More on Deafness

Last time, I was talking about the  hearing children of deaf parents.  They could give us some interesting information on the effect of a verbally impoverished environment in early life , which is the currently fashionable explanation for low IQs and low academic achievement in some non-Parsee minority groups.  But since there have been very few decent studies of these kids, we don’t have much info.  At least I haven’t found much.

On the other hand, we have quite a bit of info about kids who are themselves deaf, and of course they have an even more impoverished verbal environment.

Deafness has a big impact.  Average verbal IQ is 85, a standard deviation below normal. Nonverbal IQ is  normal – in the case of deaf children raised by deaf parents, who have the most exposure to sign language, it may be higher than  normal.  Note that these deaf-of-deaf  kids are almost entirely of European ancestry (96%), probably because of the common 35delG connexin-26  mutation, which likely gives heterozygotes some advantage.

Blacks in the US have a similar average verbal IQ, but also score lower on nonverbal IQ tests.  In fact, their disadvantage is greater in nonverbal IQ than in verbal IQ.

Seems to me that limited verbal stimulation is not a very plausible primary cause of low test scores and low academic achievement in blacks, because  the degree of deprivation needed to cause a 1-standard deviation decline is extreme (deafness), and because there is an even greater depression of nonverbal scores, which, judging from the results in deaf children, should not be affected at all by limited verbal stimulation.

 

 

 

 

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121 Responses to More on Deafness

  1. TR says:

    The deaf are specifically hampered in providing verbal stimulation, but can go right ahead with nonverbal stimulation.

    One would expect low-SES and low-IQ parents to be bad at providing nonverbal stimulation, just as they are bad at providing verbal stimulation. If someone comes up with a measure of nonverbal stimulation, and does a version of the Word Gap studies, I’d bet the environments for black and low SES families would also be deprived on that, and perhaps moreso.

    • Anonymous says:

      The big problem with the deprived family environment argument is the lack of long term shared environmental effects on IQ in behavioral genetic studies. The results are clear: the shared environment matters substantially in young children, but as they age DZ twins diverge in IQ (and other traits) while MZ twins remain highly similar. I can’t see any explanation for this other than a genetic one (though genetic effects can be mediated through self-selection of environment, as Flynn and others have argued).

      The black-white IQ gap increases substantially with age until it reaches ~16 points in adulthood. I believe Flynn argued that young black and white children entering school today are only about 5 points apart, a much smaller gap than in the past. However, it appears that the adult gap is as large as it has been for many decades. This is precisely what we would expect if the adult gap is largely genetic and the environments of young black children have improved substantially over the years.

      At any rate, heritability of IQ is the same in black and white adults, to my knowledge, with a negligible shared environmental component, so a “word gap” or something similar doesn’t seem like a plausible explanation for the adult gap. However, it may explain some of the gap between poor black toddlers and middle/upper class white ones.

  2. melendwyr says:

    If lack of stimulation were the operative factor, we’d expect providing more stimulation would improve things. It doesn’t work.

    In the modern world, we’re not going to find strange new deficiencies that can be easily remedied with near-miraculous results. We can’t solve our remaining problems by doing something as simple as adding iodine or conducting inoculations. We’ve already dealt with those issues. The stuff that remains is the difficult stuff. That’s how selection works.

    • ckp says:

      Iodine is still a high marginal value thing to do in very impoverished countries though though.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “we’re not going to find strange new deficiencies”

      We’re not going to find new strange deficiencies. However we might well find perfectly straightforward deficiencies that didn’t used to be deficiencies if for example people’s diet changed dramatically and the consumption of some fundamental component of brain development i.e. iodine, dramatically declined with that dietary change e.g. a dramatic decline in iodine rich dairy consumption among people of north European descent if it wasn’t compensated for in some way like with the addition of iodine to salt.

      If correct then as Germany started the process of adding iodine to salt in 1981 there will be a cohort of Germans in their 20s coming through now so we should find out soon enough if there’s been an effect.

      A point worth considering for Germans is they changed their education system after their low results when PISA first started. If the iodine idea is correct then they may have made a mistake.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Actually we might find strange new factors in underlying IQ differences if the basic idea was accepted and focus and research shifted to groups who *ought* to have the same average IQ (because genetically very similar, very close geographically etc) but for some reason they don’t.

      • Greying Wanderer says:

        Just to add, the Netherlands started adding iodine to salt in 1968, Belgium in the 90s, France 60s IIRC, Denmark 2000s, Britain never.

        Map of surface area by patents

        Imagine Britain or Germany were proportionally the same as Japan (like they used to be?)

      • Sandgroper says:

        Australia must have been an early adopter, because I remember reading “iodised” on the salt packet when I was a small kid and wondering what it meant.

        I’m wondering what the anti-salt fad among dieticians has done to that.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Here you go: “During World War II, the Australian Government imposed restrictions that limited the amount companies were able to spend on importing products into the country. It is interesting to note that Iodised Salt was one of the few exceptions to this ruling.”

        But not so good: “Historically, parts of Australia have experienced iodine defi ciency due to domestic food supplies being grown in soils low in iodine. Recent studies have indicated that mild iodine defi ciency has re-surfaced over the last 10–15 years. As a result, iodine deficiency is a re-emerging problem, and is fast becoming a major one.
        The Australian National Iodine Nutrition Survey 2003-2004 found that almost 50% of
        school children (aged 8-10 years) are mildly to moderately deficient in iodine. Further, the latest Australian Total Diet Study found a total of 43% of Australians aren’t getting enough iodine, while 70% of women of child-bearing age and 10% of children between the 2–3 years are iodine deficient.”

        GrPH 2 has some 2008 figures on % of pop. who are iodine deficient: http://www.saxa.com.au/PDF/SAXA_Report.pdf

        It’s what I thought – the popular media have overdone the stupid salt thing, no doubt ably assisted by ‘qualified dieticians’ everywhere.

