linkfest – 07/10/11

The anatomy of intentional action – humans are more likely to view another’s act as intentional if they don’t like it. heh.

Brain size and latitude: Why the correlation? – @evoandproud via diversityischaos.

Chimps and Dolphins Share Cultural Similarities

Darwin’s Theory of Descent with Modification, versus the Biblical Tree of Life“With respect to the Tree of Life, it is unambiguous that Darwin neither invented this ancient phrase, nor used it to describe the fundamentals of his evolutionary understanding.”

Children’s personalities linked to their chemical response to stress

Sexual orientation and gender conforming traits in women are genetic – twin study: “In line with previous research, the team found modest genetic influences on sexual orientation (25 per cent) and childhood gender nonconformity (31 per cent).”

Finger Length Linked to Penis Size

I’m not racist, but… – people are more waaaaycist than they think.

bonus: Ironic effects of anti-prejudice messages“Organizations and programs have been set up all over the globe in the hopes of urging people to end prejudice. According to a research article, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, such programs may actually increase prejudices.”

“planking is racist”

the internet reaches ultimate absurdity. will self-destruct in five seconds. four … three …

(note: comments do not require an email. planking is NOT allowed. don’t even THINK about it.)

linkfest – 06/26/11

Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look

Goodbye, Genetic Blueprint“What the new field of epigenetics reveals about how DNA really works.”

Effects of stress can be inherited, and here’s how“[V]arious stresses can change gene expression without DNA sequence change.”

Pre-schoolers prefer same-ethnicity playmates: study“Along with finger painting and story time, Canadian preschools are also spilling over with ethnic tension, according to a study released by Concordia University.”

The mechanics of speciation – on sympatric speciation.

Childhood autism spikes in geek heartlands

Carrying Capacity, IQ – from the occidentalist.

Women really do have a ‘gaydar’ and can tell sexuality just by looking at a man“The study by psychologists from the University of Toronto…compared the results to the women’s cycles and found those at their most fertile had the most accurate male ‘gaydar.'”

What is g?

IQ by religion – from the audacious.

Each Half of the Brain Has Its Own Memory Storage – i hope they consult with each other every now and again. (~_^)

response to kanazawa in scientific american not convincing

scientific american invited a guest blogger to respond to kanazawa’s post about race and attractiveness (altho the views expressed are not necessarily those held by scientific american…).

the guest blog — The Data Are In Regarding Satoshi Kanazawa — written by someone named khadijah britton — almost ends (almost) with an important point that i actually stand behind:

“The intent behind a question can establish an immoral line of inquiry and instigate immoral research methods (see the Nazi doctors’ experiments). But a question itself is not evil. Scandalous, offensive and sometimes frightening questions are often at the root of important scientific inquiry. When supported by data significant enough to support them, these questions drive us toward the truth (see, e.g., ‘the Earth is round’)…. Kanazawa does not earn censure with the political incorrectness of his question…” [my emphasis.]

hear, hear! (*hbdchick applauds vigorously*)

but, britton is not really very convincing ’cause she continues … in the very same sentence:

“…but earns social and scientific irrelevance through the weakness of his research. This irrelevance earns Kanazawa a special place in hell in today’s link-driven media economy – one where no one will hear him scream.” [my emphases.]

wait. what?

how did all-of-a-sudden-like SOCIAL irrelevance enter into this discussion? and, in hell? that’s mighty emotional, now, isn’t it? i thought we were talking about SCIENCE. (yeah, i know, i know. humor me.) as in, you know, the scientific method? the search for TRUTH and FACTS and all that? i mean, wtf?

if you haven’t read the whole post you’re in for a treat!, you might be surprised at this apparent turn in her … reasoning? but, there were hints … LOTS of them … that this conclusion was coming. here’s some choice bits from earlier in the post (again, my emphases):

“As it turns out, Kanazawa is a REPEAT OFFENDER, with years of roundly criticized and heartily debunked PSEUDOSCIENCE-based SHOCK-JOCKERY under his belt. Despite this, he is STILL posting on the blog of a reputable mainstream publication, STILL teaching at a respected university and STILL serving on the editorial board of one of his discipline’s peer-reviewed research journals. Though, possibly not for long: this particular post’s RACIST [oh no! not that! the horror, the horror.] hypothesis offended many, unleashing SERIOUS RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE across the internet: social media users raced to blog, tweet and even petition demanding that Psychology Today remove Kanazawa as a contributor to their Web site and magazine….

