April 5, 2013

The Current Understanding

At West Hunter, Gregory Cochran sums up the conventional wisdom, c. 2013:
It seems that the talking classes in this country think that human biology mostly doesn’t matter.  The sexes have exactly equal mean abilities and interests – more than that, even the standard deviation must be the same in men and women.  Presumably the third moments as well. 
Race doesn’t exist, so there can hardly be cognitive or personality differences between races. There are no average differences in  mental capabilities between classes.   IQ is not heritable, so eugenics cannot work. Intelligent women should eschew reproduction – that’s something poor people can do just as well, and with the usual 10,000 hours of practice, their kids can be anything they want to be – cowboy, fireman,  or Indian chief. Lest I forget, low test scores in black children are caused by laconic parents, which is why the few children of those career women should be raised by Guatemalan maids. 
Homosexuality is the only genetically-determined personality trait – as well as being a valid lifestyle choice, and a floor wax.  So slash fiction should be the law of the land.

The current assumption that Hart and Risley proved that blacks don't talk enough (but indio childminders from Guatemala are perfectly fine for maximizing Verbal SAT scores) would have struck Charles Darwin as a tad odd. As Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man, in Chapter VII "On the Races of Man:"
There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,- as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body,* the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain.*(2) But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristies are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the lighthearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans,*(3) who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, racial and sexual differences can be discussed but in academese and statisticese that, while demonstrating differences, cannot spell it out in simple layman terms.

It's like sexuality during the Victorian era. It could be discussed in terms of diagrams and medical terms, but one couldn't spell it out and say, "oh yeah, the guy pulls out his dong and sticks into the woman's poon."
So, you could do a lecture on how procreation and intercourse happens, but you couldn't blurt out 'the guy fuc*s the gal'.

This is why Nicholas Wade lasted as long as he did at the NY Times. He discussed racial and sexual matters in a dry academic manner without spelling it all out.

So, it's more official social manners than actual facts. You can present the facts but not as truth that any layman can understand.

Cail Corishev said...

This is why I read iSteve every day: people who can mix erudite observations about intellectual topics with jokes about slash fic.

It's funny: conventional wisdom says that anyone who doesn't accept Darwin 100% on the evolution of species is a fundamentalist idiot, and probably dangerous to himself and others. But if you read a passage like this to the same people who say that, they'd assume you were quoting someone like Mengele, not their hero Darwin.

sunbeam said...

"There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans,*(3) who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea."

This really puzzles me. In your thread about European height, mention was made about how tall a lot of people in the Balkans were.

I had thought that mountain dwelling people tended to be compact (the "alpine" body type, Tibetans, etc).

My understanding is these people have been in the Balkans a long time. I would think body type would be a strongly selected trait in that environment, so why are they tall?

The same question applies to the Papuans and Malays mentioned in that excerpt.

Why aren't they more similar? Presumably they had the same root stock way back, and/or have had some admixture from one population to another to boot.

In several places the evolution of Jewish intellect has been discussed, and it appears to be a phenomena of about the past 1000 years or so. There should have been enough generations that you would expect all these people to converge to the same place more or less.

Baloo said...

Dang. A reprint of that exact Cochran post was to be my leadoff blog post tomorrow morning. I even had an illustration all picked out. That's why I'm a blogger, and Steve is Superblogger.

Alice said...

Just saw that 41% of babies in the US are now illegitimate. Supposedly when asked (no, I don't know who is doing the asking), it's because the women can't find a man worth marrying. Good thing there's nothing heritable about personality or IQ or the women who wouldn't consider them worth marrying might worry the child's biological father might have an effect on the child.

The good news is that we're going to have a very large population to study how biological fatherhood passes on traits even when the father isn't there.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Greg put that post up after leaving a comment at this Jordon Bloom post at The American Conservative.

-meh

DJF said...

""""Homosexuality is the only genetically-determined personality trait – as well as being a valid lifestyle choice,"""

Actually current understanding is that homosexuality is not genetic nor caused in the womb or taught or a choice. Since under any of those reasons it might be cured or changed and that is unacceptable to current understanding. Homosexuality is written in stone and is not only beyond any treatment but beyond any science.