        • gcochran9 says:

          I’ve wondered what the long-term effect of such micronutrient shortages was in the past. What would have happened to aboriginals who lived in areas that were short on iodine? or short on selenium? Given tens of thousands of years, might they have developed biochemical systems that were a bit better at grabbing and holding on to those scarce micronutrients?

      • Sandgroper says:

        Well, they were nomadic and had a very varied diet year-round, so I don’t know whether they would have suffered deficiency specifically – not as much as white farmers growing crops in iodine-deficient soil. That is when it emerged as an issue in Australia – for white farmers farming in poor nutrient deficient soils, and those folks developing goitres and stuff.

        I don’t know, but I have never seen an Aboriginal person with goitre. I know what it looks like, because I knew a Filipina girl who had it pretty badly, so badly she had to go back to the Philippines to have it treated, but I never saw any Aboriginal person with it.

        So I don’t know if they have some adaptation, or whether their nomadic and varied hunting and gathering diet gave them enough so they wouldn’t suffer deficiency,

      • Sandgroper says:

        And of course they love salt, so as soon as white men arrived with iodised salt, they were right into it.

      • Sandgroper says:

        But there’s this, so it’s clearly an issue now, whether that’s a modern phenomenon that has arisen since they abandoned traditional diet. People near the north coast adhere more to traditional diet, and they get ample access to sea food, so it’s hard to see it being a problem for those particular groups.
        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-02-07/iodine-deficiency-link-to-poor-indigenous-health/1932600

      • Sandgroper says:

        There is a major problem/confound, though, in trying to research anything related to Aboriginal health, which is the legal definition of ‘indigenous’. ‘Aboriginal’ can mean anything from 100% Aboriginal by descent to less than 10%; theoretically, it is possible legally for someone to qualify as ‘Aboriginal’ with zero Aboriginal ancestry.

        Despite that, Type 2 Diabetes is clearly a major problem for people of non-trivial Aboriginal descent, so looking for differences in the biochemistry of 100% Aboriginal people should be a useful thing to do, if anyone was allowed to do it, which they are not – at least, they would hit a major political problem when it came to publication of findings.

        Given that Aboriginal people are clearly a disadvantaged group in relation to health care and longevity, you would think, logically, that the sensible thing to do would be to classify them genetically. It is utterly futile for me to go on about that.

  3. Flinders Petrie says:

    I’m willing to wager that, on average, the lower a man’s pants sit, the lower his IQ. When most of the butt is exposed, we’re getting beyond 1 SD below the mean.

    This correlation between pants and IQ might be as strong as that between verbal exposure and IQ.

    If so, do baggy pants cause stupidity?

    • Patrick Boyle says:

      Wonderful comment.

    • dave chamberlin says:

      It works the other way too. Serious nerds have their pants too high.

    • JayMan says:

      Interesting perspective, and likely a good point.

      • ursiform says:

        As we know, correlation is not causation.

        It is, however, possible that low IQ causes a predisposition for low pants …

      • Sandgroper says:

        My informant tells me they are a ‘fashion’ taken from ill-fitting prison clothes. Like tattooing. My informant also tells me that guys wearing their pants down below their butt is also copied from a prison practice intended to advertise one’s ‘availability’. In which case I have to agree – the dumbness is a prerequisite.

        Personally, I think Peter Jackson missed a massive opportunity to make a social statement by not casting a couple of heavily tattooed lesbian monozygotic beer-loving exercise-averse Canadian twin hipsters as Hobbitts.

        Actually I quite like them – I went to one of their concerts 4 years ago. People keep asking the same dumb question – are they attracted to each other? Of course not, they grew up together, the thought of touching each other horrifies them. So they’re normal – sort of. They’re not averse to having physical fights, but that’s different. They did once quote a probability for both of them turning out lesbian – I didn’t check, but it sounded like being in the right ball-park.

      • panafancypants says:

        Baggy pants is a leftover fashion from the days of brand-name underwear. Who can see the name on the band unless you show it off?

      • anon says:

        “My informant also tells me that guys wearing their pants down below their butt is also copied from a prison practice intended to advertise one’s ‘availability’.”

        Partially correct. Nothing homosexual about it. Prisoners aren’t issued belts as they’re potential weapons/suicide devices. So their pants inevitably sag and they developed a comorbid strut to go along with it. On the outside, the cons and ex-cons are revered as the baddest of the bad. Big Man role models.

    • little spoon says:

      Baggy pants contextualizes an environment of institutionalized discrimination against historically oppressed minorities. Men of color are deprived of job opportunities and then told they are inferior because they do not feed the capitalist system in a prestiged way. With constant pressure reinforcing their status, men of color internalize their marginalized role and express dismay through wearing baggy pants, which symbolizes the fact that they are not being used to do manual work or other rigidly controlled labor as one cannot do such work in baggy pants.

      The pants work as a dual symbol of resistance against capitalist pressure to conform to exploited labor standards and also as a symbol of internalized status as a non-worker and marginalized member of society. Other men of color then come to self identify with the concepts that baggy pants symbolize, further internalizing their role as marginalized members of society who will not be rewarded fairly for their knowledge or talents. As a result, they feel alienated by the white controlled educational system and society labels these men of color as lacking intelligence, which is just a proxy for exhibiting the desired class markers.

      Thus, I have proven that through social dynamics of capitalist hegemony, baggy pants cause stupidity. Do you think I could get this published in a cultural sociology journal somewhere?

      • Peter Lund says:

        Intertextuality, othering, discourse (or discoursivity — up to you), project, normativity, connotate, decode, sign, relation. Peirce. Durkheim. Gramsci!

      • little spoon says:

        If we take a bunch of post modernist theory words- Derrida, hegemonic, paradigm shifting, systemetizing, intersectionionality, racialization etc etc. and we put it into magnetic poetry and then arranged the word magnets at random, do you think our result would be noticeably different from papers in academic publications?

