some very random thoughts on the reformation

the following are some very random thoughts/notions/questions/half-baked ideas about the reformation(s). just some things that i’ve noticed which may or may not mean something. thought i’d share. (^_^)

∎ i’ve mentioned this before, and i’m sure i’ll mention it again: to me, it looks like the reformation(s) occurred on the fringe of “core europe” (“core europe” being frankish austrasia/neustria where bipartite manorialism was first established and from whence it spread to other areas of western europe). why was there no (or comparatively little) reformation activity in the core of “core europe”? [the red line on the map below indicates the hajnal line which, if you don’t know what that is that by now…GET OFF MY BLOG! (~_^) the areas sloppily outlined in black are austrasia and, to its west, neustria.]

religious divisions of europe map + austrasia + hajnal line

the pre-reformation era rebel christian groups that popped up were on the fringes: the waldensian movement began in southern france in the twelfth century, but really took root in the alpine border region between france and italy; the cathars of the same period were also from northern italy/southern france. john wycliffe came from a long line of yorkshiremen, and lollardism, having arisen in england in the mid-1300s, was also a movement located on the fringes of austrasia. even within england, lollardism seems to have had more of a following in areas that encircled “core england” — “core england” being where the manor system was first established (kent) and where the institution was most successfully implemented (the home counties).

the first proper set of of reformers — the hussites et al. that were a part of the bohemian reformation which began in the late-1300s — were from the kingdom of bohemia, nowadays the czech republic, so fringe (again, in relation to austrasia). luther was from eisleben in saxony, which later would be a part of east germany (the gdr), very much “fringe germany” — and lutheranism was, and is, very much a german/scandinavian thing, once again not occurring in the heart of “core europe.” calvinism is even more fringe than lutheranism, finding followers in scotland(!), among the frisians and dutch, the swiss, southwest france (the hugenots), and off in some parts of eastern europe — although calvin, himself, was from northern france. the radical reformation groups were even fringier.

why this pattern? (is it a pattern?!) why did the reformation (the reformations) arise around the edges of “core europe”?

∎ one of the main bugs of the reformers was, of course, what they viewed as the corrupt behaviors of the established church and clergy — the selling of indulgences, nepotism, usury — all that sort of thing. this was particularly the case for luther and his followers. it’s very clear that, today, northwestern “core” europeans are less corrupt than any of the peripheral europeans — southern europeans, eastern europeans, even (*gasp!) the irish:

europe - cpi 2015

was the reformation in germany the moment when an anti-corruption tipping point was reached in these northern populations? were corrupt, nepotistic behaviors simply largely bred out of these populations — via heavy outbreeding, heavy bipartite manorialization, and strong nuclear-family orientation for eight or nine hundred years — by this time? again though, if so, why wasn’t there a similar movement(s) in northeast france/belgium (austrasia) where these three factors (what i think were selection pressures) originated?

∎ the push for the publication of bibles in vernacular languages, and the widespread idea that there ought to be a personal/direct relationship between an individual and god, both strike me as expressions of individualism. again, individualism today is much stronger in northwest european populations than pretty much every other group on the planet, including in comparison to peripheral europeans. was an individualism tipping point reached in northwest european populations — thanks to selection for those traits — right around the time of the reformation? attitudes connected to individualism had already appeared in northern europe by the eleventh century, but perhaps the tipping point — the point of no return — was reached a couple of hundred years later.

∎ as i’ve said before, it seems to me that the calvinist ideas of predestination and double predestination are less universalistic than teachings in other versions of western christianity, including roman catholicism. roman catholicism is rather universalistic in the sense that everybody can be saved, but one does have to join the church (or at least you had to in the past) and repent, so the system is not fully universalistic. something like unitarian universalism is much more universalistic — almost anything and anyone goes. predestination/double predestination, wherein one is damned by god no matter what you do, sounds like some sort of closed, exclusive club. i don’t think it’s surprising that calvinism is found in peripheral groups pretty far away from “core” europe.

∎ the general animosity toward the centralized, hierarchical authority of the roman catholic church by those in the magisterial reformation, and their preference for working with more local, approachable authorities (eg. city councils), might possibly be seen as a rejection of authoritarianism on some level. that the members of the radical reformation rejected any secular or outside authority over their churches makes me think they’re rather clannish like scottish highlanders or balkans populations — generally not wanting to cooperate with outsiders at all.

