May 29, 2008

My interim VDARE column

I've got a short VDARE.com column up now.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

7 comments:

anony-mouse said...

You (or the person you quoted) may be wrong when you say that genes don't evolve to kill you.

There is evidence (I believe) that genes are programmmed at an advanced age, to 'turn off' various organs since a population with too many old people will not survive a competition with a population full of young people.

Anonymous said...

anony-mouse, every organism from yeast to trees to humans ages, and they do so at astonishingly different rates. no way that's all due to group selection.

rob said...

First anon, the flaw in that model is that by dying, I not only free up resources for my descendents (the way aging as adaptation is usually stated) but also for everyone else's children, who are far less related to me than I am to myself. So I die like a sucker while some other dude is still competing with my descendents and having more offspring of his own.

That won't be selected for.

Not to mention, critters that don't work in groups much at all, spread their seed far and wide, they age and die too.

Oh yeah, that argument is also an argument for dying being under selection, not for gradual decline. If death at some age were an adaptation, it would be a fairly well-correographed, fast process, like menopause.

headache said...

Steve, you are a mental tyrant. What's the next torture device on the menu?

rob said...

Since you posted again about Manzi, I'll repost my comment. I like pretending that I'm interesting.

I think Manzi's position comes from the great unexamined conspiracy theory on the left: institutional racism.

Every major institution, government, colleges, private companies, etc has at minimum a nondiscrimination policy. That's only the minimum, the vast majority practice affirmative aaction. Laws are overturned and policies changed if they result in worse outcomes for blacks relative to whites.

Yet still blacks lag, why? Poverty. But even the children of middle-class blacks do less well than whites. Since they don't think intelligence or personality could vary by race, the explanation is obvious.

The zero-group-difference believers in positions of authority know that they don't discriminate, so there has to be a powerful, hidden conspiracy that keeps blacks from doing better.

Right now, this conspiracy stays in the shadows, because public opinion, thanks to good folks like Manzi and others, goes against it. But if the race-IQ deniers lost ground, the institutional racists; who are quietly ensconsed in every company, school, university, and every level of state and national government, would quickly take over.

Φ said...

Steve: Outstanding analysis, yet another reason why what was once my NR subscription money now goes to VDARE.

There is a lot to unravel here, but let me focus on one thing: when Jim Manzi predicts "the relaxation of the notion of personal responsibility," I would point out (as you yourself once pointed out) the utter cruelty in insisting that a low IQ individual failing to perform mentally demanding tasks is exhibiting some kind of character flaw: he isn't applying himself, for instance. That cruelty is amplified by an educational system that attempts to educate smart people and less smart people at the same pace, to the benefit of neither.

But perhaps Manzi has morality more in mind here. Fair enough: no conservative wants low IQ to excuse bad behavior (although the U.S. Supreme Court pretty much did exactly that with its decision prohibiting the execution of people with IQ below 70, so the genie's already out of the bottle). But the flip side is that much of what we describe as "morality" is in fact only the intelligence to anticipate (and be deterred by) the consequences of bad behavior, rather than being motivated by, say, brotherly love and piety. As I recall, Murray and Hernstein documented the inverse relationship between IQ and criminality, and I suspect that such SES correlation that exists would largely disappear when IQ is controlled.

Sure, this kind of reasoning, widely held, could lead to a "liberal therapeutic regime", but not necessarily. In any case, as a guide to policy, surely hard truth is better than pleasant fiction.

TGGP said...

One interesting theory I'd like Steve's opinion on is that the genetic component of intelligence is preference.