Archives for posts with tag: because there’s more to hbd than just racial differences in iq

here’s a top ten-ish selection of my posts from this year, selected by me (this blog is not a democracy! (~_^) ). they weren’t necessarily the most read or most commented upon posts, but just the ones that i like the best and/or think are the most important, and that i’d like people to read. ymmv!

‘fraid it was rather slim pickings this year due my general state of unwelledness. am feeling better! and i hope to get back to a more regular blogging schedule next year (see the best laid plans below). i won’t be doing any blogging for the rest of this year — prolly won’t get back to it until after the holidays are over and the eggnog’s all gone. (~_^) you might find me goofin’ off on twitter, though. if you’re not on twitter, you can follow my feed down there (↓) near the bottom of the page in the center column.

many thanks to all of you out there for reading the blog, and for all of your informative and insightful comments! thank you, too, for all of your support and the well wishes while i’ve been ill. they were MUCH appreciated! (^_^) (btw, if you’ve emailed me in the past couple of months, and i haven’t gotten back to you, i am very sorry! am terribly behind on emails, but i’m trying to work through them! behind on replying to comments, too, for that matter. sorry again!)

so, here you go! my top ten list for 2015:

family types and the selection for nepotistic altruism“the logic of the mating patterns/inbreeding-outbreeding theory goes that, given the right set of circumstances (i.e. certain sorts of social environments), selection for nepotistic altruism/clannishness ought to go quicker or be amplified by inbreeding (close cousin marriage or uncle-niece marriage) simply because there will be more copies of any nepotistic altruism genes (alleles) that happen to arise floating around in kin groups. in other words, inbreeding should facilitate the selection for clannishness…if clannish behaviors are being selected for in a population…. northwestern “core” europe has had very low cousin marriage rates since around the 800s-1000s, but it has also, thanks to manorialism, had nuclear families of one form or another (absolute or stem) since the early medieval period — nuclear families are recorded in some of the earliest manor property records in the first part of the ninth century from northeastern france [see mitterauer, pg. 59]. on the other hand, eastern europeans, like the russians and greeks, while they also seem to have avoided very close cousin marriage for several hundreds of years (which is not as long as northwestern europeans, but is quite a while), have tended to live in extended family groupings. you would think that nepotistic altruism could be selected for, or maintained more readily, in populations where extended family members lived together and interacted with one another on a more regular basis than in societies of nuclear family members where individuals interact more with non-kin.

what did the romans ever do for us?“so the romans avoided close cousin marriage, established a republic based on democratic principles, had a legal system founded upon universalistic principles, expanded their polity into a vast and one of the world’s most impressive empires (iow, invaded the world), eventually extended roman citizenship to non-romans and allowed barbarians to come live inside the empire (iow, invited the world), and, then, well…oops! *ahem* … anyway, there is a direct link between ancient rome’s and medieval/modern northern europe’s cousin marriage avoidance. that link is quite obviously the catholic church which adopted all sorts of roman institutional structures and practices; but more specifically i’m referring to several of the church fathers….” – see also: st. augustine on outbreeding.

there and back again: shame and guilt in ancient greece“there was a(n incomplete) shift in the society during the time period from being a shame culture to being a guilt culture…. the transition may have been incomplete — in fact, may have even gone into reverse — because inbreeding (cousin marriage) became increasingly common in classical athens…. the ancient greeks might’ve gone from being a (presumably) inbred/shame culture in the dark ages, to an outbred/quasi-guilt culture in the archaic period, and back to an inbred/shame culture over the course of the classical period. maybe. Further Research is RequiredTM…. in any case, evolution is not progressive. (heh! i’ve just been dying to say that. (~_^) ) there’s nothing to say that evolution cannot go in reverse, although perhaps it wouldn’t go back down the exact same pathway it came up. there’s no reason why we — or, rather, our descendants — couldn’t wind up, as greg cochran says, back in the trees*.”