∎ one of the biggest targets of the reformation in germany — one that, unlike the indulgences, etc., you don’t normally hear much about — is that the reformers wanted to take back control of marriage and marriage regulations from the central church. apart from the cousin marriage bans, another huge change that the roman catholic church had made to marriage in the middle ages was to make marriage valid only if the man and woman involved freely agreed to be married to one another. the church, in other words, had taken marriage out of the hands of parents who were no longer supposed to engage in arranging marriages for their children. the choice was to be freely made by the couple, no approval was necessary from the family, and, up until the 1500s, you didn’t even have to get married by a priest — two adults (a man and a woman) could just promise themselves in marriage to one another, even without witnesses, and that was enough. (one might always be disowned and disinherited, of course, if your parents didn’t approve, but they could not legally stop you from marrying.)

the germans reversed this after the reformation, and put marriage back in the hands of parents — at least they had to give their approval from then on. the reformers also reversed the cousin marriage bans, although curiously the rates of cousin marriage do not appear to have increased substantially afterwards.

i’m not sure how to characterize any of this. seems to be a bit anti-authoritarian and possibly individualistic. not sure. Further Research is RequiredTM. (^_^)

that’s all i’ve got for you today. the short of it is: i wonder if the reformations were a product of several tippining points in the selection for certain behavioral traits in northwestern europeans, among them individualism, universalism, and anti-corruption sentiments. and i don’t think the selection for any of these stopped at the reformation — northwest “core” europeans continued down that evolutionary pathway until we see at least one other big watershed moment in their biohistory: the enlightenment.

previously: the radical reformation and renaissances

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

50 Comments

  1. Brief thought – the difficulty with connecting the vernacular Bible push with individualism and core Europe is that the Orthodox had been going the vernacular Bible route for centuries (that’s where Slavic Europe got the Cyrillic script) and they were rooted in the *less* individualistic parts of Christendom.

    I dunno why the Reformation took off, but it pretty clearly *started* b/c of political opposition to the Habsburgs. In hindsight, fighting w/ Martin Luther was a pretty stupid move on Karl V’s part, b/c that meant that all the peripheral German/Baltic princes who wanted more autonomy from the HRE & Habsburgs suddenly had a religious issue to press. :/

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  2. @scholar-at-arms – “…the Orthodox had been going the vernacular Bible route for centuries (that’s where Slavic Europe got the Cyrillic script) and they were rooted in the *less* individualistic parts of Christendom.”

    good point. perhaps what i’m trying to get at is that the push for vernacular bibles in the west was related to another idea that each individual ought to read the bible themselves?

    or maybe what i’m saying doesn’t mean anything at all. (*^_^*)

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  3. WSJ just reviewed (Jan 9) a book on Luther, saying the reformation “went viral” due to the recently created printing press.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-printing-press-prophet-1452290894

    The impression one gets from other histories of the Reformation is that the little, broken up mini states that made what later became Germany were ideal because if you had enough mini states, some ruler or other would eventually like the ideas and give shelter from the incensed Roman church. That was certainly the case with Luther himself.

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  4. I often wonder: why did Scotland go radically Protestant while Ireland didn’t. Was it just chance? Would Ireland have followed the Protestants eventually (as a way of showing that they weren’t taking orders from England) if Henry VIII’s legal first wife had produced a son instead of a daughter, and England stayed Catholic?

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  5. Most of this seems rather obvious to anyone who’s been following along, I’d say (with the possible exception being the Calvinism bit).

    While these may have been random notes, you have a nice little outline of the origin of Protestant Reformation here. Maybe the title should be “Where Did the Reformation Come From?” ;)

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  6. Henry VIII’s England stayed catholic, it just wasn’t Roman Catholic. It became protestant under Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Whether it would have stayed protestant without Bloody Mary’s heretic-burning is another what-if question.

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  7. Echoing Scholar-at-Arms, and repeating a previous blog comment, the closer you were to the Latin Languages in the West, the more likely you were to have a Bible in the Vernacular that you could read. They weren’t common, but they were in the common tongue of your area. This is it is the Germanies and England and Scandinavia where Protestantism could get a firmer grab because the vernacular bibles were not in existence.

    This was not because they weren’t done. There are many illuminated manuscripts that survive that show that some translation was done into things like Gaelic, or whatever was spoken in England before the rise of Modern (Shakespeare?) English. It would be interesting to look at the flow of languages in about 1000 to 1500 and then compare that to translation rates of the Bible. For whatever reason English was still in greater flux in 1500 than say French or Spanish.

    The reformers did feel that anyone could read and implicitly understand scripture.* But this created problems amongst themselves as they realized that they didn’t agree with one another and was a counter point to that thinking.