      • Peter Lund says:

        I fear too many people have already performed that experiment 😦

      • Flinders Petrie says:

        Well done, sir. That’s worthy of an ivy-league gender studies dissertation, at least.

    • sinij says:

      Now, only if we could ban this evil Rock ‘n Roll, all ills in society would be instantly solved.

    • Flinders Petrie says:

      The obvious solution to the problematic effects of saggy pants on IQ would be to pour millions of dollars into a social program offering free suspenders to low-income minority men.

      • Anônimo says:

        @Flinders Petrie: “Well done, sir. That’s worthy of an ivy-league gender studies dissertation, at least.”

        And speaking on which, have you read about this brouhaha? Even the New York Times talked about it last week.

        http://www.thecrimson.com/column/the-red-line/article/2014/2/18/academic-freedom-justice/

        I laughed, then I laughed, then I laughed some more. The poor girl was slaughtered on the comment section. My three favourite (sarcastic) ones were deleted, though (some “academic justice” on the comment thread by the Harvard Crimson, I think):

        “On the bright side, the author describes explicitly how academia implicitly behaves”

        “Galileo was a straight white male and he was born in Tuscany (unearned northern Italian privilege). He tried to force his entitled (and may I add geophobic) heliocentrism on everyone and he got academic justice in return. DEAL WITH IT”

        overweightmalefeminist Libtard
        “wow. just. wow. so much unearned privilege in one post, so much hate. using examples from history to violate someone’s truth-feelings is disgusting. the main purpose of ivy league universities is to be safe spaces for people’s emotional sensitivities, not a free-for-all argument zone where people get othered by your use of cis-gendered european history.”

        –Anônimo

      • Flinders Petrie says:

        @ Anônimo: I read that piece in The Crimson a few weeks ago, but I didn’t see the comments. They are the best part, and this one you quoted (that was deleted) takes the cake:
        “On the bright side, the author describes explicitly how academia implicitly behaves”.

  4. Patrick Boyle says:

    limited verbal stimulation is not a very plausible primary cause of low test scores and low academic achievement in blacks

    I suppose this is the kind of over guarded remark you have to make if you are a real scientist. I pity you for that. The idea that black people are less smart because of less ‘verbal’ stimulation’ is preposterous on the face of it. I call cattle excrement.

    The stimulation argument has always seems a little desperate to me. I know all about the studies of the sensory deprivation of babies in institutions. Babies have to have a certain amount of touching and attention or they suffer. I have relatives who adopted out of a Romanian orphanage.

    But black homes are noisy and chaotic. If anything if this idea were true you would expect Japanese homes to produce stupid kids. The Japanese are so well behaved and calm (except for the last reel of the Samurai movie).

    The lack of stimulation hypothesis is transparently a notion created by those who can’t face the horror of racial differences. I sorry that you have to politely consider such nonsense.

    I have my own preposterous hypothesis. When I Googled ’35delG connexin-26′ I found that that mutation is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece. Vegetius tells us the smartest people in the world were those same Greeks. Coincidence, or the long sought after genetic connection to intelligence?

    There are all sorts of whacky connections and hypotheses. Do we still have to take seriously the lack of stimulation hypothesis?

    • Steve Sailer says:

      Yes, the idea that black people don’t talk much is very strange.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        If you subscribe to Dan Sperber’s notion that communication is about manipulating the internal states of others, then it would seem that black males have been highly selected for the use of language in manipulating black females into receptiveness to reproduction efforts.

        Indeed, black females might also have been selected to use certain language skills (but not necessarily the veracity of utterances) on the part of black males as a measure of their quality.

        Of course, selection runs in different directions in other environments than the black ancestral environment.

  5. fnn says:

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife may be a nest of extreme bad stuff:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dogs-best-friend/201404/washington-wolf-spayed-cavorting-dog-1

    No sooner had I posted my most recent blog entry on continued crossbreeding between wolves and livestock guarding dogs in the Georgian Caucasus than a geneticist friend sent me notice from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that a young female wolf had been captured and spayed after being seen cavorting with a local livestock guard dog. The surgery revealed that she was pregnant, presumably with puppies the dog had sired.

    Why do that, I wondered, in the face of mounting evidence that wolves and dogs had been interbreeding since their first incomplete separation more than 15,000 years ago? As recently as two years ago, researchers examining the genetics of village dogs, found that the livestock guard dog in a Lebanese village was in fact 100 percent wolf.

    ….I asked Donny Martorello, head of large carnivore conservation—cougars, grizzlies, and wolves—for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, why wildlife biologists had not simply let nature take its course with the hybrids… Martorello explained that his agency desired as a matter of policy to have “the most pure wolfstock possible for repopulating the state.” It is an article of faith among wildlife managers that hybrids between wild and domestic animals are wrong and must not be permitted.

    • ursiform says:

      Surely you wouldn’t support miscegenation?

      (Note: intended as sarcasm.)

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what they’re thinking, but one problem is that if the population of wolves is very small it may simply be absorbed by the dog population, defeating the purpose of repopulating wolves. Supposedly other wolf introductions have failed because of coyotes.

    • dearieme says:

      We lived in South Australia when there was a similar race-purification drive against ducks of mixed Oz-Euro lineage, conducted by people who viewed themselves as having impeccably PC beliefs. It’s a funny old world.

      • Sandgroper says:

        No bloody foreign ducks, thanks.

        Hybridisation of dingoes is actually a biggie. Not that anyone is doing much about it, or can at this point, but it’s an excellent PC subject to endlessly debate while nothing is done.

  6. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    In Race and IQ Turkheimer says:

    Ducks raised in the complete absence of auditory input from other ducks don’t quack, and in general organisms raised in the absence of environmental inputs don’t do anything at all.

    Of course, if one million speech therapists spent eight hours a day with a duck, the duck will not learn English or any other language, however, your comments suggest a way to test that idea.