“I see a more central flaw with Kanazawa’s method beyond its CREEPINESS, reliance on unscientific conjecture or abuse of factor analysis….”

oh no! not creepiness! pass me my smelling salts — i’m think i’m going to faint. (echos of pc myers on galton.)

britton doesn’t like the add health research very much, either:

“I am DISTURBED by the fact that the Add Health study’s adult researchers even answered the question of how attractive they rated these youth. I am EVEN MORE DEEPLY DISTRUBED by the idea that we are to extrapolate a general theory of desirability from these adult interviewers’ subjective assessment of the children’s attractiveness….”

so much for a question, itself, not being evil. deeply disturbing, and especially waaaaaycist, questions apparently should NOT be asked. eveh. never mind evil ones. if they do get asked … get prepared for some SERIOUS RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE.

but, khadijah britton, like many women (yes, including yours truly), is an emotional gal, so kanazawa’s conclusions offended her … deeply …

“I drafted this post after spending a couple of days sorting through my emotions on Kanazawa’s work. Seeing that the man clearly relishes his role as an agent provocateur, I knew I could not impact him or those who respond to his work from a place of emotion. He has made that much clear.

As I tweeted after reading Kanazawa’s post, ‘Imagine a little Black girl reading this filth. [Toni Morrison’s novel] The Bluest Eye is not history to her. It’s reality.’ I want to protect that little girl – and wish I could heal all the little girls that came before her and grew up into beautiful women like this one, made to feel ugly by a racist society. I stand in solidarity with Black women and hope you will heed this blog’s cry to stand stronger than ever in self-love.” [my emphases.]

preach it, khadijah!

*exasperated sigh*

look. it’s ok to respond emotionally to what happens in the world. emotions are a part of being human — prolly more so for most women than most men.

but you’ve GOT to leave your emotions at the door when evaluating science! even if you think it’s shoddy science. just SHOW that it’s shoddy (if it is) and leave it at that.

we’ve got to be open and honest here. (as honest as we possibly can.) otherwise, we’re never gonna understand the world (and, potentially, really help people).

previously: the offensive mr. kanazawa and silly refutations of kanazawa’s blog post

(note: comments do not require an email. or anger-management therapy.)

silly refutations of kanazawa’s blog post

there’ve been a lot — a LOT — of refutations of kanazawa’s post on the attractiveness of black women. i haven’t read them all — in fact i’ve read hardly any of them ’cause most of them just scream and yell WAAAAAAYCIST!! BURN HIM, BURN HIM!!


some of them, however, appear to be more scientific refutations. bering in mind links to another psychology today blogger (scott barry kaufman) who (along with someone named jelte wicherts in the netherlands) has supposedly (according to bering in mind) “failed to replicate” kanazawa’s findings.

i took at look at kaufman’s post — and the technical summary of their analysis — ’cause i thought, well gee — not able to replicate the findings — that’d be interesting.


here’s the evidence that kaufman and wicherts present (in the blog post) to show that kanazawa’s analysis was incorrect:

looks like black women were rated nearly as attractive as white women, right? and they were. in wave iv.

here’s how they fudged the data.

the add health thingie (from whence all the data comes) involved four waves of surveys over the course of several years (a couple of decades?). kaufman and wicherts decided that the only wave that should be included in any analysis on the attractiveness of women is wave iv, because in that wave the females were of legal age and, therefore, women.

no, i’m not kidding. they really said that!

now, i would agree with them if the subjects in the previous waves had been pre-pubescent children. but the ages in the waves were:

wave i = mean age 15.9 years
wave ii = average age 16.5 years
wave iii = mean age 22.1 years
wave iv = mean age 28.9 years

now come on! ok, so in waves i-iii most or all of the subjects were not of legal age, but probably the vast majority (except maybe for some late bloomers in wave i) were “reproductively of age” — meaning they could make babies. which is what the whole discussion is about! attractiveness, after all, is about attracting a mate.

*cough, cough* cherry-picking *cough, cough*

kanazawa didn’t include wave iv in his analysis, which is the wave when the attractiveness of whites and blacks was rated the most similar. don’t know why he didn’t use the data from that wave. kaufman mentions that the data from that wave has been available “for over a month.” well, maybe kanazawa didn’t realize the newest data had been published when he ran his analysis. i really dunno, but it’s definitely possible.

in any case, waves i-iii show that black women were rated as less attractive, altho i think the numbers in wave iii are not statistically significant. in wave iv, as i’ve said above, the rating for whites and blacks were pretty similar:

i still wanna know who the interviewers|evaluators were. were they all white folks? all asians? all illegal mexican workers picked up outside home-depot? their characteristics might’ve influenced the results.

actually, now that i mention it, the fieldwork for waves iii and iv was contracted out to a different company than waves i and ii. wonder if that made any difference in the evaluations?

btw, some real word data from okcupid maybe lends more support to kanazawa’s findings:

“Men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.”

that’s too bad.