    *As an aside, while it is mostly true, just reading the text misses a lot of context. Consider this – if you read a play by Shakespeare, there are jokes in it that only make sense in the context of 1600’s England. Either you need to be from 1600 England, or know enough about it for them to be funny.

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  8. It certainly is multi faceted. One thing I think you missed is a question of “how long does it take for IQ to increase and cause a ‘why question’ spike?” As in “why are we doing it this way?” or “Why does the Bishop live so unholy a life?” etc. They were just knowledgeable enough to ask the questions without out the training of those who had more years to know the answers given.

    This should then prompt a question of “why didn’t it occur earlier?” Three answers, one is the printing press. The second is well also straight forward, there wasn’t enough mass of increased IQ because the ‘core Europe’ was still not yet at the Hajnel line.

    The last is more complicated – or needs more explanation as it is more in the weeds. Loosely the Catholic Church since the conversion of Constantine has had two internal groups flowing together and through it. A church of power – that is a group who saw and used the offices of the church for self aggrandizement, and who most of the ‘reformation’ popes would have been part of. The other was a church of piety. These included members like St. Francis of Assai.

    But it also included some popes in the late 11th Century who had come out of monasteries and were frustrated by the corruption of the other members of the Church and sought internal reform. They had some success, but such things are limited in time.

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  9. This is really interesting, I’d not thought about the Reformation in these terms before. I’m not sure if Scottish protestantism fits the core/peripheral dichotomy though. Calvinism was taken up in earnest in southern Scotland while the Highlands stayed Catholic.

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  10. Just a few observations:

    The Church’s teaching on consent and marriage was a matter of sacramental theology, regarding the concept of validity. It did not preclude the moral requirements for parental approval of the marriage, it just meant that, if two people contracted a marriage without parental consent it was, lamentably, valid. The Church did not encourage or permit marriage on such grounds, it simply admitted that they had to be recognized as valid, even though for a licit and morally upright performance of the rite, more would be required.

    This clarification did lead to abuses, but the response of the Church was to legislate that, for the administration of the Sacrament, the stipulated witness(es) (in ordinary circumstances, including a priest), would be required. Because jurisdiction is required for Sacramental validity in some instances (Confession, Marriage), legislating the obligatory presence of a priest with ordinary jurisdiction was a way to ensure that clandestine marriages could no longer claim automatic validity. And, of course, the priest was bound to ensure that the marriage bans were published in advance, witnesses and others were given opportunity to object to the marriage, etc. All of which is just to say, one should not overestimate the impact of this clarification of sacramental theology on marriage. The involvement of the community and parents remained critically important. The idea of consent does not at all preclude the possibility of young women consenting to a marriage simply out of obedience to their fathers. Unlike the claim of those who decry “rape culture,” there is ample room for “consent,” short of enthusiastic approval.

    To Scholar-At-Arms

    It is a common misconception that the Orthodox churches had “vernacular Bibles.” The Greeks never really had one, since Koine was not really the vernacular dialect of any Greeks, nor was Old Church Slavonic really a vernacular dialect of the people. The language for sacred things has always been kept somewhat apart – sometimes more so, sometimes less so – from the usual language of the people. But, whereas Slavs, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, etc., could often get the “gist” of what was being said, obviously speakers of Germanic tongues were more remote from the sacred tongue of their rite. Even then, one has to remember that the key issue was literacy. Even if a Bible was written in a “vernacular” dialect, literacy was not widespread until modern times. One who studies Old Slavonic prayerbooks and Scriptures also sees that one had to be trained thoroughly in the conventions of abbreviation, as well. In the Old English period, one could find many Biblical texts in a truly vernacular language, because there was a good deal of literacy in the vernacular amongst the nobles and clergy. But after the Norman Conquest, the folk who were literate, tended to be literate in French (and Latin). Vernacular Bibles would have done little for illiterate people, both in the West and in the East; and the literate folk knew the sacred tongues.

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  11. You write as though we could see breeding-induced changes reaching a tipping point in time. (E.g. “was an individualism tipping point reached in northwest european populations — thanks to selection for those traits — right around the time of the reformation” and “the moment when an anti-corruption tipping point was reached”) I think in the time and place in question, breeding-induced changes reaching a tipping point in space might be visible in data of the quality you have, but breeding-induced tipping points in time are doomed to be buried in the noise, because major technological and social changes (esp. movable type and gunpowder, but also a swarm of individually-smaller developments in shipping and agriculture and other production tech) were happening in a short timescale compared to the plausible timescale of breeding effects. (E.g., a 1450 army was hopelessly obsolete compared to a 1650 army, which was even more hopelessly obsolete compared to an 1850 army, and the change in spread of information was perhaps even more radical.)

