Local brain drain

Abdel Abdellaoui and colleagues recent put out a paper on genetics and social stratification in Great Britain. Among other things, they found that polygenic scores of educational attainment were lower in seriously economically depressed areas,  such as coal mining towns – and that this depression has increased with time.  The smarter people are going where the better paying jobs are.

Surely the same thing has been happening  in West Virginia.

This happens all the time, on small scales and large scales.  The effect is stronger at the edges of the distribution – the per-capita number number of National Merit finalists can vary a lot due to such factors.  Some places suffer a brain drain, others a concentration.  Note that this effect happens even among a single ethnic group. So you see a surprisingly large number of National Merit scholars at Los Alamos High School or Oak Ridge High School – or Cocoa Beach, back during the Apollo project. The effect shows up in university towns, in particular neighborhoods of cities where people with higher average smarts cluster, etc.

This is all obvious, and everybody has seen it.  But if you are a real anti-hereditarian, every example has to be explained by some environmental advantage ( none of which we can find).  Los Alamos and Oak Ridge must be secretly bathing the kids in N-rays, while the meals served to the kids in the Chicago Public School system must be enriched with lead.

To a true anti-hereditarian, every day is fresh & new & surprising, because hardly anything happens as they expect.

 

 

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216 Responses to Local brain drain

  1. JohnnyEnglish says:

    Was just reading that a hundred and fifty or so years or so back it was obvious to all and sundry that dysgenic decline was in full force in the UK: “a race of men sound in soul and limb can be bred and reared only in the exercise of plough and spade, in the free air and sunshine, with country enjoyments and amusements, never amidst foul drains and smoke black”. Apparently Melbourne was understood to be the future center of the Imperial gene pool. Mighty coincidental that it should now be considered the most livable city on the planet.

    • oldmiseryguts says:

      Melbourne was a once a wonderful place to live, unfortunately the Australian Gov is fixated on high migration to prop up the housing market and pretend that the economy is growing. Nearly all the migrants go to Melbourne or Sydney, in the last 15 years almost 1.5 million people have moved to Melbourne, the place has turned into an overpopulated traffic jam. On top of that much of the migration has been from low quality places such as rural India and Africa, mainly Somalis and Sudanese (that’s working well).

      Now the poorer working class suburbs are experiencing white flight, in the foreseeable future the city will have very sharp lines between those affluent enough to live in premium suburbs and suburbs full of Africans, Indians and whites who can’t relocate. There are also huge numbers of Chinese, they generally do very well and have already taken over almost entire suburbs like Glen Waverley.

      Melbourne is not well on the way to shithole status.

      • anon says:

        Melbourne is not well on the way to shithole status.

        not = now?

      • You are flat wrong on the split of migration to Aus. I’d struggle to come up with examples of countries with population growth as eugenic as Australia’s currently. Migration to Aus is majority higher education grads and/or rich – very few refugees or rural poor. 2016 census had around 60k East Africans in Australia total – barely anything despite how ‘visible’ they are. The migration from Africa has also slowed considerably recently as the refugee intake has shifted to other countries (Burma etc).

        Of course if you are a white Australian, what’s good for the health of the country might not be good for you personally if you are unable to compete. Competition for jobs and places at university is going to get more intense. The select entry schools that usually top the ranks in Victoria are perhaps 30% white now, if that (MHS and MGHS).

        I’m 30 and the professional class is now very clearly skewed in the east/south asian direction as it is with 2nd gen Aus-born. If those people are serve as good precedent, and I think they do well enough, I’d say Chinese/Indians tend to integrate well into Australian culture. Stats back it up too with immigrants on average having good stats on income/crime etc.

        • oldmiseryguts says:

          I guess that like all the well off people you don’t have to live near the ‘refugees’ and other welfare sucking imports. You’ll do good in government one day, the proles can eat cake, I guess.

        • oldmiseryguts says:

          I was once a police officer in Vic, home invasions and carjackings were not too long ago unheard of, now they are commonplace, usually by those of African or Pacific Islander ‘appearance’. That’s a fact but I guess you are isolated from those problems and as such assume they’re not a real problem.