Anonymous said...

I often wonder if liberals don't secretly acknowledge racial differences in IQ... desperately hoping that artificial manipulation of genes can be made practical before society is ever forced to openly confront the implications of those racial differences. They're trying to "run out the clock," as it were, until they can finally wipe their brow and proclaim, "Haha, whew! That was a close call. Haha. Uhm, now that everyone can slice and splice genes into their own baby, all of that racial nastiness is irrelevant and needn't be bothered with."

And then I wonder... will the end-of-game buzzer of human engineering save the day for them, or will the rag-tag, pesky group of fighters led by Murray, Rushton, Sailer et. al somehow propel Truth to victory?

Anonymous said...

I don't think they believe any of that, they just believe in equality of results instead of the older equality of opportunity. The talk about grrl power, denial that handicapped people are anything other than "differently abled" and that Africans have lower IQs isn't because they believe any of this isn't true -- it's because they believe it IS true and thus have to give a leg-up to these inferior sorts. All the while they do this they deny that they are doing it, too!

Anonymous said...

It's that funny. Modern liberalism's most holy idol, darwin, could be cited to support HBD. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

"the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America"

This stereotype doesn't exactly jump out at me, but then again, I'm not overly familiar with South America.

Who is he referring to-- the Incas, Amazonian rainforest types, Southern Brazil/Argentina natives?

Anonymous said...

Isn't blindingly obvious that noone actually thinks that men and women have equal abilities. There is noone with any kind of influence arguing that since men and women have no innate differences we should therefore focus on areas where men underperform men (e.g. health outcomes, education outcomes, criminal rates, etc). This means that people just think there are no innate differences that benefit men and not that there are no innate differences at all. I think people concede that point to feminists far too often.

Anonymous said...

" There are no average differences in mental capabilities between classes. IQ is not heritable, so eugenics cannot work. Intelligent women should eschew reproduction "

There was a book a few years ago about 1 room school houses and it said the teachers would get mad at the children for not learning because they thought everyone was as smart as every other child and it was only lack of trying that caused them to not learn.

I'll bet they believed that blacks were not as smart as whites back then, but now SOME teachers and elites, I think, believe there are no differences between races, but there are individual differences.

I am sure if you took an anonymous poll many would admit there are differences in races though.


We had math classes in my school that were divided up into the smart group, medium group and slow group.It was an all white Catholic school.

We know there are differences between individuals and races.

Anonymous said...

"Who is he referring to-- the Incas, Amazonian rainforest types, Southern Brazil/Argentina natives?"

I believe Darwin knew all of these, but was probably most experienced with the tribes that lived around Tierra del Fuego. They had 3 on-board on the trip from England down to Tierra del Fuego. (Returning them from the previous voyage of the captain, who had brought them back.) The also spent a great deal of time in the area.

Steve Sailer said...

"the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America"

"This stereotype doesn't exactly jump out at me, but then again, I'm not overly familiar with South America."

It's the same in North America.

Anonymous said...

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that the coventional wisdom, is usually wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not entirely clear why people are so focused on "HBD" and racial differences. Our country is being stolen out from under our feet for God's sakes. We shouldn't need "HBD" to persuasively oppose that. HBD arguments could even hurt in so far as they either (i) create divisions among American citizens and thereby undermine political unity on immigration, or (ii) provide justification for certain kinds of immigration.

Anonymous said...

sunbeam
"This really puzzles me. In your thread about European height, mention was made about how tall a lot of people in the Balkans were...so why are they tall?"

Milk.

They drink a ton of milk in the Dinaric Alps.

http://www.printfree.cn/sites/printfree.cn/files/Image/20090314151759166.jpg

See the long strip of high rainfall along the coast in SE Europe?

Rain = Grass = Cows = Milk.

That's my theory anyway - could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Darwin depresses me. He got to live the great adventure of a lifetime, for instance climbing a rebel-held fortress wall at night with a knife in his teeth, and on and on... and yet so often he seems to have also seen everything, perhaps in only a few hours, and often pretty much nailed it. Sometime he seems to have more common sense than most of those who came after. Maybe it was easier to see things when the world wasn't full of people telling you what is was you were seeing and when you were in many ways truly free of any responsibility other than what you put on yourself.