    I notice that Scientists have recently developed ways to (re)generate body parts.

    Perhaps they can generate a brain and some testicles for Turkheimer.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Nonverbal IQ is normal – in the case of deaf children raised by deaf parents, who have the most exposure to sign language, it may be higher than normal”. Could this suggest some tradeoff between mental abilities?

  8. j3morecharacters says:

    “A highly significant linear relation was found between children’s competence and mothers’ care. Within this broad pattern, specific relations were found between children’s language development and mothers’ verbal stimulation ” etc. Source: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1975-07086-001

    Good people, desperate to avoid the unthinkable and unacceptable reality that low IQ is an incurable hereditary condition, knowingly misinterpreted the above and lied saying that it was poor verbal environment at childhood that caused adult low IQ. Since Gould we all know that this misinterpretation is a pattern. We know that vocabulary enrichment does not work with non-Parsees, so what does?

  9. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    In his latest posting, Compliance with Moral Norms: A Partly Heritable Trait, Peter Frost asks:

    Does this heritable component vary from one population to another, just as it seems to vary from one individual to another?

    Surely, the more interesting question is: What sort of stable groups would exist at different levels of observance of moral norms and would they have hard-wired justifications for their behaviors?

  10. Gottlieb says:

    My verbal iq ”sign language” is 0.
    Verbal iq would be translate to ”sign language version”, specialized psychometric professional, but seems a fact that some ”deficiences” will some ”compensations”.
    But, to be deaf or blind don’t implies non-contextual deficiences as ”extreme immune system weakness”, after all, some species of fish are blind and to be very adapted to your environment.

    • Peter Lund says:

      Your verbal iq “English” is pretty low, too. Or maybe it’s Google Translate’s.

      Whatever it is, it reads like a Markov model 😦

    • Sandgroper says:

      I recall Greg has written something pretty sarcastic previously about the alleged ‘adaptive advantages’ of blind fish.

    • Sandgroper says:

      i.e. loss of function does not confer any compensating adaptive advantage in terms of fitness, it’s just loss of function. Cave fish did not benefit in terms of any compensating adaptive advantage from losing their eyes.

      • Toad says:

        Eyes cause hydraulic drag. Nutrients have to be diverted to develop and maintain them. They occupy space that could be used for something else. Brain real estate has to be devoted to processing sensory input from them.

        In an environment where eyes are not necessary, there is an advantage in not to having to haul useless organs around everywhere. Same applies to frontal lobes.

      • Sandgroper says:

        So, selection then. I imagine there’s no actual evidence, it’s just one of those things that ‘must be’ true.

        I can’t think of a reason for deafness to be selected in humans, unless being a heterozygote confers an advantage.

        Does being a heterozygote for Pendred’s Syndrome confer any advantage?

    • Zoyd Wheeler says:

      My environment? There are very few blind fish running around the littoral of southern Casco Bay. The ospreys would get them if the Subarus didn’t.

      But it sounds like you’re saying deaf verbal IQ might differ from hearing verbal IQ in ways such that we’re measuring the wrong thing when we test them.

      Maybe so. What testable implications would that have?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think his point was that deaf people are tested using their second language, English. If there was a version of verbal IQ testing based on sign language, their verbal development could be properly evaluated.

  11. Gottlieb says:

    To a person like me who never study at serious way your language, to seems that me not so bad as well. Not so low if to be understandable.
    I want to learn your precious language, but i hope that to learn without your lack of education.

    • Melon Head says:

      (Write it in your native language, then use Google translate – I think it will come out better.)

      • Peter Lund says:

        And please tell us what your native language is. It is much easier to compensate for weird grammar if one knows a bit about the “accent”.

        Write shorter. Write simpler.

      • dearieme says:

        Even write with adverbs.

      • Gottlieb says:

        I’m try it sometimes. I would like to know why my english (yes, only mine) is sooo difficult to understand. My english is only simple and with ”foreign accent”. To accept my english is bad i need more than these explanations., sorry by my pseudo-rudeness.

        When i compare my english with their comments can’t to see any enormous disparity. You can understand it, right

  12. Gottlieb says:

    Peter Lund,
    estou escrevendo em minha língua nativa, excepcionalmente, porque tu me pedistes isto.
    Como percebeste, esta é minha língua nativa. De fato, o ”meu inglês” é realmente muito ruim. Um colega meu me avisou que o meu nível atualmente, está próximo das populações afroamericanas que residem em bairros de baixa renda. (hihihihihihihihihihihi)
    Eu gostaria de entender quais são as minhas falhas mais severas quanto ao manuseio prático do seu idioma, visando minha comunicação para com as pessoas deste e de outros blogs da Hbdosfera. Mediante a consistente reclamação, válida, de alguns dos comentaristas mais assíduos desta parte da ”web”, tenho pretensões pré-estabelecidas de parar de continuar a postar comentários, porque além de não estar conseguindo cumprir com minhas propostas, contribuir de algum jeito, de alguma forma, para com os estudos desta comunidade, também estou gratuitamente me expondo ”ao ridículo” devido a minha falsa impressão inicial de algum melhoramento consistente em minha atual capacidade de escrever em inglês.
    Segundo minhas observações pessoais, eu melhorei quantitativamente neste sentido, ampliando o meu vocabulário em sua língua. No entanto, em termos qualitativos, eu continuo tão cru desde antes, quando era ruim em todos os quesitos. Atualmente, eu tenho tentado empregar a mesma estrutura de formação de frases, da minha língua nativa para a sua língua. Não tenho tido grande sucesso, especialmente para com os anglófonos, mas tenho a impressão de que aqueles que não são anglófonos apresentam uma melhor capacidade contextual para entender os meus comentários. Eu concluí que os anglófonos não são bons em entender contextos verbais.