        • oldmiseryguts says:

          You can’t trust Victorian crime stats, they are inherently flawed as the truth would be unacceptable, even to toffs like you.

          • You said “much of the migration has been from low quality places such as rural India and Africa, mainly Somalis and Sudanese”. That is not true, the vast majority of migrants are pretty well off Chinese/Indians/Europeans who integrate fairly well. All I am saying.

            I wouldn’t be reading this blog if I was oversensitive about the potential negative effects of low skill immigration, but Aus is nowhere near in the same boat as Europe. USA is a different case imo due to being the world’s major beneficiary of brain drain trends, despite having high levels of low-skill immigration as well.

  2. In NH, Hanover High School (Dartmouth) and Oyster River (UNH) give themselves credit for being such great school systems. They insist they must be doing education very well. However, as their kids enter with the highest scores in kindergarten and then graduate them just about the same distance ahead, there isn’t much to suggest it’s the schools themselves. The other wealthy high-tech suburbs throughout the state – Bedford, Hollis Brookline, etc, likewise insist how great their schools are. Having a population saturated with engineers seemingly has nothing to do with it.

    When one measures the gain or loss from K to 12, however, different towns emerge, but even then it ain’t the schools. The biggest gains are always those districts that were rural or small town but over the course of the 13 years have been the new wealthy suburbs, so that lots of bright and upwardly mobile people have moved in. As near as I can tell, when you try to correct for everything, the schools provide about equal value. It’s just that the students are different in each place, and this changes a bit every year.

    Our school district has found a way to game the system, by focusing on the most difficult students at testing time and assigning them to test monitors who they think they have the best rapport with, so that they at least try for a while before throwing down their pencils in disgust. It’s easier to find more points getting the worst students to at least try than it is trying to get your kids with a 95 up to a 98. That is essentially what the Finns do, impressing upon everyone that doing well on PISA is a matter of national honor. Funny how homogeneity helps that. Side note: That is also true about happiness research. Scandinavians consider it a matter of national honor to say they are happy, even though their depression and suicide rates are high. The US press dutifully reports how happy they are, and then chides us that we should do everything like they do.

    • AnonFinn says:

      The Finns have the most proficient students (level 5 or above in PISA) in western countries after Australia and Canada, both of which have the benefit of selective immigration.

      • Gord Marsden says:

        Canada could have select immigration but sadly has lost that advantage over the last 4 year free for all..but true until then. And although constantly reminded by government that cultural diversity is strengthening the country there is no evidence

        • AnonFinn says:

          Canada still attracts (and holds on to) more brains than Finland.
          Our fertility is record low, ~10 % of our college grads are leaving and most of the career politicians want to solve all our problems by importing more high school dropouts with incomes even at their prime (and with positive discrimination) 50 % below the median..

          • Frau Katze says:

            Give Trudeau (Canada) more time. I’m guessing he is both low IQ with an intense desire to have other global elites think well of him. I can’t stand even looking at his picture.

            Where do these college grads go? Why do they leave?

            • Jason says:

              He inherited his father’s morals and his mother’s brains.

            • AnonFinn says:

              Sweden, UK, USA (My sister, MA), Germany, Spain (my uncle, engineer/CEO), Norway …

              White-collar wages are really low, taxes are high (50 % marginal tax rate at 50k, and 59 % at over 86k), anti-elitism, introvertism and the weather..

            • Ivan says:

              Trudeau is a mere reflection of the people who elected him as their leader, twice, though.
              An avatar of the contemporary Canadian spirit, as it were. He is not the problem.

              • Frau Katze says:

                True. His support did drop in the last election and his party now has a minority government.

              • Jason says:

                “Trudeau is a mere reflection of the people who elected him as their leader, twice”

                Nobody voted for him West of the Sault.
                Also he only received 33% of the vote. That’s not a mandate anyway you slice it.

      • oldmiseryguts says:

        Unfortunately Australia doesn’t have much of a selective immigration policy now, it’s starting to become obvious to even those who wish not to see.