    It seems pretty clear that the ideas and institutions of 1699 wouldn’t be competitive if carried back by time machine to the tech of 1299. The size of that effect makes it nontrivial to isolate the effect of any changes in the population over those 400 years that might (also) have been significant.

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  12. In the last part you have stressed the importance of selective migration and the colonisation. What about the following scenario:
    (1) The core breeds special kind of people;
    (2) However, the system which breeds this kind of people may be not actually the system those people would create by themselves
    (3) When they emigrate, they could create the system they really like

    Colonizers didn’t actually have to be that numerous in the relation to the host populations; if they were better-off economically, then they could raise more children and moreover, could have more influence because of their greater wealth.

    As for hussites, I am of impression that this was a direct reaction to German colonisation, one of the first nationalist movement in Europe (almost). The definition “nation are people united by common language, blood and faith” would seem so XIX century’ist (if not for the “faith” part)

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  13. “why did Scotland go radically Protestant while Ireland didn’t”: good question. Maybe because Scotland was part of the North Sea world? Ireland’s natural line of communication runs south.

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  14. “Calvinism was taken up in earnest in southern Scotland while the Highlands stayed Catholic.” Much of the Highlands didn’t stay Roman Catholic as much as tumble down to paganism.

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  15. @frau katze – “I often wonder: why did Scotland go radically Protestant while Ireland didn’t. Would Ireland have followed the Protestants eventually….”

    i don’t think so.

    i think what’s most interesting — and key — about the reformation in scotland is that it was the lowlanders who took part (first, anyway). not the highlanders. not the borderlanders. see this map: http://www.korcula.net/history/mmarelic/luther_map_christian_religions_europe.jpg

    this is the *exact* group that experienced the little amount of bipartite manorialism that occurred at all in scotland. also, a region of the country that had seen the settlement of normans and others from the continent thanks to king david: https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/theres-always-one/

    the lowlanders are a different sub-population of scots.

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    1. @hbdchick Good point. I must admit that my knowledge of that era could be improved. Even though I’ve retired I still can’t find time to do everything that I’d like to do.

      I seem to recall reading (can’t recall where) that a few Anglo-Normans went to Ireland also, but they tended “go native”.

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  16. @acthinker – “It certainly is multi faceted.”

    that it is! thanks for your input!

    guess what i want to do is to focus on the aspects that others have so far *not*. of course there are all the political and economic elements. and, as far as hbd is concerned, of course there is the iq side of it. but, as i like to say, there’s more to hbd than just iq. there’s all the personality and other behavioral stuff, too.

    i just quoted the derb on twitter. this is what i’m trying to get at:

    and the kind of exploration into this biohistory (yup, going for a new term here!) that i’m thinking of is a HUGE project. more than one person could possibly handle (except maybe for some genius — and i ain’t no genius! (~_^) ).

    but, somebody’s gotta start somewhere! (^_^)

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  17. @ed – “I’m not sure if Scottish protestantism fits the core/peripheral dichotomy though. Calvinism was taken up in earnest in southern Scotland while the Highlands stayed Catholic.”

    the highland populations should be grouped along with ireland and (southern) spain and (southern) italy and the farthest areas of eastern europe (orthodox russia) as being very much outside the hajnal line — far enough outside that don’t really count in this picture. none of those populations experienced enough outbreeding or manorialism or the shift to nuclear families to effect the changes in their average behavioral traits which would incline them towards the reformation’s ideas.

    the populations inside the hajnal line, on the other hand, are the ones that experienced the triple combo of outbreeding, bipartite manorialism, and nuclear families for long enough that those behavioral traits that we associate with modern europeans were selected for. (imho.)

    to reiterate (mostly for myself!), the reformation appears to have taken place mostly within the hajnal line (i.e. not in far out places like ireland or russia) and on its edges — but curiously not right in the heart of it.

    the lowlands of scotland, as i said above, were manorialized for some amount of time, thanks to king david i — plus the region saw some amount of migration in the middle ages from normandy and elsewhere on the continent. so the lowlands are on the edge of the hajnal line, but not completely outside of it. the highlands, on the other hand, are, so the reformation didn’t take hold (so early) in the highlands.

    however, since the lowlands are on the edge of the hajnal line, the population is less universalistic than those closer to the core, so calvinism (versus lutheranism). maybe. (^_^)

    (there are also pockets of subpopulations technically within the hajnal line that have, i think, enough of a different evolutionary history that they may as well be from outside it: the frisians, the border reivers, the auvergnese.)

