linkfest – 04/15/12

Can You Predict a Monkey’s Social Status by Looking at Its Genes?“Does one’s social stature change how one’s genes are expressed. Yes, concludes a new study that used differences in gene expression to identify a monkey’s social status with around 80 percent accuracy.”

Disliking races may be a personality trait“[I]f a person dislikes one group, he tends to have comparatively cool feelings for all groups, even his own.” – from the inductivist.

More thoughts on genetic load – from greg cochran.

Listen up, parents: For toddlers (and chimps), the majority rules“2-year-olds and chimpanzees are more likely to copy actions when they see them repeated by three of their peers than if they see the same action done by one peer three times.”

Dark coloration and male aggressiveness: Is there a link? – from peter frost.

A gaping hole in the Master’s evolutionary theory – chuck @the occidentalist presents evidence that he says suggests that “there are, at most, small genetic differences, with respect to intelligence, between Black and White adults born, respectively, in Africa and in Europe.”

The Downside of Higher IQ – from dennis mangan, esq.

Genetic Variant Influences Brain Size, Intelligence – from parapundit.

What’s in a surname? New study explores what the evolution of names reveals about China“‘When it comes to surnames the Chinese people are unique. 1.28 billion people share 7,327surnames. In fact the 100 most common names account for 85% of the population,’ said Dr Chen. ‘This means Chinese surnames include more cultural and genetic information than in most other countries….’ The team found the highest levels of surname diversity at the Yangtze River basin, particularly around the middle and lower reaches of the river. The team believes this is due to multiple large migrations throughout Chinese history.”

Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas“Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans.”

More than 20% of Irish children ‘hear voices’“More than one in five Irish children between 11 and 13 have reported hearing voices, a sign some experts believe is a risk factor in mental illness.”

Study Finds Significant Skull Differences Between Closely Linked Groups“The researchers looked at the skulls of 27 women and 28 men who died in Lisbon, Portugal, between 1880 and 1975. They also evaluated the skulls of 40 women and 39 men who died between 1895 and 1903 in the rural area of Coimbra, just over 120 miles north of Lisbon. The researchers found significant variation between female skulls from Lisbon and those from Coimbra.”

bonus: “Race-Baiting” … and Its Discontents – good one from richard spencer.

bonus bonus: On Dinosaur Time“Less time separates us from Tyrannosaurus rex than separated T. rex from Stegosaurus.” – cool!

bonus bonus bonus: Water, water everywhere – but is it essential to life?“New research by scientists at the University of Bristol has challenged one of the key beliefs in chemistry: that proteins are dependent on water to survive and function.”

(note: comments do not require an email. xkcd’s lakes and oceans.)

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calling a spade a spade

so, the 2009 PISA results are out. (see also here, and steve sailer here, here and here.)

i took a look at vol ii, “Overcoming Social Background: Equity in Learning Opportunities and Outcomes” [.pdf file], which, amongst other things, examines how immigrants in various countries did on the PISA tests.

here’s what they had to say [pgs. 77-78]:

Performance, immigrant status and country of origin

“The relative performance of students with an immigrant background cannot be attributed solely to their country of origin. Figures II.4.11 and II.4.12 show the performance of students with an immigrant background from the OECD and other countries across a number of host countries, before and after accounting for the socio-economic background of the students or the host country. These figures highlight how performance varies for students with the same country of origin across different host countries. They also show how students from different countries of origin fare within the same host country.

“Figure II.4.11 shows, for example, that students with an immigrant background from Turkey perform 69 points lower in Austria than in the Netherlands, even after accounting for their socio-economic status. In Luxembourg, students with an immigrant background from Portugal perform 65 score points below students with an immigrant background from France, after accounting for their own socio-economic status. Students with an immigrant background from Germany perform 44 score points higher in Switzerland than in Luxembourg, while students with an immigrant background from Portugal in Switzerland outperform students with a similar background in Luxembourg by 65 score points (Table II.4.5).

“The performance of students with an immigrant background from countries and regions outside the OECD are represented in Figure II.4.12. Students from China perform well above the OECD average (above 560 score points) in Australia and New Zealand. Students with an immigrant background from South Africa also perform above the OECD average in Australia and New Zealand, even after accounting for socio-economic background. Students with an immigrant background from Pakistan perform above the OECD average in the United Kingdom but well below it in Denmark, even after accounting for socio-economic background (Table II.4.5).”

so. what does this tell us, besides the fact that the writers of this report must be mentally retarded?

it tells us diddly-squat. zip. zilch. nada. it’s just a waste of paper binary code.

why?

because different peoples is different (duh!).

take their example about turks. they said: “students with an immigrant background from Turkey perform 69 points lower in Austria than in the Netherlands, even after accounting for their socio-economic status.” right there they’re assuming that everyone from turkey is the same. have they ever been to turkey? (i have to guess not.) there’s a big, BIG difference between the people in hellenized western turkey versus central turkey versus eastern turkey which is full of kurds. why — WHY — would the PISA people assume that all these people would do equally well in school ANYwhere? i betcha they don’t do equally well in school back in turkey.

and, ’cause of chain migration, turkish immigrants in different countries in europe come from different regions of turkey:

“So, one quarter of the Turkish immigrants over 18 who live in Belgium was born in Afyon Province (Western Anatolia). There is a similar concentration of Turks from notably Karaman Province (Central Anatolia) in the Netherlands. The Turks living in Sweden come primarily from Kulu (Konya Province, Central Anatolia), while 60% of Denmark’s Turkish immigrants come from the Kurdish areas of South-east Anatolia.”

i dunno what the differences are between these different “turks”, but i betcha a brewski that there are some!

and that’s not even the worst of it. look at the bit about portugese immigrants (just look at it!) — or about german immigrants: “In Luxembourg, students with an immigrant background from Portugal perform 65 score points below students with an immigrant background from France, after accounting for their own socio-economic status. Students with an immigrant background from Germany perform 44 score points higher in Switzerland than in Luxembourg, while students with an immigrant background from Portugal in Switzerland outperform students with a similar background in Luxembourg by 65 score points.”

sounds interesting, but when they say “students with an immigrant background from Portugal,” they mean ANYbody from portugal! from ethnic portugese to brazilians! *facepalm* again, “students with an immigrant background from Germany” might mean anyone from an ethnic german to an ethnic turk or kurd to an ethnic iraqi.

gibberish! that’s what it all is — gibberish! as sherlock holmes said, “how can you build on such a quicksand?”

answer: you can’t.

all of this reminds me of this hysterical story about a new yorker swpl woman who was horrified when her toddler called a black man (laurence fishburne, actually) “doggie” out in public. this woman was distraught thinking that her child was (*gasp*) a racist, when really all he was was a kid who didn’t have a word for “black man” or “african american male” or whatever (probably because he’d never been taught those words) and he was struggling for a word to express the fact that he was looking at someone who looked different than himself and his family (i.e. not white).

from the mouths of babes, eh?

what’s really sad is when you think about all the pc-thinking people around the world today (like the PISA people) performing linguistic and mental gymnastics in order to not be “racist” when even little kids can see there are differences between different peoples.

and, even worse, the absolute confusion they (including/especially journalists) are causing with their word games (eg. is this man really swedish? i bet not!).

(note: comments do not require an email.)