    • ghazisiz says:

      “Scandinavians consider it a matter of national honor to say they are happy, even though their depression and suicide rates are high.”

      A testable hypothesis, therefore publishable. So someone would have published it. And I haven’t seen it.

      My years in Denmark: I had one friend who killed himself, but he was French. The winters are dark. Danes know how to deal with it — create a personal space full of comfort, eat well, drink, invite friends over. Outsiders often talk about the Danish word “hygge”, which means something like “cozy”. Family, friends, personal space — these are things that make you happy. Scandinavian happiness is real.

  3. pyrrhus says:

    The post pretty much says it all…any place with a lot of professional parents, particularly the kind who can do math, is going to outperform, often by a lot….I grew up in a formerly rural area like that..

    • Pincher Martin says:

      I grew up in a formerly rural area like that..

      Before the mid-20th century, America had countless young brilliant people who were born in the middle of nowhere before they moved to population centers to do great work.

      Take many of the important men in the history of semiconductors. Robert Noyce was born in Grinnell Iowa in 1927. Jack Kilby was born in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1923. John Bardeen was born in Madison Wisconsin in 1908 when it had a population of around 20,000 people. Walter Brattain was born in China (during the final years of the Qing Dynasty) to schoolteachers, who then emigrated back to rural Washington.

      Noyce noticed this pattern, saying that the U.S. semiconductor industry owed its development to intelligent boys who grew up in the Midwest.

  4. Sutter says:

    It is not that tough to explain from a (partly) hereditarian perspective.

    The educated parents in Los Alamos speak more words to their children in early childhood. Their conversations follow a pattern of logic and rationality, as opposed to the pattern of excitability, anger, or mindless banter of low-IQ people, which gets the minds of the children to practice evaluating ideas logically/critically.

    As the children grow and learn about the world, they learn that all of their parents do cool, smart jobs. They are infused with confidence that they will be able to do the same (no particular reason to believe their genes are worse than their parents). Their parents encourage them to do cool, smart work, and many of the kids comply. These kids exert positive peer pressure on the other kids, and next thing you know, you have a subculture of nerdy kids in Los Alamos.

    There are plenty of reasons to believe that highly educated people would create a local environment that is friendly/conducive to developing intelligence, given that they value it, and need it to continue their way of life, and to achieve the things they value. All humans try to terraform the world to be more amenable to their lifestyle.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Second para: no evidence for that.

      Third para: no evidence for much of a peer effect. And, usually, the question, is not whether their genes are worse than their parents, but whether their genes are worse than their father’s, the guy employed at Los Alamos. On average, they’re notas good – because the average spouse of someone in the Los Alamos theory group is not herself in the Los Alamos theory group. IQ is on average also lower because of regression towards the mean ( the high-achieving dad has both good genes and good random developmental luck, and the luck goes away in the next generation). In fact, I have heard of a local pattern, ‘Los Alamos kids’, where the kid thinks that he ought to be able to achieve as much as his dad, but can’t.

      A (mostly) hereditarian perspective gets it ALL right.

    • dearieme says:

      Twin and adoption studies say you’re pointing to a trivial effect.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Check out studies on identical twins put up for adoption at birth and ending up in different homes. They resemble their biological mother more than their adoptive parents. Steven Pinker wrote about it in “The Blank Slate.”

      • ruth says:

