action to the out-breeders where as it is much more pushed upon the in-breeders as the members don’t want to rock the clan boat. But I’m not personally sure. Don’t discount 50 years of communism having its affect, making it more advisable to not be religious. After 2 generations if your statement about human evolution happening fast is right, we could be seeing a change in the gene pool.

    It looks like the Carolinians had the same problem going to the North East in Europe that the Roman’s did. Sure they got farther but looking at the map from 843-888 shows that it was much easier to expand in the lands of the old Roman Empire.

    As to the Protestant Reformation and how it spread, some data you probably don’t have. The more recent an area was converted to Catholicism, the more likely it was to be part of the Reformation. This happened for several reasons. (in no particular order)
    One, the early missionaries not only took the faith with them, but something great significance – reading and writing. The inventers of the Russian alphabet are two brothers Cyril and Methodius (considered saints in both the RCC and Orthodox churches). They are not the only ones who did this. Writing went to Ireland this way and Germany.
    Two, from the beginning (ok closer to 400) one of the reasons for bringing the writing to a new people was to bring copies of the religious texts (primarily the Bible). Initially in Greek or Latin, but increasingly in the vulgar tongue of whatever people they went to. There are Gaelic Bibles in Ireland going back to at least 800. There are old and middle English Bibles also. But the ability to read the bible at the time of the Reformation was limited for several reasons, consider in English the language had drifted again to a sort of Early Modern English. Most of us can read Shakespeare (C 1600) but would have much more difficulty with Chaucer (c 1200).
    Our Ancestors in England faced the same problem. If they were literate. Literacy is a ‘luxury good’ in 1600 where your first goal everyday was to eat, and probably 70 to 80% of your time was consumed providing for food- growing, harvesting, cooking, storing etc. Third is the language family shift. Yes Europe has a common overall family, but England, Germany, Sweden, etc are not Romance languages. Countries like Spain and France which had more in common with Latin and earlier and more frequent translations were less likely to be swayed by the Reformation. “What about Ireland?” You ask on point three? I refer back to the first bit where I mention area’s first converted. England was converted twice, Once in the 100-500 timespan, and the second after the Saxon’s and other Norse invasions took place. Ireland converted about 400, and never was unconverted by new Barbarians (Saxons, Norse, etc.)

    ** looking closer at the map I see that some area’s like France are in the 2nd quartile, and Romania is in the 1st. I’m not sure how to explain this in context of in and out breeding other than to say, more factors are clearly at work, and in/out breeding may be dominant, but not decisive. Rather like a sports team needs many good players, not just one star.

    *** Sorry for the long comment.

    Reply

  4. This is fascinating. It gives the lie to Communism being the perfect experiment in that Germans one either side of the border were not precisely the same. I don’t think it exactly explains the reverse Flynn effect findings, but will think about it further.

    Reply

  5. @James –
    A better test of Communism (as practiced) is North and South Korea. Or at least totalitarianism v more free democracy. From a strictly economic POV, So. Korea is much better off than No Korea. And there are no other factors other than that to explain it. They were about the same economically in 1945, one was supported by China/Russia. The other by the US. With US support we can certianly see that concepts born out of the Manor system in France were put into place in So. Korea, but they wouldn’t have children of changed marriage patterns maybe 1970’s. So it would be hard to say that this was enough. I mean very few evolutionist would argue that one generation is enough for a significant change in the pool.

    Reply

  6. @ACThinker

    “So much to comment on. First cause it is related, take a look just at the cover of this pdf

    Basically it color codes the worlds economic freedom in to 4 1/4 by color. Funny that most of the economically freest countries are primarily in Western Europe, or of Western Europe decent (Australia, New Zealand, Israel) OR have been heavily influence in the last 70 years by the US guarding them.”

    Same old pattern my friend:

    Clannishness – The Series: Zigzag Lightning in the Brain

    Look at either Nobels, Field Medals, research output – same pattern.

    “Don’t discount 50 years of communism having its affect, making it more advisable to not be religious. After 2 generations if your statement about human evolution happening fast is right, we could be seeing a change in the gene pool.”

    Not necessarily:

    The breeder’s equation | West Hunter

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  7. Needless to say, simply brilliant!

    Many of the folks in my Reader Poll (feel free to take it) that say that they disbelieve in the idea that genes play a role in East vs. West German differences and North vs. South Korean differences say that they doubt it because not enough time has passed for those populations to diverge. If we’re saying since 1945 or 1953 then that would be correct.

    But those folks don’t seem to consider the possibility that they were different to begin with. One smart lady got it quite well. As well, you have factor in post-war migrations, which likely had a huge effect, especially in Germany.

    Also interesting, and relevant here: the areas in Germany where most Jews were massacred in WW II appears to be places that have had a history of killing off Jews:

    Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany (2010)

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  8. @ACT: Is Israel of mainly West European descent? I had supposed that the Jews there came mainly from the old Tsarist territories?

    @chick: I’m interested in your point about grains. What, I wonder, were the grains that Britannia exported to the Roman legions on the Rhine?

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  9. @dearieme – “What, I wonder, were the grains that Britannia exported to the Roman legions on the Rhine?”

    not sure. einkorn, spelt, and emmer were what the pre-roman brits were growing. the romans did introduce common wheat to britain (like they had in gaul), but, according to this source, it was spelt production that was really ramped up in roman britain. so, dunno. i would’ve thought the romans would’ve been interested in the common wheat, but perhaps they were happy enough with spelt?