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  18. @AureliusMoner – “This clarification did lead to abuses, but the response of the Church was to legislate that, for the administration of the Sacrament, the stipulated witness(es) (in ordinary circumstances, including a priest), would be required. Because jurisdiction is required for Sacramental validity in some instances (Confession, Marriage), legislating the obligatory presence of a priest with ordinary jurisdiction was a way to ensure that clandestine marriages could no longer claim automatic validity. And, of course, the priest was bound to ensure that the marriage bans were published in advance, witnesses and others were given opportunity to object to the marriage, etc.”

    yes, but all of this evolved over time, mostly in the high and late middle ages. none of it was in place from the outset. again, see harrington’s Reordering Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany.

    thanks for your comment! (^_^)

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  19. @william – “You write as though we could see breeding-induced changes reaching a tipping point in time.”

    yes. but (far!) better minds than me have suggested that altruistic behaviors (partly) selected for via mating patterns might alter the behaviors of populations enough to result in major shifts in zeitgeists.

    but i appreciate your point — and it is an excellent one. that the reformation happened at all undoubtedly required a conducive environment that was “just right” (movable type, etc.). however, conversely, you need the “right” population, too, with a certain average iq and a set of behavioral traits, etc. that’s the side in which i’m interested.

    (btw, the winning combo, i think, was: outbreeding+bipartite manorialism+nuclear families. those were the selection pressures required to get modern europeans, i think, not just the outbreeding. there were prolly other selection pressures, too, that i haven’t worked out. and perhaps i’m wrong about some — or all — of the ones i’m proposing.)

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  20. @szopeno – “As for hussites, I am of impression that this was a direct reaction to German colonisation, one of the first nationalist movement in Europe (almost).”

    yes, that’s the impression i have, too. but i don’t know enough about the hussites to say for sure one way or the other. (*^_^*) back to the books!

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  21. @szopeno – “What about the following scenario:
    (1) The core breeds special kind of people;
    (2) However, the system which breeds this kind of people may be not actually the system those people would create by themselves
    (3) When they emigrate, they could create the system they really like”

    ah! hmmm. i’m not sure. i’ll have to think about this. thanks!

    what definitely happens very often in migration — in particular in migration scenarios where only a part of the population moves — is that there is a self-selection. a self-sorting. my guess is that this very much happened with the ostsiedlung. who moved? most likely second (and third and fourth) sons who didn’t stand to inherit a farm/business. but also what personality types did these individuals have? that can certainly result in some differences between parent populations and any offshoots.

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  22. The problem that arises from your attempts to make HBD a deterministic direct cause of things, is that it misses a lot. On the issue of the reformation, the political theorist Bertrand De Jouvenel has an exceptionally useful model (derived from Tocqueville) regarding the role of the monarchy (and sometime the aristocracy) in the promotion of individualism as means to undermine the feudal structure (especially the church). So when you read about Wycliffe and Jan Hus and every other harbinger of the reformation, just look who is sponsoring them (John of Gaunt with Wycliffe for example) because someone in power is *always* sponsoring them against their enemies. Individualism is just one possibility of existence given the biological capability of the populations. That this is a possibility (a very bad one) just made it possible to run the system this far. It sets the limits as such.

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  23. that a few Anglo-Normans went to Ireland also, but they tended ‘go native’.”

    It must have been on account of those wily, irresistible Irish maidens.

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  24. @reactionaryfuture – “Individualism is just one possibility of existence given the biological capability of the populations.”

    no. all behavioral traits are heritable. so whatever behavioral traits are connected to individualism are tied to genes, and since the frequencies of genes vary between individuals and populations, some individuals and some populations (on average) will be more individualistic than others.

    look at it this way:

    before the early medieval period, northern european populations were by all accounts *not* individualistic but clannish and collectivistic (german society was based on kindreds); they were concerned about honor, including family honor, and there was much feuding between clans/kindreds; their moral systems were *not* universalistic, but particularistic; and bad behavior was policed on a personal level by shame rather than guilt.

    today, the *exact* opposite is the case. (more so closer to the core of core europe, eg. less so in ireland than germany.)

    what happened? well, again, since all behavioral traits are heritable, and here we are talking about behaviors, some sort of selection for different genes related to all these behaviors must have happened. the question is just: which ones and how?

    here i’m proposing a couple of ideas about the how.

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  25. Just to be sure, you are making the case that it is all genetically deterministic – no free will and no effect from governance. So the spread of gay marrige for example was gene encoded and gene specified? The logic of the power system was not at fault? This is quite bizarre and confirms some suspicions of mine.

