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Genes that Affect Political Leanings [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:09:09 |Display all floors

IQ got a rare mention in MSM (D.Telegraph, 3 xi, Glenda Cooper):

"Prof Kevin Beaver’s longitudinal research [at Florida State University], published last week in the journal Intelligence, claims that, while reading bedtime stories, having meals together and engaging in conversation may help socialise your child, it has no effect on their IQ. No matter how many times you read Each Peach Pear Plum, or force them to the British Museum, it won’t get them the grades for that ideal secondary school or the dream job; your genes determine your children’s intelligence."

Excellently, the Daily Mail expanded (4 xi, Sarah Griffiths):

"Previous research that has detected parenting-related behaviours affect intelligence is perhaps incorrect because it hasn't taken into account genetic transmission," Professor Beaver explained. Some studies have shown that parents who socialise their children by reading to them, for example, have smarter children than parents who do not engage in this way. But others argue that intelligence is passed down from parent to children genetically, not socially.

    To investigate which theory is true, Professor Beaver looked at families raising adopted children.‘When we tested these two competing hypotheses in this adoptive-based research design, we found there was no association between parenting and the child's intelligence later in life once we accounted for genetic influences,’ Professor Beaver said. The finding is published in the journal Intelligence.

    Studying children who share no DNA with their adoptive parents eliminates the possibility that parental socialisation is really just a marker for genetic transmission, he explained.‘In previous research, it looks as though parenting is having an effect on child intelligence, but in reality the parents who are more intelligent are doing these things and it is masking the genetic transformation of intelligence to their children.’


The idea that basic political stances were inborn, first jokingly mooted by Gilbert & Sullivan (1882, Iolanthe*) and confirmed by Eysenck & Eaves (1977, Nature) was given further support in Current Biology (xi 2014) (Washington Post, 3 xi). A team led by Virginia Tech scientists tested 83 volunteers to determine their political leanings. Then the researchers put the participants in a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, machine, had them look at 80 disgusting, threatening, pleasant or neutral images, and watched how the participants’ brains reacted. Later, the volunteers were asked to rate how disgusting, pleasant or threatening each image was.

When shown a disgusting image--particularly one of a mutilated animal body--the conservatives’ brains reacted more strongly, and in different ways, compared with the liberals' brains. The difference between the two groups was stark; also, oddly enough, the fMRI responses didn't match the conscious ratings that participants gave the pictures. "People tend to think that their political views are purely cognitive (i.e., rational)," the study authors wrote. "However, our results further support the notion that emotional processes are tightly coupled to complex and high-dimensional human belief systems, and such emotional processes might play a much larger role than we currently believe, possibly outside our awareness of its influence.”


Hereditarianism had a good day as London researchers reported finding some 100 genes that were involved in autism – hugely advertised as to be blamed environmentally on ‘refrigerator mothers’ around 1965; and a large European project reported a gene for happiness which had its longest form in the good-natured, heartily-breakfasting Danes and its shortest in the miserable and surly French (Brits and Americans were in between, but on the happier side if they had Danish ancestry) (D.Telegraph, 30 x).
Two days earlier, Medical Xpress (28 x) had announced a crime breakthrough. A study of nearly 800 Finns jailed for both violent and non-violent crimes, and compared to the general population, found variants of two genes, called MAO-A and CDH13, to be “associated with extremely violent behaviour. No substantial signal was observed for either MAO-A or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending,” said the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

As AmRen noted: In A Troublesome Inheritance, Nicholas Wade cited a study which found American Blacks were fifty times more likely to have the variant of MAO-A that was associated with propensity to violence.


On the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Bell Curve, the ‘controversial’ Charles Murray was asked whether anything had changed. ‘Nothing,’ he effectively replied (AEI Ideas, 16 x):

What’s happened in the 20 years since then? Not much. The National Assessment of Educational Progress shows a small narrowing of the [B-W IQ] gap between 1994 and 2012 on its reading test for 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds (each by the equivalent of about 3 IQ points), but hardly any change for 17-year-olds (about 1 IQ-point-equivalent). For the math test, the gap remained effectively unchanged for all three age groups.