    Reply

  10. @jayman – “Needless to say, simply brilliant!”

    thank you, thank you! (^_^)

    i’m actually really glad that this convo came up on twitter, ’cause it honestly never occurred to me before exactly how late eastern germany was manorialized — nor did i know where the migrants to northern and eastern germany came from (frisia?!) — so this was a real eye-opener for me, too. (^_^)

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  11. @james – “This is fascinating. It gives the lie to Communism being the perfect experiment in that Germans one either side of the border were not precisely the same.”

    yes, that conclusion would seem to follow logically.

    the histories of the various german subpopulations are definitely different, so, then — if i’m correct — some major selection pressures on those subpopulations ought to have been quite different for several hundreds of years. it is very possible, therefore, that east germans possess some different (average) behavioral traits from other german subpops.

    it’d be nice if someone checked someday. (~_^)

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  12. @acthinker – “A better test of Communism (as practiced) is North and South Korea.”

    i would not rule out possible genetic differences between northern and southern koreans. my korean history is sketchy (REAL sketchy), but there were 900+ years of north-south divisions on the korean peninsula (the three kingdoms, the north-south states of silla and balhae, and the later three kingdoms), so don’t presume korean genetic unity here.

    what i’d want to know are the details of the socio-economic structures of the last one or two thousand years in the korean states (manor systems? independent farmers? landlorship?), as well as the family types. in other words, what have the selection pressures been on koreans for the last 40, 50, 60 generations?

    i’ve blogged a bit on the history of mating patterns in korea. just a lil’ bit. (*^_^*)

    thanks for the thoughts on the reformation! i shall mull them over. (^_^)

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  13. @heinz – “It is interesting that most religious and most atheist regions are both located in Eastern Europe. Most religious: Poland….”

    yes. always causing trouble, the poles! (~_^) (i’m looking at you, szopeno! (~_^) )

    Reply

  14. @szopeno – btw, i haven’t forgotten about your comments re. civicness in poland on my last post. i’ll try to respond to them soon! (^_^)

    Reply

  15. Lots of good information here, but still the state of Brandenburg-Prussia, which existed for hundreds of years before WWII, didn’t look very much like East Germany or the map Max Roser posted. So you have to explain the ethnographic differences between the Prussian/Brandenburgs/Saxons and the rest of German and also explain how they spread out in the formation of East Germany.

    Another point is that Prussia was a powerhouse, not a backwater, and was home to the German aristocracy which ran the unified Germany (18th and 19th century version) as well as a sophisticated, creative culture like the rest of protestant Germany if not more so. Maybe they are ethnographic differences between east and west Germany, but there is a difference between the Brandenburg-Prussia area today and the Brandenburg-Prussia of pre-WWII.

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  16. Regarding genetic differences between westerns Germans and Eastern.

    Admixture estimates showed minor Slavic paternal ancestry (~20%) in modern eastern Germans and hardly detectable German paternal ancestry in Slavs neighbouring German populations for centuries.

    http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v21/n4/abs/ejhg2012190a.html

    20% is significant admixture, although the view that east Germans were germanized Slavs is false.

    Additionally “hardly detectable German paternal ancestry in Slavs neighbouring German populations for centuries” means that Ostsiedlung in Kingdoms of Poland and Bohemia was mostly cultural not demographic, just as polish/czech historians claimed.
    It is also another point that shows “where culture comes from”.
    Culture is forced upon people (sheeple) by elite.

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  17. @dearieme 11/06/2015 at 10:53 AM

    “Is Israel of mainly West European descent? I had supposed that the Jews there came mainly from the old Tsarist territories?”

    Well the middle east, particularly old OutreMer (as I begin to think on this) has in the 1100-1300 range a French influence, with a lot of not cousin marriages occurring.
    That impacts Lebenon up to about 1980 (in 1980, Lebenon was Christian, today it is Muslem, the Christians left, converted or were killed).
    And it impacts present day Isreal. Given that these were roughly the two area’s of the Latin kingdoms of OutreMer. That would however be more of an echo.

    I believe there was Europe to Israel movement from say about 1900 up to 1940. After 1945, most everyone Jewish in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and other areas moved to Israel and founded the Jewish state, along with some from other areas like France, England and the US. While they may have more cousin marriage and be inherently more likely to be clannish that say a Londoner, they would have been living in a culture that was primarily formed by the genetic disposition of the French manor system (ie France, Germany, etc). So this comes under the ‘influenced by’ rather than direct genetics given that Jewish people tend to inter marry more due to less quantity of available partners

    One of the things I reflected on after reading this whole article was that we have to look at spontaneous generation of Democracy and Economic freedom and see that points back to a decrease in clannish attitudes and see an imposed decrease in clannish attitudes, or adopted decrease.

    To use an example, Wheat seems to have originated in the Fertile Cressent about 10K ybp. It then spread from there. What I’m suggesting is that while the genetics of an area might not have the capacity for wheat (or non clannishness) it can be imported by force or less likely by choice.

    Reply

  18. @JayMan 11/06/2015 at 10:38 AM
    On the picture – I’m not sure we are in disagreement here, certainly on the first Sigma, maybe around the 3 or more.

    On the regression to the mean with the breeders equation, I can see that. I was positing that there is a rapid change in genetics due to a distinctly different political environment creating different mating choices, and suggesting that perhaps we could be seeing things different in 2 generations. OTOH maybe we wouldn’t expect to see dramatic changes that fast.