outbreeding and individualism“northern europeans began to think of — or at least write about — themselves as individuals beginning in the eleventh century a.d…. the individualistic guilt-culture of northwest (‘core’) europeans today came into existence thanks to their extensive outbreeding during the medieval period (…and the manorialism). the outbreeding started in earnest in the 800s (at least in northern france) and, as we saw above, by 1050-1100 thoughts on *individualis* began to stir.”

carts before horses“the usual explanation offered up for why the societies in places like iraq or syria are based upon the extended family is that these places lack a strong state, and so the people ‘fall back’ on their families. this is *not* what happened in core europe — at least not in england. the importance of the extended family began to fall away *before* the appearance of a strong, centralized state (in the 900s). in any case, the argument is nonsensical. the chinese have had strong, centralized states for millennia, and yet the extended family remains of paramount importance in that society. even in the description of siedentorp’s Inventing the Individual we read: ‘Inventing the Individual tells how a new, equal social role, the individual, arose and gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe, and caste as the basis of social organization.’ no! this is more upside-down-and-backwardness. it’s putting the cart before the horse. individualism didn’t arise and displace the extended family — the extended family receded (beginning in the 900s) and *then* the importance of the individual came to the fore (ca. 1050)…. a lot of major changes happened in core european societies much earlier than most people suppose and in the opposite order (or for the opposite reason) that many presume.”

community vs. communism“‘By the end of the nineteenth century, then, it was evident that there were two Europes, long separated by their histories and, thus, by their politics, economics, social structure, and culture….’ so how did northwestern ‘core’ europe (including northern italy) differ from russia historically as far as participation in civic institutions goes? the short answer is: civicness in ‘core’ europe began centuries before it did in russia or the rest of eastern europe, at least 500-600, if not 800-900, years earlier…. there is NO reason NOT to suppose that the differences in behavioral traits that we see between european sub-populations today — including those between western and eastern europe — aren’t genetic and the result of differing evolutionary histories or pathways…. 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).”

eastern germany, medieval manorialism, and (yes) the hajnal line“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…. 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.”

human self-domestication events – just ignore what i said about humans and “the domestication syndrome” – pay attention to this, tho: “much of the current thinking seems to be centered on the idea that humans self-domesticated ‘in the more distant past,’ but the fact that humans have been able to dwell together *at all* in ridiculously large numbers beginning around the time of the agricultural revolution suggests that human self-domestication did not stop ‘in the more distant past’ and is probably even ongoing. this is 10,000 Year Explosion territory, and cochran and harpending have been here already…. what i’d like to draw attention to is the idea that there have been multiple (probably multiple multiples of) human self-domestication events which occurred at different places and at different times — all sorta within the broader human self-domestication project which began back in some stone age or, perhaps, even before. one of these, i propose, was the manorialism/outbreeding/execution-of-violent-criminals combo of medieval europe which left ‘core’ europeans with a very specific set of behavioral traits. another might very well be whatever domestication package went along with rice farming in southern china as peter frost has discussed. others undoubtedly include the sorts of civilizations described by cochran & harpending in the passage quoted above — those ‘strong, long-lived states’ — like those found in ancient egypt, ancient china, and ancient india.”

there’s more to human biodiversity than just racial differences“much of the variation between human populations is NOT found at the level of races, nor does it have anything to do with race.” – see also hbd chick’s three laws of human biodiversity.

know thyself – me exhorting ya’ll to do just that. see also me, myself, and i. and see also don’t take it personally.

– bonus: historic mating patterns of ashkenazi jews“i think — going by some things that i’ve read — that the historic mating patterns of ashkenazi jews (i.e. whether or not they married close cousins and/or practiced uncle-niece marriage) were quite different between western vs. eastern ashkenazis…. it seems to me that jews — wherever they have lived (outside of judea/israel, i mean) — have generally copied the broader population’s mating patterns. in medieval western europe, they avoided close cousin marriage and, according to mitterauer, were very worried about incest in the same way that the rest of western europe was at the time. in eastern europe, though, they appear to have married their cousins with greater frequency, probably down through the centuries not unlike the rest of eastern europeans…. as i mentioned in my self-quote at the start of this post, though, european jews did *not* experience whatever selection pressures were connected to the bipartite manorialism of medieval europe.” – see also ashkenazi jews, mediterranean mtdna, mating patterns, and clannishness.