    On the SAT, the black-white difference increased slightly from 1994 to 2014 on both the verbal and math tests. On the reading test, it rose from .91 to .96 standard deviations. On the math test, it rose from .95 to 1.03 standard deviations.

    If you want to say that the NAEP and SAT results show an academic achievement gap instead of an IQ gap, that’s fine with me, but it doesn’t change anything. The mean group difference for white and African American young people as they complete high school and head to college or the labor force is effectively unchanged since 1994. Whatever the implications were in 1994, they are about the same in 2014.

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:11:29 |Display all floors

Nature (8 ix) provided a full account of C21 work on the genetics of IQ, race, violence and sexuality – by such scholars as Christopher Chabris, Stephen Hsu, Bruce Lahn and Robert Plomin.

There was much cautious pussy-footing around the ‘sensitivities’ of fanatically dysgenic colleagues who wanted to get on identifying and ‘helping’ foetuses having monstrous genetic problems that could, if preserved, fuel ‘health service’ job creation for generations ahead; but there was no immediate cause for anxiety about eugenics since even IQ had turned out to be rather more polygenic than even the London School had estimated – with no single gene contributing more than a third of an IQ point and with research being likely to require a million subjects before a passably full list of genes for the variation could be provided with scientific authority.

Apparently the strict ‘narrow’ heritability of IQ was reckoned to be about 0.50 – as long estimated by Cyril Burt and in The g Factor – although the ‘broad’ heritability (including G x E interactions and G,E covariance) would be higher. {At least the leisurely pace of advance ensured the researchers would keep their jobs....}


The subject of IQ got an unaccustomed mention in MSM as correspondent Kenneth Hynes (of London, N7) was allowed to say (Daily Telegraph, 10 ix):

....A repeated IQ test for all pupils throughout their school careers would allow us to compare actual [exam] results with reasonably expected results and provide a good objective measure of the value added by individual teachers as well as schools.

{Naturally, the need to provide and respond to such value-added educational results had been repeatedly stressed in The g Factor (1996) – pp. 94, 159, 181.}

GENETICISTS BATTLE A Troublesome Inheritance IN Nature

Whingeing by scores of geneticists about Nicholas Wade’s Genes, Race and Human History (q.v.) reached Nature (26 viii), with supposedly leading luminaries complaining that their work had been misinterpreted. Details of what Wade had got wrong were in distinctly short supply*; but apparently one aggrieved academic thought there were fourteen races (rather than the five favoured by Wade and the mighty anthropologist Carlton Coon**), and all were adamant (without offering the slightest evidence) that there were (amazingly) no cognitive or civilizational differences at all between races ooops clusters.

{Poor Wade! – He wasn’t even given any credit for politely focussing on differences between Caucasians and East Asians and largely avoiding the far more dramatic and well-attested phenomenon of low African IQ and its sequelae.}

* A review in New York Times by David Dobbs (10 vii) had offered more hope for hysterical anti-racists by suggesting that defective genes were somehow matched by the “reparative epigenetics” of one Sharon Moalem. But Dobbs could not bring himself even to mention intelligence, IQ or any London Schooler other than Galton; and he had to admit that Moalem “tries too hard to entertain” and “is loaded with weird findings and great stories” {another Oliver Sacks, apparently....}.

** Darwin’s disciple, Thomas Henry Huxley, had also backed a fivefold classification (1870): Australoids, Mongoloids/Amerindians, Negroids, Nordics [‘Xanthochroi’], and fringe Europeans [the darker ‘Malancroi’].

(Historian-broadcaster Ben Shephard notes (2014, Headhunters): “All the great men of late-Victorian science firmly believed in a hierarchy of races; none more strongly than Darwin, whatever his modern whitewashers would have us believe.”)