        To Frau Katze and others here: This is a misunderstanding of what correlation in the context of adoption studies means and also of what Pinker wrote.
        The average (group) IQ of the adopted kids is far higher than the average IQ of their biological mothers in childhood and adolescence (the effect fades with age, probably because of gene-envorimnment interactions). E.g,, the mothers collectively typically might have an IQ of 85, their adoopted kids of 100. This raised average is partly caused by regression to the mean, and partly by environment.
        Still, the variance around the average of 100 within the group of adopted kids correlates much more with their biological mothers than with their adoptive mothers (or siblings).
        To say it differently: As a group, kids adopted into middle class families benefit from the middle class environment. Their genes determine how far this boosting effect can lift their IQs (with some possible interaction effects, e.g. really stupid mothers might show detrimental behavior during pregnancy that impacts the fetus).
        I agree with Gregory as regards the relatively negligible role of differences between typical schools in the US environment. But I have no idea why he negates the well-established effect of early childhood family environment on school children’s IQ and school performance. Presumably because it fades in adulthood.
        As regards peer effects (usually measured as a part of shared environment in IQ heritability studies), they may be small to non-existant on average. But they are relevant in extreme school environments, like when the presence of highly disruptive peers interferes with instruction, or when 90 % of the children in some schools in Germany don’t speak German at home. Children from middle class parents are not much affected by these kinds of school environments because their homes compensate for them, but the performance of genetically middle-brow or higher-brow kids from bad familiy environments is depressed by such conditions. In highly negativel selected neighborhoods in the US, genetically gifted children may be very rare (US crime infested ghettos), but that doesn’t mean that peer environment has no effects. They are visible in Germany (where children in heavily non-German-speaking immigrant neighborhoods underperform in school in relation to their measured IQ).

        • Frau Katze says:

          Yes, I’ve heard that temporary efforts to “improve” kids does succeed short term but it fades by adulthood.

          Not all adopted kids are lower IQ than the adoptive parents either. It might be increasingly the case as reliable birth control is now available for those seeking to avoid pregnancy.

          Peers are important. I think what’s happening in Europe is there are subcultures made up of the descendants of temporary workers.

          They’re starting to appear here in North America too. Muslims in particular are very determined not to assimilate. But even with them, there are quite a few exceptions.

          The immigrants to BC, Canada (Chinese, Korean, some from India, mostly Sikhs) seem quite happy here. Perhaps it’s because the Far East Asians are often atheists. Buddhism was always kind of vague. Opposite of Islam. If you look at a group of Sikhs, men wearing turbans are well in the minority.

        • truth says:

          Your IQ, i.e. your brainpower, a.k.a. your maximum cognitive potential, cannot be depressed by environmental factors other than, say, malnutrition and getting hit in the head, as has been exhaustively discussed here, and it definitely cannot be increased either. So intelligence, like lung capacity and muscle type, is all genes. Currently there’s no simpler way to explain the results of twin studies.

          People often get blindsided by all the noise in IQ tests (read: Flynn effect) and think a kid’s brainpower can be increased by its environment, or they’ll often attribute a smart kid’s subpar performance in school to peer effects and other factors, when it’s very often really all about lack of conscientiousness, which is itself not directly related to intelligence. I’m sure everyone everywhere knows a couple of kids from their time in school who seemed to pick stuff up in class pretty quick but never bothered with homework.

          A big, but not easily measurable, difference between people on the right side of the curve vs. people on the left side of the curve is the ease with which the former can coast through life, where the latter would struggle to achieve the same outcome. There are quite a few smart people who are averse to hard work. That won’t stop them from living better than medieval kings, but it’s not a recipe for greatness either.

          • Warren Notes says:

            Agree, but drug exposure could also have an effect on realizing cognitive potential. While not environmental, so can mental health problems.

    • Sutter, it may surprise you that many of us here have heard that theory and considered it, then gone looking for the evidence for it.. It is a plausible idea, and fits with what many people would like to believe, and thus it is believed by many already. Unfortunately, it hasn’t held up, not on repeated trials. Others have mentioned the twin and adoption studies, but you might also consider how many of the wealthy have nannies, how many high-achieving parents work many hours per week and do not see their children much to display conversations of logic and rationality, and many are laconic to begin with.

      The popular press is filled with stories that note the correlation between good stimulating environments and academic success, and treat this as clearly causative. You likely have seen little else in your life unless you have looked for it, as it is the conventional wisdom. Nonetheless, it has eluded confirmation, and the programs based on it that have been introduced into childhood education haven’t produced much effect. It should be true, but it isn’t.