    Reply

  19. @HBDChick
    Just read your Korea post which seems to cover the whole peninsula. I will admit I don’t know enough of the pre WW2 history on this. But your post basically said FZD and MBD were accepted which means limited cousin marriage. This and the 500 year difference with North Eastern France would explain much.

    However if this was the standard throughout Korea, then they still had cousin marriage, and NO/SO Korea gives a better than E/W Germany example of the differences of same population with different political climates. And Climate is a perfect way to phrase this if we look at plants or other animals as analogous. After all when the climate changes certain traits are favored over others, causing the less successful genetics to be repressed, or lost.

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  20. Is there any truth in the old belief that much of the population of old Prussia were Balts by origin, explaining the taunt of “square heads”?

    On my trips to Germany, one thing racial/ethnic/whatever took my eye. The population of Berlin is distinctly ugly compared to that of the other German areas that I have visited. It made me look at the old George Grosz (Georg Ehrenfried Groß) cartoons in a new light.

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  21. @Heinz Hommler
    “Ostsiedlung in Kingdoms of Poland and Bohemia was mostly cultural not demographic”
    I’d be careful saying that. While it’s true that German historians exxagerate the scale of the migration (confusing “villages found or relocated with German law” with “Germans coming and founding new cities”), our historians went in 1945/89 a bit extreme into the other direction.

    Remember, there was large self-sorting event in forties. Everyone who had German ancestry could claim German nationality and some category of volkslist. Those who did that, were then deported, killed, or harassed until they escaped. Ethnic Germans were expelled too. So it’s quite natural to expect that German admixture in modern Poland would be quite low.

    For the record, my the grand-grand-grand-mother (or was it only gran-grand-mother?) was German. The horrors! 8-D

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  22. @HBD-chick
    What about Austria? It seems that manor system went there in approximately the same time; they also have Slavic admixture, though – with more fertile lands and all they could get probably more German migrants, and from south-west. Shouldn’t Austria have the same characteristics as former DDR? Or do you think it shouldn’t, because it was colonised more by the southern Germans?

    As for Polish religiousness, here I will make a wild guess – not entirely serious, just generating an idea.

    During the partition, Polishness was associated with being catholic and – what’s more important. What if people who were less religious were easier to convert to other religions AND losing their ethnic affiliation in the process?

    However, the very weak point of this idea is that the de-polonisation process happened mostly for elites. No one cared about the villagers, who made vast majority of the population :) So I guess we are stuck with cultural explanation.

    And here is the percentage of catholics who regularly participate in mass. No clear pattern, except most of “recovered territories” being distinct.

    (BTW, I am atheist myself, but my wife is devout catholic, and my daughter too; my son is too young to be devout :D )

    Reply

  23. One problem with your argument is that whether the reformation took long-term roots in a particular territory was not only decided by the local population within any territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but by the principle “cuius regio, eius religio.” In other words, it was mainly the ruling princely family – members of a supra-regional elite – that decided about the religion in their respective territories according to their respective preferences. This also led to population exchanges of holdouts refusing to convert. I would therefore hesitate to draw conclusions from the predominant religion after 1648 or so.

    For example, the Habsburgs forced Catholicism on Austria, a large part of whose population was leaning Protestant in the reformation. Still, Catholicism remained fairly strongly rooted in the country up to the 20th century, in contrast to the former lands of the crown of Wenceslas, whose contemporary Atheism is sometimes seen as linked to Anti-Habsburg Czech nationalism (since Catholicism was tightly linked to the Habsburgs).

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  24. Great post, and timely too. Couple of thoughts:

    – alternative explanation to much of what you write (sorry to be a party pooper!): possible influence of much older populations, such as Corded ware (pastoralists, ?belligerent?, clannish), the predominant element in Eastern and Northern parts of Germany. In contrast, West and South of Germany had strong influence from other groups such as the Bell Beakers (metallurgy?). These explanations are not mutually exclusive, and perhaps the manor system acted on these pre-existing genetic foundations. Slavic but also Germanic peoples had a predominant Corded ware element.
    – Map of religious affiliation following the reformation coincides fairly well with Corded ware settlement (would embed map here if I knew how)
    – Geneticists tell me that there is a lot of population structure in Germany. No surprise there.
    – Poland probably experienced a “Hajnal line inversion” in 1945 with the westward movement of Eastern Polish populations to the former German provinces. Therefore, the post-1945 Hajnal line at Oder/Neisse (western border of Poland now) is probably less fuzzy than pre-1945.
    – The post is timely because current anti-immigrant sentiment is highest in the East, such as in Saxony, while #refugeeswelcome looks stronger in West and South. I do think that there is a connection, whether Corded or clannish.

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  25. The reason why Poles are more religious is very simple and easy.
    Of course it has nothing to do with partitions.
    Even on the map it can be seen that most catholic are former catholic Austrian lands.
    And least catholic are former protestant Prussian and orthodox Russian lands.
    Totally inverse what partition “theory” claims.
    And the divide dates back few centuries.

    In XVIth century Krakow area was most catholic, but areas just north of Krakow leaned Calvinist or Arian.

    https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracia_polscy#/media/File:Religie_w_I_Rz-plitej_1573.svg

    The same divide can be seen on voting patterns:
    http://www.wyborynamapie.pl/samorzadowe2014/psl.html
    http://www.wyborynamapie.pl/samorzadowe2014/pis.html

    There is famous divide between Galicia and Congress Poland.
    But it really dates back to early middle ages:



    Different ancient tribes (Wislanie +Volksdeustche vs Lendzianie) and we got differences today.