– bonus bonus: my politics – if you’re at all interested. (they’re really dull, actually.)

– and my favorite post from this year by another blogger was jayman’s The Rise of Universalism! (^_^) you should read it. i also meant to mention my favorite post by another blogger in last year’s top ten list, but i forgot, so here it is now: staffan’s The Myth of the Expanding Circle or You Can’t Learn How to Be an English Vegetarian. read that one, too, if you haven’t!

best laid plans for 2016:

– will start off the year with more thoughts on family types and the selection for nepotistic altruism/clannishness.

– i swear to whoever it is we agnostics swear to that i WILL do that series on manorialism in medieval europe!

– i’d like to take a closer look at the reduction of violence/homicides over the course of the middle ages. i think there’s more to it than just the removal of violent individuals from the gene pool (although it is that, too, imo).

– will explore more the rise of individualism, universalism, guilt, etc., in northwest european populations.

– and i may even finish that post discussing the fact that many of the jihadis in europe (france, belgium, spain) appear to be berbers.

– last year i had hoped to respond to prof. macdonald’s post in which he responded to some things i’ve had to say about jews (especially ashkenazi jews). not sure i’ll get to it this year, either. depends on if i’m up to it or not. i think i’ll need to read/reread his books before i respond, and i just may not get around to that this year. we’ll see. same for salter’s On Genetic Interests.

previously: top ten list 2014 and best laid plans 2015

chanda chisala, formerly a visiting fellow at both stanford and the hoover institution, and who is originally from zambia, has written a blogpost at that’s generating a lot of interesting discussion: The IQ Gap Is No Longer a Black and White Issue.

much of the discussion surrounds whether or not africans that have recently migrated to the u.s. or the u.k. are representative of their populations, or if they’re self-sorted elite groups (i’d guess the latter is probably correct — see dr. thompson’s comment regarding this issue), and, more technically, how regression to the mean works (see here and here) which relates to the question of to what mean are the iqs of the children of african immigrants regressing — a general african mean or are different african groups regressing to different means (see here and here)?

i don’t have the answer to ANY of those questions (doubt i ever will have much insight into them), nor do i think that anyone DOES have good answers to those questions. yet. Further Research is RequiredTM.

i do want to highlight and comment upon something chisala had to say in the comments, though:

“If there are African ‘subpopulations’ (by which I believe you mean nations or tribes/ethnicities etc) that have a genetic mean IQ that is higher than the genetic mean of whites (or black Americans), then the American black-white gap can not be due to the ‘blackness’, genetically, since that subpopulation is also black.”

right. well, that brings us back to one of my “three laws of human biodiversity” and, not very coincidentally, the title of this post:

there’s more to human biodiversity than just racial differences.

the western (or maybe modern) world has a weird focus on the differences between races — at least among those of us who notice differences between people at all — both because racial differences are highly visible (especially physical differences — unless you’ve got your head stuck up your in the sand) and thanks to our unfortunate common history.

but — and i just had this convo with someone on twitter the other day — much of the variation between human populations is NOT found at the level of races, nor does it have anything to do with race.

WHY would it? such a scenario doesn’t make any sense from an evolutionary point of view: not a single one of the races has inhabited in its entirety only one environment or had an evolutionary history that was fully shared by all of its members, so obviously there must be quite a lot of intra-racial variation. and don’t forget, evolutionary histories include societal types (“every society selects for something”) and recent human evolution, so there really is absolutely no reason that all of the variation we see between populations should be found on a racial level.