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  26. Genetic (contextual) ”purification” (natural selection) also happen at familiar levels**

    I mean, like a wave movement you can have a family who become intergerationally (exponentially or progressively) very mutant (and with a lot of possible advantages and very logical disadvantages) but in a micro (familiar) level*

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  27. @reactionaryfuture – “Just to be sure, you are making the case that it is all genetically deterministic – no free will and no effect from governance. So the spread of gay marrige for example was gene encoded and gene specified?”

    that the spread of the acceptance of gay marriage specifically had something to do with human nature(s) (i.e. genetics), no. but that traits like openness and universalistic moralities have led to/allowed an acceptance of gay marriage in some populations, and that these are tied to genetics, yes.

    no, i don’t think there is free will. humans, i think, have “wills” (multiple drives), and do make choices, but those are not independent of our biology. can’t see how they could be.

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  28. no, i don’t think there is free will.

    Stop it! Stop saying this!

    If we don’t have free will then we are just mud.

    I have free will, maybe you don’t.

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  29. By claiming all are in heritable, it doesn’t mean all get switched on or triggered, or that even if they do environmental factors don’t affect. I’ve used before the example of genetics and height. But how good your genes are for body type don’t matter if you were raised on a diet that was only 75% of the calories and 50% of the nutrients needed to build the body to max genetic potential.

    Additionally, some of these factors for choice probably exist simultaneously. How else would you describe from a genetic point of view the change in behavior in African Americans with respect to illegitimacy and marriage? In 1960, Black America had a lower rate of children born outside of marriage (5% or less), and I think it had higher/more stable marriage rates. Today the reverse is true with a 70% illegitimacy rate.

    If ALL BEHAVIOR is inheritable (and the article link fro HBD’s 02/02/2016 at 2:39 PM ‘law 3’ probably is the escape hatch here) then we are arguing that 5% of the African American population generated about 70% of the decedents in 2 to 3 generations. That to my math seems highly improbable, but granted not impossible. Although in at least 24 generations, only 1 in 8 men in Asia is descended from Gangis Khan, so my intuitive guess here is probably right. *

    So clearly we have environmental triggers. Something caused this change. It is arguably a behavior one, therefore by the reasoning of the blog owner it should be genetic. Has there been another society where out of wedlock births have been sought? I don’t think so. Am I saying it isn’t genetic, no, I’m saying the genes need to be activated, usually by external forces.

    So what about free will? It depends on what is meant by free and by will. HBDchick said she believes there are multiple drives which she equates with wills. So a drive to eat, a drive to mate, a drive to protect, a drive to compromise, etc. And each situation requires one or the other of those drives to be activated and acted upon, or not acted upon. the trick here is to figure out when one of the drives is activated and if this were a computer would be acted upon and when the person doesn’t act upon it. That would show the ablity to counter a drive that had no countering (ok, I’ve not explained my thought well here)
    And since we can almost always find a competing drive that could be affecting things. For example – the drive to eat could be often countered by a drive for cooperation, that is I don’t eat, but give you my food – I only have one apple. Well if HBDchick’s altruism gene group exists, then this makes sense. I’m kind for some anticipated future reward. So I’m not acting differing from my genetic programing, but choosing between two competing drives or wills.
    So do we have free will? Or are we just moist chemical robots waiting for chemical signals to screw with us? Some think that in the future we will have pills, or possibly inhalants to fix all of it because we are programmable by the chemicals. I’m not convinced, but I’m not unconvinced either. I suspect that outside chemicals will always be more of wrecking ball approach when a gentle hammer tap is needed. As for the ‘free’ part, it can we distinguish between free and random? or highly close to random (I think I read somewhere that there is no such thing as random, like infinity has no explicit value)

    * I’m using 3 generations per 100 years and about 800 years. They’ve checked and found from sampling that 1 in 8 Asian men are descended from Gangis Khan, and presumably women, but with no y to track hard to say.

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  30. @ACThinker:

    “If ALL BEHAVIOR is inheritable (and the article link fro HBD’s 02/02/2016 at 2:39 PM ‘law 3’ probably is the escape hatch here)”

    No, it’s not, first of all.

    Second, you’re misunderstanding the meaning of “heritable.” While genetic, the number of eyes you have not heritable, for one. Heritable means “phenotypic variation involves genetic variation.” Hence it doesn’t preclude change with time, as with height or obesity.

    Genetic temperaments interact with the reality of the situation on the ground, producing the phenotypes we see.