    Reply

  26. @ostsiedler – “alternative explanation to much of what you write (sorry to be a party pooper!): possible influence of much older populations, such as Corded ware (pastoralists, ?belligerent?, clannish), the predominant element in Eastern and Northern parts of Germany. In contrast, West and South of Germany had strong influence from other groups such as the Bell Beakers (metallurgy?).”

    possibly. and i certainly don’t rule out any pre-medieval genetic differences between the euro pops having an effect here. seems almost likely, really. (and there was some discussion on the blog here a couple years back along the lines of “was there something special about the germanics?” don’t think we ever concluded anything. (~_^) )

    but wrt possible corded ware vs. bell beaker peoples diffs: the only problem i see with this explanation is that, of course, the germanic tribes had originated in corded ware lands, no? (although there was overlap with bell beaker culture.) wouldn’t the germanics — including the franks — have been clannish, battle-axey peoples then? they certainly were agro-pastorialists in the period immediately preceding the early medieval period, just before they settled down onto manors. and most of the evidence suggests that they were a fightin’ and feudin’ people at the start of the early medieval period.

    dunno. but, yeah — i definitely wouldn’t rule out earlier differences. as you say, the explanations are not mutually exclusive.

    @ostsiedler – “Map of religious affiliation following the reformation coincides fairly well with Corded ware settlement….”

    yes. except for southwestern france and britain. including those with the corded ware lands closes the circle around my “core” core europeans in austrasia+neustria.

    @ostsiedler – “Poland probably experienced a ‘Hajnal line inversion’ in 1945 with the westward movement of Eastern Polish populations to the former German provinces. Therefore, the post-1945 Hajnal line at Oder/Neisse (western border of Poland now) is probably less fuzzy than pre-1945.”

    yes! very good point. thank you!

    @ostsiedler – “The post is timely because current anti-immigrant sentiment is highest in the East, such as in Saxony, while #refugeeswelcome looks stronger in West and South.”

    ah ha! i didn’t know that. very interesting. yes, that would fit with the clannishness model. thanks!

    and, you’re not a party pooper! (^_^)

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick:

      “but wrt possible corded ware vs. bell beaker peoples diffs: the only problem i see with this explanation is that, of course, the germanic tribes had originated in corded ware lands, no? (although there was overlap with bell beaker culture.) wouldn’t the germanics — including the franks — have been clannish, battle-axey peoples then?”

      And then what about the Slavs? Their origins are similar, and they didn’t exactly end up like Germanics…

      The breeder’s equation should inform us about the pace of evolution – that many such behavioral differences are in fact fairly recentl (past 1,000 years or so) in origin.

      Reply

  27. @margulon – “One problem with your argument is that whether the reformation took long-term roots in a particular territory was not only decided by the local population within any territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but by the principle ‘cuius regio, eius religio….’ I would therefore hesitate to draw conclusions from the predominant religion after 1648 or so.”

    yes. you’re probably right. i’ll try to hunt down some maps of the earlier days of the reformation — pre-thirty years’ war. thanks!

    (in fact, it would be nice to see a whole series of maps starting from the beginning of the reformation. a time-lapse video or something. wonder if that exists…?)

    Reply

  28. @jayman – “The breeder’s equation should inform us about the pace of evolution – that many such behavioral differences are in fact fairly recentl (past 1,000 years or so) in origin.”

    yes! my new mantra (in case ya’ll hadn’t noticed): human evolution can be recent, rapid, and local…and is definitely ongoing! (~_^)

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  29. @szopeno – “What about Austria? It seems that manor system went there in approximately the same time; they also have Slavic admixture, though – with more fertile lands and all they could get probably more German migrants, and from south-west. Shouldn’t Austria have the same characteristics as former DDR? Or do you think it shouldn’t, because it was colonised more by the southern Germans?”

    the manor system shouldn’t have arrived in austria before the very late 700s, which is similar to saxony (the saxony on this map). that’s still earlier than the area which became east germany, though, which wasn’t settled by germans until sometime in the high middle ages, i.e. 1000 or later.

    and the austrian territories were settled primarily by populations from swabia and (eastern) bavaria (again, the ones this map). that’s a bit of a mix there. swabia was incorporated into the frankish kingdom very early — in 502 — while bavaria was later — 788.

    Reply

  30. @albert – “…there is a difference between the Brandenburg-Prussia area today and the Brandenburg-Prussia of pre-WWII.”

    wouldn’t that be accounted for by the post-wwii migrations? the german-speaking populations were expelled from the region.

    Reply

  31. @heinz – “20% is significant admixture, although the view that east Germans were germanized Slavs is false.”

    yeah. a 20% admixture rate is not to be sneezed at. thanks!

    Reply

  32. Large parts of E Europe were first reformed, and then counter-reformed at gun point. Could such upheavals have changed land tenure patterns in a way relevant to this discussion?

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  33. @acthinker – “Well the middle east, particularly old OutreMer (as I begin to think on this) has in the 1100-1300 range a French influence, with a lot of not cousin marriages occurring.”

    the modern cousin marriage rate among lebanese christians is 16.5% (1983-84). that’s comparable to puglia in southern italy.

    unless you’ve got some evidence that the french influenced marriage patterns in the middle east while they were there, i wouldn’t assume that they did.