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:13:16 |Display all floors

The time-honoured methodological anxiety that twins might have their well-known similarities in personality merely because they look alike was examined by top psychologist Nancy Segal (California State University) (New York Times, 26 viii). She was able to compare the personal similarities of twins with the similarities of unrelated chance ‘lookalikes’; and found simply no significant similarities in personality between the latter – thus disproving the favourite environmentalist conjecture. Nor did the lookalikes form the special bonds readily found between re-united identical twins.


Gifted propagandist for atheism, Richard Dawkins (now retired from his Oxford chair), may always have been diplomatically cagey about the biology of race, but from time to time he mentioned his hereditarianism about IQ, most lately writing on Twitter that parents-to-be who learn their foetus is headed for Down’s Syndrome have an ethical responsibility to “abort it and try again,” eliciting online fury (Daily Telegraph, 21 viii).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hilariously, the leftist NYT’s longstanding science editor, Nicholas Wade (q.v.), who had, as he retired, revealed moderately biologistic/hereditarian proclivities about race (though never touching on Black IQ), found himself jumped on by 150 ‘geneticists’ who wrote to his old newspaper to insist that races were ‘like the colours of the rainbow, shading into each other’ – which was exactly what Wade himself (like the still longer-running London School) had said (Independent, 13 viii).

The protest by left-indoctrinated goons against their own former journalistic frontman – an Etonian and King’s College Cambridge graduate in natural science (1964) -- was led by a Mark Stoneking (LU. Leipzig) and Jerry Coyne (LU. Chicago) and was distinguished not only by its banality but by the failure of the letter and subsequent correspondence ever to mention such key race-realistic psychologists as Hans Eysenck, Phil Rushton and Richard Lynn. A sample:

“Wade juxtaposes an incomplete and inaccurate account of our research on human genetic differences with speculation that recent natural selection has led to worldwide differences in IQ test results, political institutions and economic development,” the letter says.

    “We reject Wade’s implication that our findings substantiate his guesswork. They do not. We are in full agreement that there is no support from the field of population genetics for Wade’s conjectures,” it says.

    In his book, Mr Wade attacks the “longstanding orthodoxy” among social scientists that human races are a social construct with little or no basis in biology and genetics, along with the idea that human evolution effectively stopped long ago in the distant past.

‘Not-a-geneticist’ Wade, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that the protest letter was driven by politics rather than science and that most of the signatories had not read his book but were responding to “a slanted summary devised by the organisers.”“As no reader of the letter could possibly guess, A Troublesome Inheritance argues that opposition to racism should be based on principle, not on anti-evolutionary myth that there is no biological basis to race,” Wade said.

Amusingly, the publication of Wade’s defence of race realism coincided with Sweden announcing it would eliminate all mention of ‘race’ from its laws and statutes (ViceNEWS, 11 viii) – showing that it was not just the English-speaking world that had gone completely potty about the horrors of ‘racism.’

Science Mag, 8 viii, carried discussion and a plea by Wade that critics should try reading his book (which disclaims racism every few pages in an effort to propitiate leftists).

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:16:13 |Display all floors

Unknown to me (or at least unremembered by me), a full and fair summary of The g Factor (Wiley DePublisher, 1996) and its British reception had been provided in American Renaissance, vii 1996 (see ‘Whys and Wherefores of Intelligence’ and ‘Adventures in the Book Trade’); and a sturdy correlation of -.53 had been reported between g and inspection time in no less than 326 Taiwanese high school students (So & Orme-Johnson) Intelligence, 2001).

As to the C21 competition (from my one-time Oxford tutor who wisely relegated ratmanship and cognitivism so as to keep up with the science of IQ), see my 2006 review of IQ and Human Intelligence (2011, 2nd ed.) at Amazon Books. (Cambridge-elevated [at leftist King’s College] Nicholas Mackintosh’s acceptance of the interest of IQ was sadly unmatched by religiously-revered philosopher and foxhunter Roger Scruton, who turned up at the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival deploring the limitations of science and mouthing the merits of ‘the sacred,’ ‘the soul’ and spirituality – about which his 30-year voyage of verbiage had manifestly taught him nothing [not even how to deal with questions about whether he actually prayed – a practice shown inefficacious by Galton in 1872].)