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  31. JayMan,
    clearly I’ve missed a key bit of the language of Genetics (which the article uses being about that). Fair enough.. My background is physics and computers, so I’m used to there being words used in the technical field that are not used the same way by everyone else.
    The quote from the article could be expanded using substitution to say “All behavior is heritable” meaning “All behavior has variance with a population due to the variation of the genetics of that population.” Or another way of saying this would be “some portion of a person’s behavior is directly attributable to their genetic make up”

    I think it now worth quoting all 3 “First Law. All human behavioral traits are heritable. Second Law. The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of genes. Third Law. A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioral traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families.”

    Basically these say that Genetics are more important that family effects, and that some significant portion of complex behavior by a person comes from factors outside of both genetics and family. Which leaves a question of what is “significant” is 10%, 25%? certainly 50% would be. Another question is when does it go from simple to complex behavior trait

    So in some ways I’m at a lose for your “first off, no it is not” which could because I sloppily put in “inheritable” in stead of “heritable.” One saying it passes from parent to child, the other saying the variations in a population.

    What is the definition of “genetic temperament” From what you wrote in that paragraph it sounds as if the environment plays a role. Possibly a big one, which is NOT what you have generally posted here, or in your blog. And that they have the ability to activate or leave inactivated various genetic effects. (although the bit about a potential pathogen being the cause of male homosexually was fairly interesting, and would be one of those “facts on the ground” http://www.unz.com/jman/greg-cochrans-gay-germ-hypothesis-an-exercise-in-the-power-of-germs/ btw I recognize JayMan is commenting on another’s work.)

    Claiming that all behavior has variance in a population and that variance is tied to the genetics of the population seems a little…. obvious. The question at least to me has always been how much; not that it existed. Frankly the most obviously glaring genetic variance in the animal kingdom defines whether the member is male or female, and the life strategies for each sex is different based on its biological imperative to reproduce (and survive long enough to do that.)

    If my substitution on heritable (has variance in a population and that variance is tied to the genetics of the population) please suggest a better substitution.

    Reply

  32. Back on point for this original thread,

    It would seem to me that you have two broad groups here. Environmental factors – printing press, and Human Bio Diversity factors to look at. It also sounds like HBDchick has decided that Enviro has pretty much been done, and she rather look at the HBD ones.

    So I suggest your next blog post on this take a swing at what are the HBD ones. I suggest 1 IQ, 2 allegiance to family(nuclear and extended). group, and nation, 3. how much docility/quarrel temperament, 4. Industriousness/lazy 5 response to corruption (especially as it relates to #2) probably others.
    The Enviro factors more explain a general why, the HBD might explain ‘why here and not there’.

    Reply

  33. was the reformation in germany the moment when an anti-corruption tipping point was reached in these northern populations?

    Considering that the reformation was mainly a reaction against the incredible corruption of the Catholic church at the time, that’s an important point. After centuries of breeding for individualism, integrity and the associated guilt culture, the more honest northerners rebelled against the more corrupt southerners.

    The reason for the Catholic/Protestant split within the Hajnal Line must be mainly linguistic. The Latin countries (with the exception of parts of southwestern France from about 1550 to 1700) stuck with Rome and Catholicism, while the Germanic countries wanted the Bible and church services to be in their vernacular languages.

    As discussed above, the Celtic areas of the British Isles (like Southern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands) stayed Catholic as a counter-reaction to the Protestantism of their more powerful Anglo-Saxon neighbours.

    In the German and Dutch lands, the religious divide closely followed the old boundaries of the Roman Empire: Catholicism to the west and south of the Rhine and Danube, Protestantism to the east and north. The major exception to this pattern was Switzerland, where the cities went Protestant and the countryside stayed Catholic.

    Scandinavia, racially and culturally the “purest” Germanics, converted 100% to Protestantism. The Finns, despite being a non-Indo-European people, were also converted. But because of their long history (700 years) under Swedish rule, and the hugely outsized role Swedes have played in Finnish history, Finland is probably best considered a Finnish-Swedish bi-national state and basically a province of Greater Scandinavia.

    In Eastern Europe, Protestantism only became the majority faith in tiny Latvia and Estonia, due to Prussian and Swedish influence. The only other EE countries where Protestantism made any inroads were Bohemia and Hungary, both under heavy German cultural influence.

    So I think it’s safe to say that Protestantism is the dominant religious expression of the Anglo-Germanic peoples, and only the Anglo-Germanic peoples. And, getting back to the original northern rebellion against southern corruption, the Anglo-Germanic nations remain the gold standard in honesty and transparency.