    Reply

  34. @dearieme – “Could such upheavals have changed land tenure patterns in a way relevant to this discussion?”

    quite possibly. i still haven’t gotten beyond the “eastern limit of the carolingian empire” in my readings yet, though, so i don’t know. (~_^)

    Reply

  35. @acthinker – ” While they may have more cousin marriage and be inherently more likely to be clannish that say a Londoner, they would have been living in a culture that was primarily formed by the genetic disposition of the French manor system (ie France, Germany, etc).”

    ashkenazi jews would’ve experienced different selection pressures than gentile european populations because they were not a part of the manor system…except for parts of eastern europe where they were often the middle managers on manors. different roles entirely than the broader population. (see cochran and harpending on the selection pressures the ashkenazi population experienced.)

    when it comes to mating patterns, western european ashkenazi jews did avoid cousin (or uncle-niece) marriage, but eastern european ashkenazi jews apparently did not. on the whole.

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  36. @acthinker – “But your post basically said FZD and MBD were accepted which means limited cousin marriage.”

    that doesn’t mean limited cousin marriage at all. it just means that fbd marriage (and the second cousin version of it) was prohibited.

    @acthinker – “However if this was the standard throughout Korea, then they still had cousin marriage, and NO/SO Korea gives a better than E/W Germany example of the differences of same population with different political climates.”

    you still need to look at other selection pressures as well, beyond the mating patterns. family types is another one (probably extended in korea — that’s a guess on my part). and the socio-economic system as well. how was society arranged? did they have manors like in nw europe? (don’t think so.) landlords like in some times/areas of china? were peasant farmers independent? who managed to reproduce down through the centuries in korea?

    Reply

  37. @szopeno – “For the record, my the grand-grand-grand-mother (or was it only gran-grand-mother?) was German. The horrors! 8-D”

    oh, noes! =P

    Reply

  38. @Heinz Hommler
    Not so fast:

    Presidential elections

    2015 (I phase I believe)

    And if you know Polish, look here (divorce, crime rates, rates of pssing maturity exams, ratios of CF credits and so on) (googled out, just look at the maps and ignore the rest)

    https://dzieckonmp.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/znajomosc-historii-jest-w-polityce-niezbedna/

    Or this one (percentage of people working in industry, buildings built before 1918, old people ratio, househoulds without bathrooms – this one is misleading, railroads, support for economically liberal parties)

    And this one should interest HBDChick: number of NGO (without voluntary firemen)

    all NGOs

    and this site, very cool:

    http://www.mojapolis.pl/

    Reply

  39. @margulon and all:

    i said: ” i’ll try to hunt down some maps of the earlier days of the reformation.”

    i’ve done that and have now added a map of the confessional divisions in germany in 1560 with the gdr (roughly!) indicated. (^_^) third section of post.

    Reply

  40. “I’m also not surprised that the Protestant area’s in 1610 are the area’s most likely to be non religious today. I am a little surprised that they lie closer to the Hajnal line.”

    Bear in mind some of that may be an artifact of the counter-reformation i.e. some regions may have been first to change but didn’t survive the reaction e.g. Huegenots in France.

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  41. At szopeno

    Even faster.
    Poland is pretty homogeneous.
    But anyway there are some subtle divides between eastern and western Poland.
    But I do not totally care about Zabuzhanie from western Poland.

    I am much more interested in these east-polish divides.
    Eastern Poland is pretty homogeneous – and you showed it with your maps.
    But anyway there are some subtle divides between southern-eastern / central-eastern / westnorth-eastern / eastnorth-eastern Poland.
    That what is really interesting, because some divides can be traced to early middle ages.

    Reply

  42. At Szopeno

    Regarding Volksdeustche that were killed / expelled during II WW.
    They were from second Drang nach Osten – XIX century immigration to new Prussia lands, also significant minority were germanized Silesians.

    In the lands of Kingdom of Poland, Old middle age Ostsiedlung was assimilated into polish society long time ago.
    There was no old German minority already in XVIII century.
    They intermarried with polish and spread their genes, so polish are now about 1% German.
    It confirms that Ostsiedlung was rather cultural with Germans being rather managerial elite, then the masses.

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  43. On Lebanon, and Southern Italy an first cousin marriage.

    Your blog has pretty well established a move away from cousin marriage in the Austrasia and Neustria area – today being part of Belgium, and northern France roughly. The question then becomes why are the rates what and where.

    My push on Lebanon and the kingdoms of Outre Mer being that from 1100-1300 among the rulers- who were French and Latin Catholic and largely came from those areas of France with the longest history against cousin marriage is that for that period they would have had fewer cousin marriages than the Christians and Muslims of the land area now known as Lebanon. So for Lebanon to have 16% cousin marriages to me actually is low, considering areas right around it are at 25 to 30% by all that I’ve looked for – admittedly quickly. Also I note that is an average of all, when you break out for sub culture, the Muslims are higher. Which is no surprise, it is what your blog has pushed.

    For southern Italy, realize that from the period of about 900 to 1000 it was under contested control between Muslims and Byzantines. Each would have brought varying degrees of social acceptance on cousin marriages. Around 1050, the Norsemen operating out of Scandinavia, Normandy and other locations first showed up as mercenaries to Constantinople and later separate contesting players for Sicily and southern Italy, they would have brought their marriage patterns and prejudices with them.

    For the Ashkenazi Jews, I don’t know who’s data is correct, but I found wiki’s info on this interesting this AM. Quoted below, it states how a check of first-cousin marriage rate in the 50’s was only 1.4% for Israeli Ashkenazi Jews, where as other Jewish groups have much higher rates. Ashkenazi Jews (again wiki) basically means Jews from German. I consider 2.5% (first and 2nd cousin) consanguinity to be fairly low given the trends across the Middle East. This seem to back the idea, that the outside culture to the Jews of Central Europe cause them to be less imbed than their co-relations in the middle east.