    Respondendo a Sandgroper,
    bem, eu acredito que é necessário se colocar no lugar de outras espécies para entender porque algumas delas estão destituídas de alguns dos 5 sentidos, estes que se encontram normativamente bem distribuídos entre os seres humanos. O que define a adaptação, mesmo para nós, ainda é o contexto. Portanto, se você está adaptado para viver em um local sem iluminação, então a visão se tornará obsoleta e custosa. É fácil tu falares nestes trejeitos, mas a natureza não é estúpida. Se existem espécies de peixes (Ou outros animais) que são cegos e eles estão plenamente adaptados ao seu meio, então não faz sentido algum, negar isso. De fato, o contexto define a adaptação. Chineses não são criativos porque o contexto dos ambientes em que eles se desenvolveram, não houve a necessidade da expressão individual, a principal condição não-diretamente genética para a criatividade, das mais diversas formas.

    • Peter Lund says:

      Google Translate actually works quite well 🙂

      So it’s Portuguese. I would never have guessed that. For some reason your “accent” doesn’t seem Romance at all to me.

      I don’t want you to stop posting, I want you to start communicating!

      “I would like to understand what are my most severe failures regarding the practical handling of your language , aiming for my communication with people of this and other blogs Hbdosfera .”
      [Hbdosfera = HBD’osphere]

      First of all, English is not “my language”. I am a foreigner, too. There are also a Hungarian and an Israeli who post here sometimes. There might other foreigners.

      The biggest problem, as I see it, is that you don’t really understand the English grammar.

      Grammar is not really about declensions and conjugations. It is about who does what to whom. And when they do it. Or if they even do it or just plan to do it. Or might hope to do it.

      When I read your English I find it very hard to guess who does what to whom. I can usually easily tell who the “actors” are, so to speak, but the relations between them is often hard to guess.

      Some languages mark the parts of speech (the words) so you can tell who is doing things and who has it done to them. English doesn’t really do that. Instead, we have to rely on word order and extra words. Sometimes the extra words are auxilliary verbs. Sometimes they are prepositions.

      You often leave out the prepositions. Don’t do that! There /are/ a few cases where English uses inflections. Pronouns, for example, come in a few different forms for different cases. You sometimes use the wrong form of the pronoun. I don’t understand why.

      The verb system in English and other Germanic languages is actually quite complicated. The complexity is not on the word forms (there are very few forms compared to Portuguese). The complexity is on /which/ auxilliary verb(s) to use, in what order, which form of each to choose. English has an extra complexity: sometimes you have to use “do/did” in odd places for no good reason. You are not very good at that.

      The hard way to fix this is to sit down and learn the grammar. That takes time and effort.

      The easy way is to make your sentences simpler. Much simpler. Or use Google Translate, which works surprisingly well!

      Another problem is that the way you use words is sometimes a bit “off”. It is as if you speak a different version of English where words have meanings that are slightly different from their meanings in normal English. A meaning that is plausible. A meaning they could have had if the butterfly had only chosen another path 200 years ago. But a meaning that they don’t actually have because it did not choose that other path.

      Some of these errors are minor and can (in isolation) easily be corrected during reading. Some are very confusing. Even the minor errors can be a problem because there are so many of them. If there are many errors, it becomes difficult to keep all the corrections in short-term memory at the same time. The actual contents and the corrections fight for the same limited brain capacity.

      The result is that I can choose to spend a lot of time trying to reconstruct what you could have meant. Sometimes it isn’t clear to me what you meant, even after spending time on reconstruction. I may be completely baffled or there might be several equally (im)plausible reconstructions. And even if I do decide on a reconstruction, I still don’t know I my guess was right.

      The right place to put this labour is on you, the writer, not on us, the readers. Especially since you can improve your clarity a lot just by writing shorter and simpler sentences!

      • Richard Sharpe says:

        English has an extra complexity: sometimes you have to use “do/did” in odd places for no good reason.

        This is very unlikely to be true.

        Just as there is a reason for rule about doubling the final consonant when you add ‘ing’ (and I can even understand the crazy American approach to this where it differs from the British English approach) there will be a reason for the do/did addition.

        Can you quote some instances where you think there is no good reason?

      • Peter Lund says:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do-support

        It is an absolutely ridiculous feature of English. It’s far worse than ‘qu’est-ce que c’est que ça?’ in French.

      • Richard Sharpe says:

        You have given me an interesting conundrum to ponder.

        Of course, as a native speaker, I don’t find it ridiculous … and I know not what you could have been thinking when you said that.

    • Peter Lund says:

      Just to save others the trouble:

      “Peter Lund ,
      I am writing in my native language , exceptionally , because you have asked me this.
      As you understand , this is my native language . In fact , the ” my English ” is really too bad . A colleague of mine advised me that my level currently is close to the African American population living in low-income neighborhoods . ( hihihihihihihihihihihi )
      I would like to understand what are my most severe failures regarding the practical handling of your language , aiming for my communication with people of this and other blogs Hbdosfera . Through consistent complaint valid , some of the most frequent commentators in this part of the ” web” , have pre – established claims to stop keep posting comments , because apart from not succeeding comply with my proposals , contribute somehow to somehow, for the studies in this community , I am also exposing me free ” to ridicule ” because of my false initial impression of some consistent improvement in my current ability to write in English.
      According to my personal observations , I improved quantitatively this effect , expanding my vocabulary in their language . However , in qualitative terms , I’m still so raw from before , when it was bad in all aspects . Currently, I have tried to use the same structure as sentence building, my native language to your language . I have had great success , especially for the English-speaking , but I have the impression that those who are not English speakers have better contextual ability to understand my comments . I concluded that Anglophones are not good at understanding verbal contexts .

      Responding to Sandgroper ,
      well , i believe it is necessary to put in place of other species to understand why some of them are devoid of some of the 5 senses , that they are normatively well spread among humans . What defines an adjustment, even for us , is also the context . So if you are fit to live in a place without light , then the vision will become obsolete and costly . It’s easy thou speak these mannerisms , but nature is not stupid . If there are species of fish (or other animals ) who are blind and they are fully adapted to their environment , so it makes no sense to deny it . In fact , the context defines adaptation. Chinese are not creative because the context of the environments in which they developed , there was no need for individual expression, the main non- genetic condition directly for creativity in many different ways .”