It turned out that my 2011 review of Richard Lynn’s The Chosen People had been reproduced approvingly as a “valuable introduction” to the “highly important” work of “probably Britain’s foremost academic [psychologist]” by The British Resistance Movement – which apparently took the same view as myself, that Ashkenazi Jews had fomented multiculturalism and Muesli migration to Europe as their (understandable but absurdly dangerous) ploy to take antiSemitic heat off themselves (14 viii). (Lynn’s book – unread by contender for London School leadership Nicholas Wade (2014, q.v.) – had solved the problem of mediocre Israeli IQ by distinguishing Ashkenazi from Sephardic, Oriental [‘Mizrahim’] and Ethiopian Jews.)


Jews, who had since 1945 fuelled leftist inclinations to back (and get votes from) underdog minorities, and even encouraged their own sworn enemies, the Mueslis, to infiltrate the West – apparently confident that Jewish leftists would convert them into a force against White supremacism and Christian civilization – found themselves hoist with their own petard as Glasgow City Council, presiding (in east Glasgae) over Europe’s biggest collection of low-lifes outwith Naples, raised the Palestinian flag over its headquarters for a day (in protest against Israel bravely despatching the children which Gaza’s vehemently anti-Semitic Hamas bowel movement had put in its front line against ‘Jewish aggression’) (BBCR4, 7 viii, 12:00).

Sixty years of multiculturalism would thus presumably end as Jews finally realized their mistake, withdrew their cash from the left, and started proudly supporting IQ -- on which they had a natural racial monopoly (even admitted by scholarly moderate neo-Eysenckians Stevy Pinker and Nicky Wade, q.v.).

    A previous Clottish effort to back the madder Mueslis by rasing a Palestinian flag had been made by Dundee City Council in the 1970’s – but interest dropped off as Israelis won every war they were called on to fight.

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:18:55 |Display all floors

It transpired, as the Handbook of Understanding and Measuring Intelligence (Oliver Wilhelm & Randall W. Engle) got online publication, that publisher Sage had allowed a chapter (by Werner W. Wittmann) discussing the dreaded ‘group differences’ in psychology. An extract:

"Group differences in intelligence and related measures. Group differences in abilities, aptitudes, knowledge, and intelligence; their amount, origins in nature/nurture, impacts, and consequences in real life and what to do with them for job selection; and admissions to higher education are a “political minefield” (Halpern, cited in Kersting, 2003). Group differences is a most controversial topic in psychology and social sciences, in which a researcher can easily fall into booby traps, ruin or endanger his or her academic career, or at least get a finger burnt. A literature or an internet search related to names such as Sir Cyril Burt, Arthur Jensen, Philip Rushton, Chris Brand, William Shockley, Raymond Cattell, Richard Herrnstein, Charles Murray, and Hans Eysenck will hint at a comprehensive selection of controversies related to the topic of individual and group differences in intelligence.


At the risk of ‘re-inventing’ the wheel,’ researchers in Robert Plomin’s groups (at University College London and King’s College London) reported that attainments in reading and arithmetic among 12-yr children were strongly correlated and both 50% determined by the same genetic factors (Science Daily, 8 vii). However, new authority was given to such time-honoured claims by Plomin et al. drawing on no less that 2,800 British families – containing plenty of twins and children who had supplied DNA data. And the exercise provided a demonstration of just how much nature-nurture research could attract government funding so long as researchers agreed to talk up the importance of nurture and ‘education’ – and, of course, never to talk about eugenics or race (or indeed the g factor...).