    “Among Jews

    Patai states in his other book The Myth of the Jewish Race that percentage of cousin marriage among Jews varies extensively with geographic location. Among Israeli Ashkenazi Jews, who originate mainly from Europe, the first-cousin marriage rate was measured in a 1955-7 study at 1.4% and other cousin marriages at 1.06% of all marriages. But among non-Ashkenazim the first-cousin marriage rate was 8.8% and an additional 6.0% of marriages were between more distant cousins. Thus a total 14.6% of marriages between non-Askenazim were consanguineous compared with only 2.5% for Ashkenazim. The highest frequencies of cousin marriages were found among Jews from Iraq (28.7%) and Iran (26.3%). High rates were also found among couples from Yemen (18.3%), Aden (17.8%), Tunisia (13.4%), and among Oriental Jews from the USSR (6.9%). Jews from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey saw rates of 7-10.7%. A later 1969-70 study rated the first-cousin marriage rate among Ashkenazim at 0.3% and other cousin marriages at 1.0%, while for non-Askenazim the respective figures were 6.2% and 8.1%. Among the Habbani Jews in Israel, 56% of marriages are between first cousins. The Samaritans also had very high rates of inbreeding, with 43% of marriages between first cousins and 33.3% between other cousins.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_marriage_in_the_Middle_East#Among_Jews

    As to Korea, Several thoughts. First we can both be right and wrong. Because FZD and MBD are not banned does not mean they were or were not practiced. Consider that most laws are passed to prevent something. If the ‘thing’ isn’t occurring you don’t need to pass a law to prevent it, similarly if the thing occurring isn’t perceived as a bad thing, then no law is passed to prevent it. In this case, it means FZD and MBD either were not happening (the basic contention of HBDChick and JayMan) or it was not perceived as needing to be prevented (my contention). Without further genetic studies, or studies of the Korean culture, this is not resolvable.

    Still on Korea, my contention is that you had a similar genetic group across the peninsula in 1950 which I agree has not been proven by me, but I contend not disproven. I also contend that that in 2015, the genetics of both groups have adapted to the political environment.

    Let me digress for moment here. Presume there is a gene for being Religious, or believing in a higher power. I believe such a gene would be more like a volume control than an on off switch, it is at least a 3 position switch. Either a person believes, doesn’t believe, or doesn’t care/does whatever is easiest. If there were a ruler who had absolute power for a period of time and forced everyone to either believe on pain of death or not believe on pain of death, even if it were for a short time, but he had much power to enforce it, we’d expect that echo to be seen in subsequent populations. If just about all those carrying the politically undesired gene were killed by the law, in the future, it would not be in the population.

    Back to Korea (although in someway Germany). Such pressure to submit to the state in part of the state existed on both sides of the divide. On both sides economic advantages were lost by not conforming to the states demand. The fact that these demands went in differing directions has resulting in what might have been separate populations becoming district now. JayMan likes to say “breeders equation” which says the genes regress to the mean. But what does that mean when the average, er mean has moved? I’m arguing that after 40 years in Germany, and 65 years in Korea, the mean on both sides of the line has moved. And it was moved not by genetics, but by genetics responding to outside forces (isn’t that what evolution is? If there isn’t outside pressure, the changes would be much slower). Without deliberate mixing at a genetic level, the separate means are likely to persist.

    A whole post, or series of them could be devoted to how a extreme event of either short or long duration affected family life, and subsequently genetics. For instance, while 506 is the date for the Catholic Church banning cousin marriages, how much of boost would that, or the manor system of living been given, or hampered by the extreme weather of 536 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535%E2%80%93536) It is much easier to heat one building with lots of people. A more recent event was that Franklin stove which was more efficient at heat because in the 1740’s wood was a days walk outside of Philadelphia, a more efficient way of heating was needed to cut the cost. Prior to that most people used a fireplace. In comparison, the stove heats a room better than a fireplace.

    Weather is only one type of event to be looked at for evolutionary pressures. Humans are interesting in that unlike most animals, in addition to natural pressures, our social structures often create pressures on the groups behavior, that over time redefine which genes get passed on. The cousin marriage one being one such social pressure.

    Reply

  44. @ACThinker:

    “If there were a ruler who had absolute power for a period of time and forced everyone to either believe on pain of death or not believe on pain of death, even if it were for a short time, but he had much power to enforce it, we’d expect that echo to be seen in subsequent populations.”

    Not as much as you might think, unless subsequent generations also experienced this selective sieve (see the breeder’s equation).

    In short, one generation of selection just isn’t going to make that much difference, over all. Cutting off the entire top 16% (1 SD+) only moves the mean in the following generation –0.17 SD (assuming additive heritability of about 0.6).

    “JayMan likes to say “breeders equation” which says the genes regress to the mean. But what does that mean when the average, er mean has moved?”

    It does, but only once.

    See Regression to the Mean

    Reply

  45. @JayMan,
    Ok, so with the Breeders equation and regression to the mean are you arguing for slow evolution in the face of human made pressure? And yet I think you, or it was HBDChick that was advocating for very rapid changes in humanity? or is ‘rapid’ in this case say 10 generations, not 2? German’s have had 2 generations, and Korean’s 3. – roughly.

    Having read over the bit about the 2nd generation being on a stable mean, I can see that a one time mix of say village A with village D will result in village AD having a mean that will be stable pending mutations. And that fits my example of the crazy ruler who kills everyone with the undesirable gene.