      • Gottlieb says:

        Peter Lund,
        muito obrigado por sua amabilidade e tolerância para comigo.
        Por agora, usarei o google tradutor para evitar este tipo de discussão tola, fora do tópico principal.
        Sobre o comentário que serviu como um estopim para a sua réplica.
        Sim, o meu qi para ”linguagem de sinais” é praticamente zero. O meu inglês atual, também, mas percebes que meu português não parece de todo mal.

        Agora, vou tentar explicar da maneira mais objetiva possível.
        É evidente que as pessoas surdas pontuarão abaixo da média, diga-se, bem abaixo da média em testes TRADICIONAIS de QI. Estes testes foram traduzidos para a linguagem de sinais???
        Se a resposta for sim, ok
        Se a resposta for não, então temos um problema para analisar.
        O mesmo que analisar o qi espacial de pessoas cegas.
        Sim, isto é possível, mas de maneira extremamente bem especializada.

        Peter Lund,
        thank you for your kindness and tolerance for me.
        For now, I use the google translator to avoid this type of silly argument, off the main topic.
        About the comment that served as a trigger for your reply.
        Yes, my qi” sign language” is practically zero. My current English, too, but you know that my Portuguese does not seem at all bad.

        Now, I will try to explain in the most straightforward manner.
        It is clear that deaf people will score below average, tell yourself, well below average on traditional IQ tests. These tests were translated into sign language??
        If the answer is yes, ok
        If the answer is no, then we have a problem to analyze.
        Same as analyze the spatial qi blind people.
        Yes, this is possible, but extremely well specialized way.

    • TWS says:

      Gottlieb trust us when we say your English is really hard to understand. The fact you cannot see the difference between what you are writing and what others are writing here is telling.

      You are to be commended for trying to write in English. You are not that bad and if you were looking for a bathroom or the library I could give you directions. However, for more complex subjects (and the subjects here are very complex) you would be better off with very simple statements and questions or using a translator. Sad as it is, I understood google translate of your last comment better than your previous three or four comments.

      Again, you could purchase a meal (although you might require a couple of tries or you could get directions in a major city but making yourself understood here on the strength of your own English is very rough going.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Nada está totalmente adaptado ao seu ambiente.

    • Anônimo says:

      @Amado de Deus (Gottlieb)

      As a Brazilian portuguese speaker (“Last Flower of Latium — uncultured, though beautiful — You’re at a time, splendour and grave” Olavo Bilac as rendered by Google Translator). I feel your pain (Your are a Lusitanian one, right?).

      But it is easy nowadays, if you use some combination of Google Translator + Linguee.pt + Guts and some Chutzpah

      http://www.linguee.pt/

      This one is really a game changer: it uses the database of multiple translations of Regulations and Decisions and all that European Union LAW parafernalia that make you Europeans so great and from all this derive the best translation for a given word or expression in a lot of languages. It is excellent for those English phrases that are “on the tip on the tongue” but we just can find it PRONTO! Just write in Portuguese, crop and paste in linguee then you’ll have ====> profit!

      🙂

      –Anônimo

      • Gottlieb says:

        Meu Deus, um brasileiro estás a me dar conselhos linguísticos.. A que mundo iremos nos esbugalhar. Ooh, céus.
        Que os destruidouros da herança lusa d’além mar, pereçam de fome e sede de si mesmos.

        Sim, eu voltarei a comentar mediante ajuda técnica do tradutor, se meu senso de lógica externalizada a outrens possa ancorar-me em boas praias da língua, que não as brasileiras.
        Perdoa-me pela indelicadeza, isto és somente um desabafo de um europeu de terras sem asfalto, dos tempos do rei e sua alforria branca mais mulata em brasa.

  13. Gottlieb says:

    TWS,
    ok, thanks for your kindness to warm me.

  14. Pingback: linkfest – 04/13/14 | hbd* chick

  15. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    Interestingly, the prevalence of color blindness seems to differ by race:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140403084243.htm

    • Patrick Boyle says:

      Almost everything differs by race but most people consider it impolite to notice.

      For example when I was investigating the Tuskegee Airmen issue (or Tuskegee Airmen Hoax if you prefer), I came across the fact that blacks in the age ranges relevant to fighter pilots have myopia rates only about half of that of whites. That’s a huge difference that is seldom mentioned in public discourse. East Asians have even more myopia than whites. Some of that is referenced tangentially in the War movie portrayals of Japanese as often wearing coke-bottle thick glasses.

      Good eyes are perhaps the most import attribute of good fighter pilots.

      Many here will recognize that myopia is associated genetically with high IQs (big eyes-big brains), but I never see this fact mentioned in the popular media.

      Perhaps an even more significant racial connection that is almost never mentioned is the rate of schizophrenia. Blacks have a schizophrenia rate that is more than three times higher than that of whites. I recently read a book by a psychiatrist who claims that’s just a misdiagnosis by whites threatened by Martin Luther King (really). When that black woman who was shot by the Secret Service or Capitol Police near the White House, the media told us she was crazy but failed to mention that that was associated with her race.

      We have a whole mélange of social issues involving race, violence, schizophrenia, and gun control that are connected but in ways that are mostly kept hidden. Almost all the school shootings are done by people who would have been imprisoned or hospitalized before the Lanterman-Petris mental heath reforms. It isn’t the guns that unit them so much as it is schizophrenia. Blacks are known to be more violent but in many cases it is simply that they are more crazy. Odd that we are not allowed to mention this. You would think that this kind of information would make the public’s attitude toward black violence more sympathetic.