previously: the offensive mr. kanazawa and african-american porn stars

update 06/07: see also on the add health interviewers

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japanese waaaaycism

steve sailer quotes jared taylor as saying (writing):

“… Japan is homogeneous. This means Japanese never even think about a host of problems that torment Americans. Since Japan has only one race, no one worries about racism. … When a company needs to hire someone, it doesn’t give a thought to ‘ethnic balance,’ it just hires the best person.”

claudia zhao in the comments over @steve’s blog responds:

“My impression of Japan is that it doesn’t worry about racism but is a racist society. It just isn’t ashamed about it. Maybe it should be.”

i’m not interested in making the japanese ashamed of their attitudes, but i do wonder why are the japanese so waaaaycist — or why do they have such strong, ethnic|nationalistic sentiments? why don’t they have|want so many immigrants in their country? why do they behave like that while americans don’t?

well, one reason is obviously that they are a much more homogeneous society than the u.s. but, also, at the risk of repeating myself, the japanese population is more inbred than americans — actually, than most westerners. see here:

now, from this map (taken from, it appears that the japanese are more inbred than americans (i.e. they marry relatives more frequently than americans, on average), but are about as inbred as many european populations. that is true-ish. this map shows the most recent consanguinity data for all the countries (and for japan that rate is around 3.9% from 1983). however, this map lacks depth. it doesn’t tell us anything about the history of consanguineous marriages in any of the places, i.e. how long have these populations been inbreeding and at what rates throughout that history.

the japanese have been inbreeding for a very long time. they were marrying their cousins throughout the feudal period (1185-1868) and even up until immediately after the war the rate was still 7.45% in urban areas, probably greater (sometimes much greater, up to 50%) in rural areas. on top of this, the japanese had a long tradition of marrying their daughters off to “adoptive sons” who were often more distant relatives (than first- or second-cousins, that is) — so, more inbreeding.

in fact, consanguinity rates in japan have only dropped in the last couple generations:

now, compare that situation to europeans. europeans quit marrying their cousins (to any great extent) as far back as the fourth century. by the late middle ages, the church had really put the kibosh on cousin marriage:

“The medieval church instituted marriage laws and practices that undermined large kinship groups. From as early as the fourth century, it discouraged practices that enlarged the family, such as adoption, polygamy, concubinage, divorce, and remarriage. It severely prohibited marriages among individuals of the same blood (consanguineous marriages), which had constituted a means to create and maintain kinship groups throughout history. The church also curtailed parents’ abilities to retain kinship ties through arranged marriages by prohibiting unions in which the bride didn’t explicitly agree to the union.

“European family structures did not evolve monotonically toward the nuclear family nor was their evolution geographically and socially uniform. However, by the late medieval period the nuclear family was dominate. Even among the Germanic tribes, by the eighth century the term family denoted one’s immediate family, and shortly afterwards tribes were no longer institutionally relevant. Thirteenth-century English court rolls reflect that even cousins were as likely to be in the presence of non-kin as with each other.

“The practices the church advocated, such as monogamy, are still the norm in Europe. Consanguineous marriages in contemporary Europe account for less than one percent of the total number of marriages. In contrast, the percentage of such marriages in Muslim, Middle Eastern countries, where we also have particularly good data, is much higher – between twenty to fifty percent. Among the anthropologically defined 356 contemporary societies of Euro-Asia and Africa, there is a large and significant negative correlation between Christianization (for at least 500 years) and the absence of clans and lineages; the level of commercialization, class stratification, and state formation are insignificant.”

following the logic of inclusive fitness and the cousin marriage conundrum, the genetic bonds of europeans are very loose (because we’ve been outbreeding for so long), whereas the genetic bonds of the japanese are relatively strong (since they’ve been inbreeding for so long, up until fairly recently). thus are the japanese more waaaaycist — or they have stronger ethnic|nationalistic sentiments than we do. (note: there is some variance within europe, of course. some populations have inbred more than others, obtaining a greater number of dispensations from the catholic church in order to marry their cousins. these populations tend to have stronger extended-family ties. can you guess which ones they are?)

the type of cousin marriage is also important, though. the japanese (like other east asians) have a liking for marrying their maternal cousins. i don’t quite understand why, but such a system does not result in the extremely paternalistic, tribal societies that marrying paternal parallel cousins (father’s brother’s daughter) does. in any case, i think that because the japanese don’t marry their father’s brother’s daughters the way that arabs and south asians do, they don’t have the same tribal problems that saudi arabia and iraq and afghanistan have.

relatedness matters.

p.s. – the current prime minister of japan is married to his first-cousin.

previously: on the non-violent japanese of today and people in hong kong are soooo waaaycist!

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