    But lets take the mean movement a bit further, say he killed the 10% with the largest Body Mass Index (BMI) every year. Each year this is figured out, and they are killed. Over time, the BMI averages will go down and continue to go down, and later generations (this is a young ruler, so he can do this for 40 years or more) will have less genetic dispotitions to a high BMI. So in year 1 a BMI might need to be above a 30 to get a person killed, but the next year, only a 27, the following a 25 then a 24 and so on all the way down to perhaps a 20 by year 40.

    Tis is more the case of 40 years in the Germanies and 60 years in the Korea’s. The forcing, the environmental pressure is consistent. The rulers decide in year one to get rid of the worse 10%, but now that they are gone, in year 2 they get rid of the worse 10% and this continues until the government policy changes. (I’m picking 10 because it is easy to pick, not because I have evidence to support it being 10%)

    BTW, the remaining 90% begin to look for ways of not being the 10% of the trouble makers since being perceived as a trouble maker gets you killed. Further more, children are trained to not cause trouble. Mates are selected on the basis of looking for the most ‘docile’ etc.

    To take another example. I’m growing peas. I’m using a strain that I can harvest and keep some for next years seeds. I want to keep about 10% of them for next year. Over the harvest I keep track of which plants give me the most number of pods and seeds per pod. Those one I aim to keep, and those I get to eat (can, freeze whatever). First year, I save some plants that have 5, 6 or 7 peas in the pod and produce a lot of pods. I eat all the 3 and 4 seed pods and some of the 5’s maybe even some 6’s or 7’s if the plant had fewer over all seeds due to fewer pods. Next year I get some 3 and 4 pods as the mix comes out a bit, but a lot fewer than before, and I have saved only pea’s from pods with 6 or 7 seed. I continue this procedure year over year until I finally am at an end with only 7 seed pods being saved and most of my plants produce a lot of 7 seed pods. Might be 5 generations, might be 10, might be 20. But my mean keeps moving year over year. It is similar to a differential rate problem (although not identical).

    Reply

  46. @ACThinker:

    All of HBD is based on two things: heritability (as established by behavioral genetics) and the breeder’s equation. Those two things are fundamental to understanding everything else.

    “German’s have had 2 generations, and Korean’s 3. – roughly.”

    Yes. I think the whole point of this post was to show that East and West Germans were different all along, and not just since 1945. The same may be true for North vs. South Koreans.

    “And yet I think you, or it was HBDChick that was advocating for very rapid changes in humanity? or is ‘rapid’ in this case say 10 generations, not 2?”

    Yes. See:

    time enough | hbd chick

    The rest that you describe is selective breeding in a nutshell. Welcome to the world of farmers.

    Reply

  47. Well we will have to disagree on how uniform or not Germany and Korea were in 1945. Were the specific behaviors (and hence genes) that are being examined in either case 100% (the generally assumed but likely very wrong) or only 50% or even as low as 0% overlap. I’d lean that they are probably closer than you, and certainly you are seeing them further away.

    I do agree that no matter how close they were in 1945, they are further apart now, about 25% of a SD for Germany – pending genetic remixing post 1990, and about 40% SD increase for the Korea’s. – which is to say this is the drift from their pre 1945 common mean, which may or may not have been all that common.

    Your math from the link implies that 7 generations is about a 1 SD move in characteristics, that’s fine, and about 200 years, also fine. I think it can be much quicker under the right pressure, and much slower, but without researching specific data that would apply to a group as an example of either, I’ll accept 7 to 10 generations as ‘typical’ (having to do with the variables in your calculations.) – the reason I say 10 is because I think a 16% drop (the end past 1SD on the ‘lost’ side) is perhaps to great. But that depends again on times and places.

    Reply

  48. You risk claiming too much. Your idea was/is interesting but now it seems like you’re trying to push it as this grandiose theory that explains so much more than what you have a plausible case for. That Christian parishes were given a high degree of autonomy matters less than you’d think when the religion was undermined by the state in every other way, most relevantly through the education system. This is not a trivial matter, and the existence of, uh, theology faculties (which most no one ever attends or has attended) changes little.

    There is a poor fit between current levels of religiosity and the distribution of Christian denominations in the HRE in 1610. Nowhere near as good a fit as between communist rule in Germany and the levels of religiosity, that is. You’re dismissing the most obvious proximate cause in favour of a pet theory. Do breeding/family structure patterns matter in the grand scheme of things? I see little reason to claim that they wouldn’t, but I don’t see how they’d be the major force behind the phenomenon you’re trying to explain here.

    “although the state did exercise a lot of control over the churches in east Germany, it didn’t impact much on the religiosity of the populace”

    You mean to say, perhaps, that it didn’t impact much the religiosity of the populace *initially*. I do not see why it should be a point of contention that there is such a thing as social inertia.

    @ACThinker

    “looking closer at the map I see that some area’s like France are in the 2nd quartile, and Romania is in the 1st. I’m not sure how to explain this in context of in and out breeding other than to say, more factors are clearly at work”

    Yes indeed, more factors have to be at work. Transylvania was one of the earliest and strongest outposts for Protestant denominations in Europe, up until the second half of the 19th century, and entwined with this, historically, it was one of the most religiously “tolerant” places in Europe. And yet its population has never been particularly characterised by “outbreeding” or “nuclear family” structures.

    This whole Hajnal line business is beginning to shape up into a joke on the same level as culture only explanations, where it is invoked as an explanation for one thing in one place, and then its almost opposite in another.