we all know this to be true already: ashkenazi jews have the highest average iq of any population, and that group is not a race, it is an ethnic group. it’s northeast asians that have the next highest average iq, not all east asians (not indonesians, not filipinos). lactase persistence is found at different frequencies in white european populations, not equally across the wider racial population of which europeans are a part (i call them caucasians), let alone whites. protection against malaria isn’t evenly spread among subsaharan africans, either. and i have been blogging endlessly on possible (probable, imho) differences in innate altruistic behavioral traits between european populations. etc., etc. as jayman said in his most recent post: “Differences between human groups are fined-grained because evolution acts locally.”

who knows if some african subpopulations have higher genetic mean iqs than white or black americans (or other populations)? maybe. i look forward to researchers investigating the possibility. but i am in near complete agreement with chisala: the black-white iq gap is not due to blackness (or subsaharan african-ness), per se.

i say near complete agreement since i think that some of the variation in the average iqs of whites and blacks *might* quite possibly be due to evolutionary processes that affected very large populations (such as entire races+). MCPH1 haplogroup d, for instance, is known to be absent in subsaharan african groups. we have no idea if this gene (allele) is related to intelligence, but microcephalin is related to brain size, so it’s not implausible. i only bring it up to illustrate that some selection in human populations — including stuff related to our brains — has happened on the large scale — but as i said above, much of it also has not.

so it’s complicated.

but i do wish everyone would just ease off on focusing on racial differences all the time. the over-emphasis on race obscures an awful lot of fascinating (possible) biological variation between smaller sized populations, and the evolutionary processes themselves.

previously: hbd chick’s three laws of human biodiversity

(note: comments do not require an email. still not feeling well.)

‌• there’s more to human biodiversity than just iq

‌• there’s more to human biodiversity than just racial differences

‌• there’s more to human biodiversity than just racial differences in iq


see also: hbd

(note: comments do not require an email. Three Laws of Behavior Genetics and What They Mean.)

so! i tallied up all the responses to do you think like a westerner? and the repeat (see bottom of post for the results). (^_^) this was definitely fun, but the results here don’t tell us a whole lot (especially ’cause this was a very UNscientific poll).

one thing that i have to agree on with several commenters is that i think this little survey hints that nisbitt’s east-west cognitive divide is not a completely clear cut one (presumably he never said or meant that anyway — don’t want to put words into his mouth here). granted i only asked you guys about one of the tests, but, out of the individuals who identified themselves as of wholly european extraction, 38 responded “A” (the east asian response!) while only 25 answered “B” (the western response). another seven did switch from “A” to “B” so that does boost the “B” responses total up to 32. and one person switched from “B” to “A”. (there’s always one! (~_^) ) still, seems like a lot of westerners think like easterners — more collectivist and holistic than individualist and reductionistic — at least sometimes (including me!). so what’s going on?

i tried mapping the results (of only those people who said they were wholly european, so sorry jayman and santoculto, you guys are not on the map!), but didn’t have much luck. there were no clear patterns that i could see — two possible hints at patterns, but they’re very slight. ok. here’s the map:

europe map - do you think like a westerner 03

each colored square indicates one individual (irregardless of the size of the square). red=”A”, dark blue=”B”, light blue=”A to B”, pink=”B to A”. the yellow lines are the hajnal line, of course, just ’cause i can’t help myself anymore.

the large squares represent those individuals who only gave me a general region where they (or their ancestors) were from as opposed to a specific country. so we’ve got “Europe” (which i just positioned in the center of europe), “Northern Europe”, “Western Europe”, and “Eastern Europe”. the large squares should, therefore, not be read as being located in a specific country — they indicate regions only.

the smaller squares represent those individuals who stated their ethnic background. they’re generally just placed in the center of the country that the person indicated (as in the cases of ireland or spain or poland), but sometimes the person was very specific (“germany, baltic coast”), so i went with that. the small red square above the set of larger “N. Europe” squares represents someone who said they were irish + norwegian. the red square (heh!) on the border of germany and poland is a person who said they were from “in between eastern and western europe.” the two blue squares on the border of poland and belarus identified themselves as northern slavs. the small blue square by “W. Europe” is the person who said they were dutch + italian. and the red square on the border of france and spain represents the person who said they were ashkenazi + sephardic jewish.