    Here are top-ranked nations in the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, with the nations with a historic Protestant majority marked with a (P):

    1. Denmark (P)
    2. Finland (P)
    3. Sweden (P)
    4. New Zealand (P)
    5. Netherlands (P)
    5. Norway (P)
    7. Switzerland (P)
    8. Singapore
    9. Canada (P)
    10. Germany (P)
    10. Luxembourg
    10. United Kingdom (P)
    13. Australia (P)
    13. Iceland (P)
    15. Belgium
    16. Austria
    16. United States (P)
    18. Ireland

    All 17 Anglo-Germanic nations finish in the top 18, with only the honourary Protestants of Singapore breaking their monopoly ;)

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2015

    Reply

  34. Jeppo
    Who founded/ran Singapore for a long time? England. It is important to understand that to a certain extant, it isn’t the whole population, but maybe 10% that make these changes (I think the requirement is 3 to 5% for social movements). And if the 10% compose 90%+ of the ruling class, then they make the laws that run the nation for a while. In Singapore’s case, it would be long enough to leave either a transparency intact for at least a while, possibly permanent, or strong enough that they finish high in this list. Although I could be totally wrong as Hong Kong isn’t in the list. But again we need to look at specific histories. Hong Kong for all of the English rule, might had a lot of them ‘go native’ where they adapted into the need for kin connections and kin favoritism over transparency.

    Reply

  35. Just a couple of many weird things about the reformation I’d like to hear your opinion on:
    1)Why the spread of calvinism into particular areas of france and not others?
    2)It seemed to happen in a given area in about a twenty year period-after that people who had not converted to protestantism already didn’t. For example southern holland (what the dutch call “zuid van de groeten rivieren”-south of the great rivers) was under spanish control until dutch independence. It would have made sense for the dutch there to convert then, but they remained catholic. Was it an impulse that passed?
    3)I still think irish catholicism is the most protestant type of catholicism-austere, unbending,doctrinaire.

    Reply

  36. Thanks for the steer. I swear one day I shall look at it in more depth. Of course I must always approach things with: “What does this imply in terms of keeping the mating pool small enough to keep from dying out?” While for most of my life, the most important questions are somewhere on the level of what the candidate said when they turned off the lights, your site is just beyond my ability, I think. Anyway, all the best and thanks for improving the average.
    Linton

    Reply

  37. “as i’ve said before, it seems to me that the calvinist ideas of predestination and double predestination are less universalistic than teachings in other versions of western christianity, including roman catholicism. roman catholicism is rather universalistic in the sense that everybody can be saved, but one does have to join the church (or at least you had to in the past) and repent, so the system is not fully universalistic. something like unitarian universalism is much more universalistic — almost anything and anyone goes. predestination/double predestination, wherein one is damned by god no matter what you do, sounds like some sort of closed, exclusive club. i don’t think it’s surprising that calvinism is found in peripheral groups pretty far away from “core” europe.”

    The thing blazing in my mind right now: The authoritarian family.

    One of the defining characteristics of it (according to Todd) is that it promotes the emergences of particularistic ideologies/religions of which Calvinism can be considered to be one.

    Others include – Judaism (Jews), Shinto (Japan), Juche (Best Korea).

    ***

    That France didn’t become Protestant might be an accident of history more than anything else.

    “Paris is well worth a mass.” – Henry IV.

    Certainly that didn’t stop the French state from becoming surprisingly declericalized such as removing Catholic considerations from its foreign policy and under the Foreign Secretaryship of a cardinal no less!

    ***

    “the pre-reformation era rebel christian groups that popped up were on the fringes: the waldensian movement began in southern france in the twelfth century, but really took root in the alpine border region between france and italy; the cathars of the same period were also from northern italy/southern france. john wycliffe came from a long line of yorkshiremen, and lollardism, having arisen in england in the mid-1300s, was also a movement located on the fringes of austrasia.”

    You also have to consider the Bogomils who were well outside of even the fringes of core Europe.

    From what I recall reading of these groups (especially the bogomils) their teachings were universalistic to the umpteenth degree. If you arrange them on a spectrum they would probably be quite close to Gnosticism and to Lev Tolstoy’s late life philosophy of Christian anarchism. It strikes me that this would be the type of ideology that is likely to arise in regions with egalitarian and liberal or at least not very authoritarian family systems.

    Reply

  38. >it’s very clear that, today, northwestern “core” europeans are less corrupt than any of the peripheral europeans — southern europeans, eastern europeans, even (*gasp!) the irish.

    France and the Czech Republic were both ranked as more corrupt than Ireland…

    Reply

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