    Reply

  49. @ACThinker I don’t know about North Korea, but East and West Germany WERE definetely genetically different before 1945.

    In fact I’d argue that it’s possible that it was even more different before 1945 than after 1945 (because several millions eastern Germans moving to Western Germany could just smooth the differences just a little bit)

    Reply

  50. @et.cetera – “And yet its population has never been particularly characterised by ‘outbreeding’ or ‘nuclear family’ structures.”

    1) and manorialism. (see title of post.)
    2) protestant reformation — the adopt of lutheranism, specifically — was very much concentrated in transylvania…where the saxons were (and where they had brought the manor system, etc., etc.).

    Reply

  51. @et. cetera.

    “You risk claiming too much. Your idea was/is interesting but now it seems like you’re trying to push it as this grandiose theory that explains so much more than what you have a plausible case for. That Christian parishes were given a high degree of autonomy matters less than you’d think when the religion was undermined by the state in every other way, most relevantly through the education system. This is not a trivial matter, and the existence of, uh, theology faculties (which most no one ever attends or has attended) changes little.

    There is a poor fit between current levels of religiosity and the distribution of Christian denominations in the HRE in 1610. Nowhere near as good a fit as between communist rule in Germany and the levels of religiosity, that is. You’re dismissing the most obvious proximate cause in favour of a pet theory. Do breeding/family structure patterns matter in the grand scheme of things?”

    One day, important principles like Occam’s Razor may be recognized for the key tool it is.

    That, and heritability and the breeder’s equation, as mentioned above.

    Reply

  52. @jayman

    You don’t have parsimony on your side in this case, I’m afraid. Quite far from it.

    Also, regurgitating Gregory Cochran’s one liner does not change the nature of the matter. Worse, it reminds me of that little anecdote about Euler’s dialogue with Denis Diderot on the existence of God. You haven’t actually demonstrated that a proclivity for irreligion has been under selective pressure in northern Germany since the 1600s, so the robustness of the breeder equation as a heuristic is irrelevant.

    @hbd chick

    First, the transylvanian saxons did not live under manoralism as you construe it. Second, the Hussites were not saxons. Nor were the majority of the Reformed churches in the region. Or the Unitarians…

    Am I to believe that your hypothesis applies only to Lutheran denominations? Why so?

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  53. @et.cetera
    “Nowhere near as good a fit as between communist rule in Germany and the levels of religiosity, that is. You’re dismissing the most obvious proximate cause in favour of a pet theory” – For the best deconstruction of your communism/levels of religiosity impact one just needs to examine other 20th Century European communism areas. In most places, after communism (open)religiosity increased… I am very informed about the case of Yugoslavia and its descendant states in particular. That case also underlines that it is not only Christianity in question, religiosity post-Communism most drastically increased in Muslim communities (measured by Mosque attendance, in the 100-fold increase range! [Mosque seeing at best a dozen worshipers during communism having over 1000 regular worshipers now]). Orthodox and Catholic Christianity as well…
    From personal experience, religion just went under-ground during communist rule. And communists tried many tricks modern America sees nowadays. Santa?-Relocated to New Year, as a comrade. My mind still involuntarily calls Christmas Tree a “New Year Tree”… They stole or undermined some of the religious traditions. However, religious people shifted to deeper and older traditions: for me colors of Christmas are NOT red/green/white (that’s stolen by the New year, or call it here in the USA “Holidays”) but golds and browns. Not evergreen trees but oak branches. Not glitter ornaments but straw and walnuts… Religion, where it was strong before communism, survived. Changed and even strengthened.
    Areas where it was weak and just maintained from the cultural inertia of the past – that is where communism could have and in most cases did sever the ties (E.Germany, Czechs,…).

    Reply

  54. Religion, where it was strong before communism, survived. Changed and even strengthened. Areas where it was weak and just maintained from the cultural inertia of the past – that is where communism could have and in most cases did sever the ties (E.Germany, Czechs,…).

    Very interesting comment, this communism/religion connection is endlessly perplexing to me. I hope to understand it one day.

    @szopeno–

    Those Poland maps are fascinating! It seems that you only blog in Polish, but if you ever did a detailed blog post in English on those maps, and your beliefs on why Polish regions are this way, I’m sure many people would be very interested.

    Reply

  55. Ich habe selten soviel Schwachsinn gelesen. Götter haben die Welt noch nie besser gemacht, im Gegenteil es waren Christen und andere Gläubige die Kriege führten. Deswegen vertrauen die Ossis nicht auf Götter sondern auf ihren gesunden Menschenverstand. Ich habe den Eindruck Westeuropa ist komplett Antikommunismus-geschädigt, denn Verstand ist da schon lange Mangelware.

    Reply

  56. I will risk again. East Germany religion after, during and before communism. “before” I want to say: During the XX century.

    During the nazi period, near to the end of second war and beginning of communism in East Germany, what was the % of religious people, in 1940, and in 1950 and in 1970?? Would be interesting analyze it throughout family generations.

    Iceland is other interesting place to be analyzed.

    Millennial white Americans are overwhelming more non-religious than the (still living as well all) older generations??

    Interesting how protestants seems less religious than Catholics. Most of the protestant areas show higher % of atheism/agnosticism. Catholicism seems to be more intense probably because the strong catholic influence in the societies as well “Catholics”. Of course the higher percent of practical catholic people in Poland even during the communist period. And in Cuba?? Most Cubans are religious??

    As I think ideology and religion (and culture) are basically the same thing with different names seems communism tend to replace religion with their ideology.

    As always fragmented thoughts…

    Reply

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