WYSIWYG

GWAS studies are rapidly establishing the role that common gene variants play in individual variation in complex traits.  Height, educational attainment, IQ, various health risks. They can also be used to investigate average trait differences between groups. There are technical complications in doing that –  GWAS might have found a SNP that is only linked to the causal SNP, and that linkage may be different in another, fairly distant population.  A very [genetically] distant population might have a significant number of entirely different variants influencing the trait.  In other words, Bushmen may be so genetically different on some trait that you can’t use a GWAS score to show that they’re different. So different that they might be the same.

But I’ll bet that the great majority of the time, people that look short – especially if they look short in a wide range of environments – actually are genetically inclined to be short.  I think we will find that populations that show high intellectual performance in a wide range of environments actually are genetically inclined to be smart, and those that show low performance in a wide range of environments mostly won’t be.

What you see is what you get.  David Reich  may say that nobody knows, but it’s the way to bet.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to WYSIWYG

  1. Cpluskx says:

    When will we be able to genetically engineer ourselves? Like removing mutations?

  2. MawBTS says:

    GWAS might have found a SNP that is only linked to the causal SNP, and that linkage may be different in another, fairly distant population.

    Do we see this often? It seems that a series of linked SNPs would be a bigger target for mutational damage.

  3. dearieme says:

    I hope GWAS is pronounced Gee-whizz. I certainly bookmark blog posts on the subject to my folder Gee-Netics.

  4. pyrrhus says:

    “What you see is what you get. David Reich may say that nobody knows, but it’s the way to bet.”
    And you don’t need GWAS scores to see….As Yogi said, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

  5. I am tying your last two posts together with verses from the old campfire song

    “Well, my cousin Mort, he is sawed off and short
    He measures but five foot two.
    But he feels like a giant if you give him a pint
    Of that Good Old Mountain Dew.

    Now my Uncle Art he is not very smart
    His IQ is twenty-two
    But he feels like a wizard when he fills up his gizzard
    With that Good Old Mountain Dew.”

    However, our current national experiment in helping people to feel smarter and taller regardless of the actual measurement doesn’t seem to be keeping them as happy as the song suggests.

  6. The_G_Man says:

    Does Reich think
    a) We may genuinely discover that Aborigines are as smart as Koreans.
    b) We are going to prove that Aborigines are not as smart as Koreans, but the evidence will then be so persuasive that his critics to the Left will just accept it and move on.
    c) We are going to prove that Aborigines are not as smart as Koreans, and at that point he’ll have to come up with some new excuse to continue his research, but at least he’s kicked the can down the road for a decade.
    ?

    • Yudi says:

      Why would Reich have put his reputation on the line by writing those chapters that angered so many people if he didn’t know some explosive research is coming down the pipeline?

    • albatross says:

      I assume the experience of Charles Murray is clear in his mind. He might write entirely mainstream factual claims plus entirely defensible analysis of those claims and their implications, and spend the rest of his life getting protesters setting off fire alarms when he’s giving a talk, and having 90% of journalists write about “discredited scientific racist David Reich” without knowing the smallest thing about his actual research or scientific contributions. He’s rationally responding to his incentives.

      The incentives are dumb, but that’s pretty common for societal incentives. Most people aren’t all that bright, and societies can sometimes do things that are dumber or crazier than most of their members.

  7. esraymond says:

    I think the smart money is on alternative c.

  8. albatross says:

    The bigger the environmental differences, the more plausible it is that an observed IQ difference might not be genetic in origin. If you’re talking about hunter-gatherers in the Amazon, I can totally believe that any observed IQ difference between them and some city-dwelling population is mostly environmental. If you’re talking about black and white middle-class students in the same public school, that becomes really hard to believe. And yet, at least in the US, it seems like genetic differences in intelligence between aboriginees or Amazon hunter-gatherers and everyone else are only upsetting because everyone’s worried about what they imply about black/white IQ differences.

    • Patrick L. Boyle says:

      There is a well known environmental cause for black white IQ differences. Black kids are more likely to eat paint chips containing lead. But of course every person of good character and all of government is fully engaged in correcting that. At some point then there will be no lead paint anywhere and any racial differences in IQ will be due to wholly genetic factors. (almost)

      It’s foolish to worry about how much of IQ is from the environment and how much is caused by genetic differences. We are driving out environmental factors as fast as we possibly can.

  9. Young says:

    Harpending’s observation that Africans did not have hobbies is arresting. Perhaps related is something I recently noticed while watching orchestral performances on You Tube. The performers and conductors are mostly white but it is very common to see Asians in every role. What one almost never sees is blacks performing in these organizations. Naturally, the usual people have complained that symphony orchestras (and chamber music groups) are ‘too white’ and not sufficiently diverse. I had a quick look at the orchestras in Capetown and Johannesburg, South Africa, and they appear to be predominately white. I looked for a Kenyan symphony orchestra and all I found was a Kenyan Youth Orchestra (or some such thing) which, too, is apparently composed of whites. This was only a quick search and perhaps a real examination would produce different examples, but for the moment I can’t help but wonder if taking pleasure from serious music is also something that emerges from genetics..

    • Anuseed says:

      Africans seem to prefer music with drums and a strong beat. Not being racist, just stating what I’ve seen. Reggae, drum and bass, tribal drums etc.

    • Patrick L. Boyle says:

      I told my Korean doctor that except for one German guy (Jonas Kaufman) the three best tenors in the world today were all Korean. Unlike so many Koreans that you see on YouTube videos attending operas, symphonies and oratorios – he doesn’t like classical music.

      Contrary to the conventional wisdom (the polite term for oppressive governmental propaganda) blacks are not very important in serious vocal music. There are only two black tenors of any ability in professional opera, about the same number of baritones and no basses. There used to be some very, very good female opera singers but not lately.
      Asians seemed to have examined Western culture and embraced the best parts. Blacks don’t sit in the symphony halls or opera houses. I don’t think they ‘get’ it.

  10. The rational thing to do, for a quiet life, is to say that the Emperor’s clothes are just fine.

  11. teageegeepea says:

    I was checking James Miller’s soundcloud account recently and noticed that 12 days ago he’d posted another podcast with you. I don’t think you’ve done a post on it yet.

  12. savantissimo says:

    Not particularly related but interesting recent post at Robin Hanson’s blog on Andreas Wagner’s The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations:
    < a href=”http://www.overcomingbias.com/2018/06/how-does-evolution-escape-local-maxima.html”>How Does Evolution Escape Local Maxima?

    “… if one presumes that evolution (using a large population of variants) finds it easy to make “neutral” moves between genotypes with exactly the same phenotype, and hence the same fitness, then large networks connecting genotypes with the same phenotype imply that it only takes a few non-neutral moves between neighbors to get to most other phenotypes. There are no wide deep valleys to cross. Evolution can search large spaces of big possible changes, and doesn’t have a problem finding innovations with big differences.”

  13. candid_observer says:

    “A very [genetically] distant population might have a significant number of entirely different variants influencing the trait. In other words, Bushmen may be so genetically different on some trait that you can’t use a GWAS score to show that they’re different.”

    But isn’t this a lot less likely with a trait like cognitive ability, because there are such a large number of genes that contribute to it, and each is of very small effect?

    How many mutations might there be in such a case that would introduce significant differences between populations? If each must be small in effect, and there’d have to be large numbers of them to create any significant effect, wouldn’t it likely take a great deal of time for such mutations to accumulate?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s