      When I took genetics as an undergraduate, the woman who taught the class announced triumphantly that Australian Aborigines were more color blind than Europeans which somehow proved that they were not inferior. I can’t quite remember how the argument went. I think it was that in certain light conditions lack of full color sight allows you to spot certain patterns that are otherwise hard to see. She was very happy to share this fact. I didn’t quite get it.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I’ve talked here about the schiz rate in blacks.
        Was that Jonathan Metzl’s book you read? Obviously he’s crazy too, but in a different way.

        Australian aborigines have high visual acuity and little myopia. Color blindness is relatively rare among them. Your instructor was incorrect – probably dishonest as well, and quite likely stupid.

      • Sandgroper says:

        This is verging on farce. Native Americans and full blooded Australian Aborigines are at the extreme low end of frequency of colour blindness.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Native Americans and full blooded Australian Aborigines are at the extreme low end of frequency of colour blindness.

        Could that be because selection still operated strongly in their environment until recently, while it has been relaxed in more complex cultures.

      • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Could that be because selection still operated strongly in their environment until recently, while it has been relaxed in more complex cultures.

        Note. I do not think selection has stopped among people in more complex cultures, just that it operates in different areas. Those of us who live in cities are unlikely to survive long in Outback Australia, but there’s not a lot of demand for jobs like that these days.

      • Sandgroper says:

        You can entertain yourself for hours trying to think of employment opportunities for the Aboriginal skill set. The best I have come up with is to recruit full-blood Abos as line judges for the Australian Open tennis – they could hardly do worse than the team of obese diabetic white women and pudgy East Asians in Coke-bottle glasses they have now. They make very good stockmen (cowboys), but these days people use helicopters and quad bikes.

        How many people do you think are working on differences in Aboriginal brain structure, genes, biochemistry as opposed to the absolute unrelenting flood of post-modernist utter bullshit flowing out of Australian universities, largely penned by an army of obese near-white women dressed in tents and speaking a whole new language? There is a whole industry of ‘land rights lawyers’ – how many people are researching Aboriginal health in modern medical science terms?

        Call me a Nazi, but I’d shut down the law and arts schools, just shut off their money stream, make those useless white monkeys get real jobs, and put the money into science, on condition that a substantial proportion is used with a real sense of urgency to research and document the Aboriginal people before they become totally extinct. The cultural anthropologists have had more than ample time, and they have produced nothing but cringeworthy useless amateur garbage.

        The crippling embarrassment is that if you are too stupid to enrol in psychology (OK?) at an Australian university, you enrol in anthropology.

        What was that idiot Thorn doing, messing around false-dating layers and trying to politically ingratiate himself by claiming that Mungo Man was 65,000 years old, instead of yanking off a toe bone, hiding it and shipping it to Pääbo? I bet Jim Bowler is kicking himself.

        Slightly off-topic, the Oz government recently released some very interesting figures on the massive amount of un-repaid student loans. Arts greatly exceed science. Gee, who would have guessed?

      • Gordo says:

        Shut down law and arts colleges? What kind of country would you end up with? My God!!!

    • Gordo says:

      I was told some years ago that colour blindness was more prevalent in Europeans due to a mutation which arose in the last Ice Age; colour blindness allows you to distinguish/discriminate better in grey colourless environments. Can’t remember the reference.

      No reference at all on this one but colour blind men make the best snipers. Wear what camo you want and they can pick out any target in any terrain.

      Perhaps the two things are in some way related?

      Gordo

  16. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:
  17. Sandgroper says:

    This mostly seems like a no-brainer. The interesting part is in the last three sentences:

    “Interestingly, many Neandertal- or Denisova-matching IBD segments are predominantly observed in Africans – some of them even exclusively.”

    http://dienekes.blogspot.hk/2014/04/ibd-sharing-between-modern-humans.html

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Some people in the last thread covering Svaante Paabo asked which books they should read to stay informed. The books are always years behind the cutting edge of science and often times written by non scientists whom are, shall we say, under informed. This blog Dienekes seems to be the best source of the latest important papers. I recommend that folks fascinated like I am by human evolution follow this blog. It is not so hard to get the hang of the technical lingo involved, wikipedia can be your friend. Thanks again Sandgroper for your link. A lot of times one paper directly contradicts another and some of the commentators are nuts, but hey, that’s part of the fun.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Dienekes is the best source because he reports everything, supplemented by John Hawks who occasionally does an in-depth treatment and gives his own views on the findings, and Greg when he thinks they are getting something wrong.

  18. Greying Wanderer says:

    “My informant also tells me that guys wearing their pants down below their butt is also copied from a prison practice intended to advertise one’s ‘availability’.”

    I’d heard it was related to belts and shoelaces being taken away – still prison fashion though.

  19. Greying Wanderer says:

    @Sandgroper

    “I’m wondering what the anti-salt fad among dieticians has done to that.”

    And me.

    “It’s what I thought – the popular media have overdone the stupid salt thing, no doubt ably assisted by ‘qualified dieticians’ everywhere.”

    First dairy cos of the fat and then the iodised salt, doh!

  20. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    On the other hand, some African Americans can bridge the achievement gap:

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/14/poker-star-sued-for-counting-cards-and-winning-millions/

  21. Gottlieb says:

    ”Tal como os crocodilos albinos”

    Sandgroper,
    Mutations occur more or less randomly. It may be possible that some mutations occur repetitive effort for a prolonged period of time, where the same functions were performed by a group.
    And it may be that other mutations occur only because of internal variability, necessary for the survival of the species. The skin without pigmentation, can also have a favorable outcome for dark environments, where there is no need for a protective layer of melanin to face the sun.

    I read that nature is always trying to avoid excessive costs . At the most , in species where vision is not required , further development of the other senses , more than compensates blindness . The functions that should be taken prior to the nerve structures of the eyes are directed to other regions .
    It’s like when we analyze a dyslexic person . Their math skills tend to considerably offset his difficulty in reading .