Anonymous said...

"The same question applies to the Papuans and Malays mentioned in that excerpt.

Why aren't they more similar? "


The ancestors of the Malays came from southern China relatively recently. The original people of SE Asia, including the Malay peninsula, were as black as the Papuans, though shorter. There are some remnants of these people (negritos) all over SE Asia. The Malay language belongs to the Austronesian family which has been traced to Taiwan. This family presumably originated on the Chinese mainland, but the language of the Han, coming from northern China, replaced it there completely in historical times.

Why did the Malays, Filipinos, Indonesians, etc. almost completely replace negritos? Because unlike negritos they mastered agriculture. Why did they do that? Probably smarts.

Anonymous said...

It's almost a good thing "the current understanding" also believe that racial prejudices and "white privilege" are holding minorities back because without that they would be victims of the same hatred and repulsion the poor working class whites endures.

Anonymous said...

""This really puzzles me. In your thread about European height, mention was made about how tall a lot of people in the Balkans were...so why are they tall?"

Another factor might be that this area is a very old border region, one of those semi-militarized areas where the population is often induced into the area by various means, but expected often to fight.

FirstComment said...

The asterisk in the first comment by "Anonymous" is one of the most ironic asteriks I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Yup.

Rap 'music', (which is basically just talking shit at high speed accompanied by a drumbeat), is proof positive enough.

Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with the grat Sir Charles.

Personally, I've found a lot of blacks to be miserable and sullen and anything but 'light-hearted and happy-go-lucky' of the myth.

Blacks seem to have their own particular brand of sullenness and throwing off miserable unpleasantness.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of rap 'music', google 'Rap Freestyle Battle Translated'.

You will laugh your pants wet.

Anonymous said...

The 'left' is funny sometimes.

On the one hand, it insists that we most know our TRUE origins, that humans evolved from apes in Africa long ago and then spread to other continents. We must know it cuz it is so very true. We mustn't accept Creationist or ID fairytales. We must know the true origin of our species.

But when it comes to 'gay parenting', a child can be raised be 'gay parents' as if he or she is the product of two mothers or fathers. Newsweek can say two women are having a baby.

So, our origin 100,000s yr ago is absolutely crucial to what makes us intelligent/rational/civilized/modern, but how an individual life originated(from man/father and woman/mother) isn't important at all since it gives the lie to the fiction of gays having kids.

'Gay parenting' is the fairytale creationism on the 'left'. The 'left' laughs at the notion of God creating life, but it is so worshipful of gay holiness that it makes itself believe and propagate the fiction of homos 'having babies'.

We MUST know that our species came from apes, but we don't have to know or insist that every individual human life was created from the sexual union of the male sperm and female egg.

ben tillman said...

"the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America"

This stereotype doesn't exactly jump out at me, but then again, I'm not overly familiar with South America.

Who is he referring to-- the Incas, Amazonian rainforest types, Southern Brazil/Argentina natives?


It applies just as well to the Indian ancestors of the mestizos now so common in the US. These mestizos are taciturn and just plain boring.

ben tillman said...

I'm still not entirely clear why people are so focused on "HBD" and racial differences. Our country is being stolen out from under our feet for God's sakes. We shouldn't need "HBD" to persuasively oppose that.

If people are all the same, property or crime or self-interest is non-sensical because the owner and trespasser, the criminal and victim, the self and non-self are identical.

Dan Kurt said...

re:"It's like sexuality during the Victorian era. It could be discussed in terms of diagrams and medical terms, but one couldn't spell it out and say, 'oh yeah, the guy pulls out his dong and sticks into the woman's poon.'" Anon.

Get real. Read some of the porn in the Victorian Classic THE PEARL. The writing skills of the British of that era were polished so that the porn was literate, literal and no way obscure. When I was exposed to The Pearl while in college in the '60s I remember it being vastly superior to the print mediated voyeuristic porn of the Playboy Advisor of the era.

Dan Kurt

candid_observer said...

"Maybe it was easier to see things when the world wasn't full of people telling you what is was you were seeing and when you were in many ways truly free of any responsibility other than what you put on yourself."