some squares are floating out in the middle of seas or oceans. *gasp!* those represent people with mixed ancestries, and i tried to position their square approximately equidistant from each of their various nations of origin — like there’s a light blue square out in the atlantic — that person said they were “irish + southern european”. the two small blue squares off the southern tip of sweden are individuals with scottish and russian jewish ancestry.

there are ten individuals treading water in the north sea in between england and the netherlands. they are the following:

– irish + german (A)
– scots + irish + german (A)
– english + euro (A)
– english + german (A)
– english + scottish + german (A)
– irish + scottish + french + swiss + german (B to A)
– english + austrian (B)
– english + scottish + afrikaner (B)
– english + german (B)
– english + german (B)

so, like i said, no obvious pattern(s).

the only hints of patterns that i can maybe see (if i squint really hard) are: 1) more “B” (western) answers from individuals from the broad regions of northern and western europe than those who just said “europe” — no idea what, if anything, that might mean; and 2) in looking at just the british isles, perhaps a trend of more scots and irish individuals + people of mixed ancestry including scots and irish responding “A” than english individuals + people of mixed ancestry including english responding “A”.

consider that, to start with, there are no “B” responses from scotland at all, in ireland the ratio of “A” to “B” answers is 2 to 1, and among the scots irish (in northern ireland there) it’s 2 to 1.5. but in england the ratio is 3 to 1. (extremely small “n” obviously. can’t be counted on for anything!) if we also take into consideration the floaters, all four of the “B” respondents there have some english ancestry (one also has scottish), but four out of the six “A” respondents have some irish and/or scots ancestry. so, maybe, perhaps, kinda/sorta there are more “As” from the scottish and irish than the english. maybe.

i told you. no obvious patterns, really! except for the fact that there are westerners out there who, at least some of the time, think a bit — or a lot — like east asians, i.e. more holistic rather than individualistic.

and you KNOW which groups of europeans i’d put my money on if i were to bet on which ones (if any) think more holistically than the others…*cough*PERIPHERALEUROPEANS*cough*. (~_^)

and while i’m in the mood to gamble my money away, i’d also happily wager that there was a shift from more holistic to more individualist thinking in core europe beginning sometime right around the eleventh century.

that is all! thanks everybody for playing! (^_^)

>> “A” (38) <<
– irish
– irish-american
– irish + german
– irish + norwegian
– scots irish
– scottish
– scottish
– scottish (from twitter)
– scottish + irish + scots irish
– scots + irish + german
– english + euro
– anglo
– anglo
– english + german
– english + scottish + german
– british (aussie. placed in england.)
– german (baltic sea)
– scandinavian
– scandinavian
– swedish + norwegian
– viking-american
– frisian
– northern european
– northern european
– nw euro
– nw european
– north european + europe (off germany)
– westerner (w. euro)
– westerner (w. euro)
– ashkenazi + sephardic jewish
– italian
– between western and eastern european
– eastern european
– hungarian + cuman + jewish
– euro
– european
– multiple euro ethnicities
– white american
– scottish/english + amerindian + german
– scottish + lebanese + french
– mostly northern european, also mediterranean, dash of chinese
– south italian + german + native american
– mexican-american
– egyptian
– cameroon
– indo-guyanese + tamil-sri lankan
– chinese
– han chinese
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say

>> “B” (25) <<
– irish
– scottish + ashkenazi jewish + russian
– scots irish
– english + russian jewish
– english + austrian
– english + scottish + afrikaner
– english + german
– english + german
– southern (american) white
– belgian french
– swedish
– scandinavian
– nw european + finnish
– finnish (swedish-speaking)
– dutch + italian
– slavic
– north slavic
– european
– northern european
– northern european
– northern european
– nw european
– western european
– western european
– western european
– english + black + chinese
– black + amerindian + iberian + italian + sephardic jewish
– european + native american
– american
– east asian
– eastern
– a taxonomist
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say (from facebook)