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:20:00 |Display all floors

Attempts to encourage more girls to study the sciences ‘completely deny human biology and nature’, a male academic claimed. Schools should stop trying to close education gender gaps because innate differences between the sexes mean they will always be drawn to different subjects and careers, according to a Glasgow University psychologist (addressing a beano of British educashunists, and reported in Times Educational Supplement).

Defying conventional peecee wisdom that had infected most psychologists, politicians and physicists themselves, Dr Gijsbert Stoet argued that Britain ‘probably needed to give up on the idea that we will get many female engineers or male nurses’ (Daily Mail, 12 vii). “Do we really care that only 5 per cent of the programmers are women?” asked the brave heretic psychologist. “I don’t care who programs my computers. A wealthy, democratic society can afford to let people do what they want.”


  As explained endlessly by hereditarians to behaviourists (like M.J.A. Howe, e.g. in The g Factor, 2000, and in Brand et al., ‘Why ignore the g factor?’, 2003), even oodles of practice are correlated with only slight advantages in performance – perhaps 20% for sportsmen and musicians (some of whom practice all day long) but for only 2% in many other areas like arithmetic and reading (D.Mail, 4 vii).

The latest re-invention of the wheel ooops research to this effect came from Princeton and did not even control for the likelihood that superior performers were more motivated to spend more time practising. {Yes, Oxford of the 1960s educated me as a behaviourist so well that – helped by generous grants, pocket money for running rats for girls, and by a plum prison service job – it took me a decade to work out that behaviourism was largely rubbish.}


In research from three universities on British children born between 1963 and 1983, high-achieving grammar school pupils went on to earn more than their equally bright peers who had attended comprehensives, despite dire warnings that academic selection only created an “unequal society” (D.Telegraph, 29 v). The advantage that selective education gave among higher-IQ children was specially marked for boys – perhaps because boys became bored and naughty when education was not tailored to their intelligence.


After six years of resisting requests (from San José Mercury) that it declare the extent of racial diversity among its employees, the internet giant Google admitted that only 2% of its staff were Black while a whopping 30% were Asian [i.e. East Asian] (USA Today, 28 v) – percentages way out of line with population representation of these races, but entirely in line with longstanding knowledge of racial IQs. Google further reported that 79% of its leaders and 83% of its technical staff were male – in line with the greater range (standard deviation) of male IQs supplying much greater numbers over IQ 150.


As an updating of America’s ‘Scholastic Aptitude Test’ (SAT) was announced, a helpful article about SAT being an IQ test and predicting educational and job success as such (even controlling for SES) appeared in Slate (17 iv) -- with summaries of work by Frank Schmidt and Ian Deary. A quote:

"What this all [these finding mean] is that the SAT measures something—some stable characteristic of high school students other than their parents’ income—that translates into success in college. And what could that characteristic be? General intelligence. The content of the SAT is practically indistinguishable from that of standardized intelligence tests that social scientists use to study individual differences, and that psychologists and psychiatrists use to determine whether a person is intellectually disabled—and even whether a person should be spared execution in states that have the death penalty. Scores on the SAT correlate very highly with scores on IQ tests—so highly that the Harvard education scholar Howard Gardner, known for his theory of multiple intelligences, once called the SAT and other scholastic measures “thinly disguised” intelligence tests."

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Post time 2014-11-18 14:29:54 |Display all floors
Monday, April 14, 2014                  

Concluding a review of John Hibbing, a political scientist studying perception at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whose “Political Physiology Laboratory” found ‘conservatives’ more negative and defensive than ‘liberals,’ Chris Mooney wrote for the left-wing Mother Jones magazine (4 iv):

"....when you combine Hibbing’s research on the physiology of ideology with waves of other studies showing that liberals and conservatives appear to differ when it comes to genetics, hormones, moral emotions, personalities, and even brain structures, the case for politics being tied to biology seems pretty strong indeed."

--A nice endorsement of Hans Eysenck’s (1954ff.) views, though of course Hans didn’t get a mention....

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