    Mutations happen and by the demands that each environment needs , they are selected . This story ” there is no advantage to blindness or deafness ” is very heavily based on his perspective as a human being . We humans evolved to the balance of the 5 senses .
    If the fish of the deep sea are blind and it never interfered in their survival, then there is not a deficiency , because the non- selection for vision was offset by the development by selection of the advantages that it can have. These fish continue to see, but it is by touch , by smell , hearing .

    I have a theory that any type of mutation may be advantageous if it is strongly selected first because it will become the common genetic landscape and second, because the selection will chipping and polishing this hypothetical phenotype to make it extremely suited to your means . It’s like comparing mud and then a vase. Any mud can turn into a beautiful vase of flowers.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Well, that’s just where you’re wrong – you need clays containing clay minerals that don’t shrink when they are dried and fired, like kaolinite. Ever heard of ‘China clay’? Kaolin = gāo lǐng 高嶺. Why do you think porcelain is called ‘china’?

      • Gottlieb says:

        You are using a very sophisticated example, the Chinese porcelain. But I believe with any specific clay and mechanical conditions, it is possible to make a beautiful vase, even that does not contain figures or images.
        Well, the substance may indeed have an effect, but then we’re talking about exceptional situations. It’s the same as saying

        With any genetic pool is possible genius

        His comparison invalidates part of my comment, but not the whole. When I compared the mud and the vase I did not refer to exceptionalities, but the ability of adaptation, which does not require large exceptionalism, at least in relation to humans, requires fitting characteristics with the environment, such as a chameleon hiding in stones. The need is more selection and more, the improvisation.

    • The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      any type of mutation may be advantageous if it is strongly selected

      Tautology.

      I suppose next you will say that if it is not strongly selected, well, then it is not advantageous.

    • Peter Lund says:

      “It’s like when we analyze a dyslexic person . Their math skills tend to considerably offset his difficulty in reading .”

      You must meet other dyslexics than I do.

      Got any numbers or anything else you can back it up with so I’ll believe other people also meet your kind of dyslexics and not mine?

  22. Gottlieb says:

    Your assumptions about what I supposedly could say are wrong . Clearly the state ” any mutation may become advantageous if strongly selected ” I will (generally) not argue otherwise . At the most , I reconsider I may have exaggerated when I referred to ” any ” mutation . In this case , I refer to mutations that are regarded by the common people as ”disadvantageous” .
    There are classes of mutations , where some are subjective and others are objective , beneficial or not . For example , countless types of cancer that are not obviously advantageous but cancer does not seem to be strictly hereditary, but it depends on conditions that are not directly genetic as hormonal changes during pregnancy .

    However , as I always say , the species that strongly selects some types of phenotype and rarely change their collective survival strategies , become more exposed to the appearance and extermination by predators , because of their easily identifiable strategies. In nature , the time of evolution and survival of a species , can be counted by variabilization of its kinds and so mutations and escape plans .

    Still in the tautology that you said that I used . It makes sense to say it this way , since it is very interesting when you’re competing in a group than when you ‘re alone.
    Any mutation can confer more advantage to a group than an individual, especially in relation to heterozygous types this will be a reality.
    Assert ”any mutation may become advantageous if selected ” and” any mutation may become disadvantageous if selected ,” are both right , depending on which side of the prism you want to emphasize.

  23. Gottlieb says:

    Sandgroper,
    in terms of format, I still may be possible to make a beautiful vase of flowers with any type of clay or mud.
    This relates to the idea, any mutation can be advantageous, especially if it benefits the group and its strategy for survival.

    • Sandgroper says:

      No, only very specific types of clay. Otherwise your vase will shrink, crack and fall apart.

      I don’t doubt we could give you a long list of mutations that are not advantageous to anyone.

      • Gottlieb says:

        I have.
        For example, it seems that you have a disease that causes flaking of the skin. But where can we see it in nature? In snakes. I came to a conclusion, everything in terms of evolution depends greatly on the context. And often, indirectly depends completely on context. For example, see the dinosaurs. Nowadays, survive much smaller and weaker offspring, than the extraordinary species of the Triassic period. A catastrophic event, turned in the weakest type only one to survive.
        These types of events completely change the context and in turn the logic previously understood.

        Sandgroper,
        if flower pots were made to last longer or have strong structures, they have been polished by hard rock and not clay.
        A Chinese porcelain seems to have a very weak structure, they were made to adorn imperial mansions of wealthy families. I do not know anything about Chinese porcelain, but they seem to have a very very thin fragile structure.

  24. RS says:

    > This seems surprising because color blind people have the same number of rods cones, it is just that they have only two color sensitive proteins, not three. What would be the mechanism for this improved ability to spot a target through a scope?

    Dimmed or absent color-perception itself.

    Consider visual art : lots of grayscale is used. Sometimes this is merely because the artist’s ideal is best rendered or approached using grayscale. But most of the time it’s mostly because the ideal itself actually is in grayscale. IMO.

    It doesn’t closely follow that a grayscale image can have certain utile (as opposed to aesthetic) information that’s lacking in a color image. But it is suggestive.

  25. TWS says:

    How much of this is due to the parent’s genetic damage. Deaf kids are often ‘FLKs’. Wouldn’t they pass other problems along to their kids?

  26. Pingback: More on Deafness | West Hunter | foodolution

  27. Olympus says:

    Sony oder Olympus?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Cochran, is there any evidence that deaf men are more likely to be gay than average?

  29. Jonathan Silber says:

    Black infants & toddlers likely in fact to hear not fewer words than White counterparts, but more: the Black race is garrulous, and long recognized to be so; included among these garrulous types are low-IQ Black mothers, more likely on welfare and thus at home with kids, in contrast to white mothers more likely away from home & at work.

    Also, observers of the home life of low-IQ ghetto-type blacks report that the televisi in such households is often on non-stop for long hours, providing the children in it with an endless torrent of words to hear.

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