>> “A” to “B” (7) <<
– irish + southern european
– scots irish
– german
– polish
– north european
– iberian
– turkish
– dominican + puerto rican (african descent)
– african american

>> “B” to “A” (1) <<
– irish + scottish + french + swiss + german

(note: comments do not require an email. one of these things is not like the other! (~_^) )

i have my OWN page @(ir)rational wiki now! i feel like i’ve really arrived (~_^):

“Hbdchick is a HBD blogger who attempts to give scientific racism credibility by presenting herself as an innocent bookworm fascinated with human variation.

“Like other bigots who now try to rebrand racialist and racist ideologies online through HBD or ‘race realism’ blogs and forums, Hbdchick describes herself a geek who became a ‘HBDer’ after reading books on ‘Eskimos and Indians, that sort of thing – and I was absolutely transfixed by them!’. Sounds innocent right? Somehow though books on Eskimos and Indians leads to the view there are racial differences in IQ, that black people have smaller brains and other 19th century pseudo-science which fills Hbdchick’s blog. Hbdchick also links to other ‘HBD’ sites including an assortment of neo-nazis, racists and internet-kooks (e.g. ‘Racial Reality’ the founder of Anthroscape, Bonesandbehaviours set up by a Holocaust-denier, Chris Brand, Steve Sailer and Forumbiodiversity).”

yes. ’cause posts on racial differences in iq and the fact that black people have smaller brains than other popuations (on average, btw) absolutely FILL my blog.

let’s look at the stats. i’ve posted a total of 1,672 posts. 199 of them have been “saturday star wars” posts, so they’re not hbd-related. that leaves a total of 1,473 serious posts (not that my saturday star wars posts aren’t serious!).

checking through my posts tagged with “iq” — there are 133 of them, btw — i find that there is a grand total of exactly 1 — o n e — which relates to racial differences in iq: andrew sullivan talks sense on iq.

yeah. my blog is absolutely LOADED with discussions on racial differences in iq! not that there’d be anything wrong with that. but SOMEbody over at rational wiki maybe ought to actually READ my blog!

guess they also missed my recent post: you and me and hbd.

(note: comments do not require an email. but please do read the blog first!)

continuing on from the other day, jamie bartlett and timothy stanley are flat-out wrong that human biodiversity (hbd) is “neo-fascist” “bad science.” human biodiversity is simply the diversity found among and between human populations that has a biological basis. that’s all. yes, that most likely includes some degree of biological variation affecting the measurable difference in intelligence between individuals and various populations, but it’s early days yet on that front, and we barely know what exactly that biological variation entails. i’m sure the chinese will let us know all about it soon enough.

bartlett is sorta right about one thing, though (see his fourth paragraph here): that many who accept human biodiversity, many individuals on the political right, obsess over the racial differences in iq. he’s wrong to claim that the research that has found average differences in iq by race is pseudoscience, and he’s wrong to claim (indirectly as he does) that races don’t exist, but he is right about the obsess part.

now, i am the LAST person who should criticize anybody for obsessing about any one thing (see: most of this blog), but i’m going to anyway. if you accept that humans exhibit biologically based diversity, then you’d better be prepared to accept ALL of it. here’s the problem: too many of the people who obsess over the racial differences in iq DON’T want to accept — or often even think about! — OTHER facts, or possible facts, related to hbd. especially about their own kind.

as misdreavus tweeted…

misdreavus 01 sm


misdreavus 02 sm

quite so.