But it took him 20 years and the prospect of losing priority to Wallace for the discovery of evolution through natural selection before he published his theory.

So someone was certainly whispering in his hear what he should be thinking, and for a long, long time he listened.

Old fogey said...

From Rupert Sheldrake in "The Physics of Angels: Exploring the realm where science and spirit meet," (22-23) which was written with Matthew Fox:

In biology the idea of evolution was first proposed in a scientific form in 1858 by Darwin and Wallace. In physics, the notion of cosmic evolution became orthodox in the late 1960s, as a consequence of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. Now we see everything as evolutionary in nature. This means that there is a continuing creativity in all realms of nature. Is this all a matter of blind chance, as materialists believe? Or are there guiding intelligences at work in the evolutionary process? . . .

After [Alfred Russel Wallace] and Darwin together published the theory of evolution by natural selection, Darwin went on to develop a gloomy materialism, which now pervades the thinking of neo-Darwinism, the orthodox doctrine of academic biology. All of evolution must have happened by chance and through unconscious laws of nature, and it has no meaning or purpose.

By contract, Wallace came to the conclusion that evolution involved more than natural selection and was guided by creative intelligences. . .His conception is summarized in the title of his last book, "The World of Life: A manifestation of creative power, directive mind and ultimate purpose." We hear a great deal about Darwin today, but we don't hear much about Wallace. I am fascinated that these very different conceptions of evolution were expressed by the two founders of evolutionary theory; they show that evolution can be interpreted in quite different ways.

Anonymous said...

To DGF at 5:57:

You hadn't heard...researchers have discovered that at some point in the young lives of a select few, an entity, a force as yet unknown to us, sprinkles fairy dust on the innocent, marking them forever as one of the Select.

Anonymous said...

"Get real. Read some of the porn in the Victorian Classic THE PEARL."

I was talking of RESPECTABLE society.

Even in our age of PC, we can find plenty of 'racist' stuff but it's not allowed in the open in respectable/mainstream debate.

Anonymous said...

ben tillman said...

I'm still not entirely clear why people are so focused on "HBD" and racial differences. Our country is being stolen out from under our feet for God's sakes. We shouldn't need "HBD" to persuasively oppose that.

If people are all the same, property or crime or self-interest is non-sensical because the owner and trespasser, the criminal and victim, the self and non-self are identical.


Fallacy. You are equivocating on the word "same."

Anonymous said...

It's funny: conventional wisdom says that anyone who doesn't accept Darwin 100% on the evolution of species is a fundamentalist idiot, and probably dangerous to himself and others.

Many of these fundamentalist idiots who HATE HATE HATE Darwin happen to be social darwinists. They are like Social Darwinists for Jesus on the Great Crusade against the disabled, or as they call them, malingerers, weaklings, and useless eaters.

Svigor said...

Hey Baloo, FYI I finally replied to your comment on my blog.w

Towels by Jacobs said...

Anyone who thinks blacks don't talk enough in class (or anywhere else) is a person who has been privileged enough to have not grown up around many blacks. As with pretty much everything else in the real world, ignorance about a topic doesn't tend to lead to insight....

ben tillman said...

Fallacy. You are equivocating on the word "same."

Not at all. In fact it's a tautology.

If I am you as you are me, then those pronouns cease to make sense.

The point of HBI (human bio-identicality) is that Whites cannot be considered victims, because Whites and their putative victimizers are identical (or "the same").

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who thinks blacks don't talk enough in class"

lol

Anonymous said...

"But it took him 20 years and the prospect of losing priority to Wallace for the discovery of evolution through natural selection before he published his theory.

So someone was certainly whispering in his (ear)..."


I don't know, I think he had an unusual degree of clear situational awareness and the ability to clearly describe things long before he ever started writing about evolution.

Probably one reason his writing on evolution had the impact it did was that he had become a respected one-man scientific publishing industry before the Beagle even got back to England.

For an example of his writing, check out this random google hit:

"On the Geology of the Falkland Islands", C. Darwin, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 1846; v. 2; p. 267-274.

The man wrote a lot, Darwin Online - Publications, including a lot of books.