here’s an example. try — just try! — bringing up the apparent average differences in iq between the sub-populations of europeans and see what happens. i dare ya! (~_^) [map stolen from jayman.]:

jayman's map

too many (imho) in the hbd-o-sphere don’t want to hear it (while, meanwhile, there is this obsession over racial differences in iq). never mind that human accomplishments from europe map extremely well onto the average iq distributions (although i think there’s possibly more to it than just iq):

charles murray - human accomplishment map - european core

here’s another more personal example. i happen to be an agnostic when it comes to the existence of a god(s). functionally i’m an atheist, and i almost never think about the topic, but i can’t see how we can know whether or not there is a god(s). what if he is omnipotent? then, of course, he’d be able to hide his existence from us, right? (don’t answer that — i really don’t want to get into a discussion about religious belief.) that seems very logical to me — it just seems right — but we know that religious belief is highly heritable, so this is probably just my genes talking — my “genes for neuroticism” maybe (i’m such a neurotic (~_^) ).

my point is that, while my agnosticism seems logical to me, i’m probably just born this way. and i need to keep that in mind. i really do. i should also remember that a lot of my other “logical conclusions” might not be so logically based either.

and so should you — about your own conclusions, i mean.

we should rely, instead, on what science tells us (see end of post).

the obsession about racial differences in iq in some circles of the hbd-o-sphere is all about confirmation bias, of course, which all humans are prone to (yes, even me!) — although some more than others in my experience. people see what they want to see and disregard the rest. i’m going to quote that pessimistic pothead john derbyshire on this, ’cause the dude is like toootally awesome on these sorts of things [pg. 154]:

“Researchers like Tversky and Kahneman have identified dozens of different kinds of bias. Some of them have leaked out to become common knowledge: *confirmation bias*, for example — the tendency to give extra weight to facts that support our predesired conclusion….

“Can we correct our biases? That depends on whom you ask. The overall picture that emerges from the cognitive science researchers of the last half century is one of a brain that struggles to cope with reality, and rarely does very well at it.

“Worse yet: Its not doing very well may be *adaptive*. That’s a term of art in biology. A trait is adaptive if an organism that possesses this trait gets a reproductive edge thereby over an organism that doesn’t.

“Researchers like S. Taylor and J. Brown (‘Illusion and Well-being, 1988) have found that a moderate degree of self-deception is normal in mentally healthy people, and is likely adaptive. Contrariwise:

“‘[I]t appears to be not the well-adjusted individual but the individual who experiences subjective distress who is more likely to process self-relevant information in a relatively unbiased and balanced fashion.’

“To put it slightly differently: Up to a point, the more depressed and maladjusted you are, the more likely it is that you are seeing things right, with minimal bias.”

oh, dear. =/

so, it’s asking too much, i know, and it’s not fair of me — humans are given to cognitive biases, they are a part our nature, and we will never get rid of them (not without a really stringent genetic engineering program, anyway!) — but, as a favor to me, if you are interested in and/or accepting of the principles of human biodiversity, please try to be open to all sorts of hbd possibilites, even the ones that seem to go against yourself or your own group. try.

by way of demonstration, going back to the average differences in iq between europeans, my own european ethnic group doesn’t have a very high average iq. no one from my group invented the steam engine or the microprocessor and we sure as h*ll weren’t the first people to travel into space. on top of it, we’re one of the piigs. those are the facts. that’s just how it is. no point in pretending otherwise. (i could also mention all of the male-female differences, too, of course, but i really can’t get engaged in that discussion, it’s just so…obvious.) and there are undoubtedly biological reasons for this lack of achievement from my group. see? what i’m asking is possible, although probably more difficult for some than others. but we’re not going to solve any of humanity’s problems without the truth, so we should at least try. a bit. who knows? maybe we’ll succeed — a bit.

and remember: focus your attention on scientific results that have been successfully reproduced — and focus your attention on scientific results that enable us to make predictions about individuals/populations. these are good indicators that science has actually been done. (please note that most of what i discuss on this blog — my own interest in inbreeding/outbreeding/etc. — is NOT science. it’s just an idea. i’m NOT doing science.)

that is not to say that speculation and theorizing have no place in hbd discussions! rather to the contrary, speculate away! and obsess away! just be clear about when you are speculating — and remember not to obsess to the exclusion of everything else hbd.

thank you. (^_^)

previously: in the dark about the dark enlightenment

(note: comments do not require an email. be careful with science, too! (~_^) )