    • Joe says:

      Think about the implications of what you are suggesting. Everything you mention is related to genetic inheritance. The only possible solution to the problem as you present it would be to switch parents at birth. Setting aside for a second the fact that twins studies indicate that this would not work – how would this be done practically?

      Of course smart people benefit from being around smart people, and dumb people are hurt by being around dumb people. What’s the solution? Is our society better when we don’t try to filter for intelligence? Maybe that’s not egalitarian enough. I’d rather have a nuclear program run by all smart people that some smart and some dumb. How about airline pilots and surgeons …. should we mix it up? I’ll let you test it out. I’ll be the unreformed reactionary.

      • dearieme says:

        “How about airline pilots and surgeons …?”: easy, just arrange that the stupid surgeons operate on stupid patients, and so forth.

  5. JamesH says:

    “To a true anti-hereditarian, every day is fresh & new & surprising, because hardly anything happens as they expect.”
    Could that explain their position?

  6. Gord Marsden says:

    much like freakonmics where everything seems to reverse itself from the intention but may be a swing back to the mean . does that mean that the progressives will get their way on the counter swing , asking for a friend

  7. Jon says:

    Only last week i challenged my Diamond-ite father on this (a retired prof, yep, in the humanities)

    i pointed to the departure of all of my more talented and driven peers and the non-departure of the least talented fron our home town, Birmingham,

    One of these has created a multi dozen million dollar company in his thirties after moving Down Under.

    Birmingham was always very working class but its industry /manufacturing has mostly been replaced by take-aways and taxis Birmingham’s not so much multicultural now as it is tri-cultural – Jamaican Pakistani and English. Generally we all muddle along pretty well, albeit with declining quality of life).

  8. Frau Katze says:

    Lion of the Blogosphere is generally on the side of West Hunter.

    However, his lack of any science background is showing. He did not challenge someone who said,

    “ Your DNA has a record of two important dates for pretty much each ancestor you had: date of birth and date when they gave birth.”

    He claims that extensive mutations occur all your life.

    • shadow on the wall says:

      Yes, LotB is one of the better HBDIQ aware blogs out there. Strongly recommended.
      Lion’s only (but big) blind spot is climate change, he never yields on this isuue and keeps pig headedly insisting it is all big Chinese hoax going on since early 1800’s.

      • Jason says:

        But it is both real and a hoax. A real phenomenon that’s being overshadowed by bad data, fear-mongering analysis and misanthropic proposed solutions by radical social engineers.

      • Peripatetic Commenter says:

        I am really afraid of climate change. The sort of climate change that leads to things like the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

        The other sort, not so much.

        • shadow on the wall says:

          Do not worry about it too much. If you are tied to the rails in front of speeding train, whether you are afraid of the train or not is completely irrelevant to the final outcome.

          • Glengarry says:

            Earlier very serious research showed that it’s already too late by a decade or so. You’re going to burn to a crisp soon, very soon, my friend. Runaway global warming. There is nothing you can do about it.

      • Frau Katze says:

        I’ve tried to argue the climate change case. We know CO2 is increasing (it’s been measured since 1960). We know it has a greenhouse effect. So it would be surprising if it there was no warming.

        An old timer like me can remember colder winters back in the 1970’s. It’s too gradual to notice over just a few years. He does not respond one way or the other to my argument. (Or anyone else’s).

        • shadow on the wall says:

          I’ve tried to argue the climate change case.

          It is thankless task, but I have to thank you anyway 😉

          We know CO2 is increasing (it’s been measured since 1960). We know it has a greenhouse effect. So it would be surprising if it there was no warming.

          Imagine Flat Earth movement financed by Big Oil. This is what “climate skepticism” is about. Nothing more, nothing less.

          An old timer like me can remember colder winters back in the 1970’s. It’s too gradual to notice over just a few years.

          Not any more, things are speeding up lately. Would it make any difference, would it change anyone’s mind? No.

        • J says:

          Looking at old photographs of the place I live, notice that people then were more warmly dressed than today. It is mid-winter but women are still lightly dressed in shorts and blouses. May be it is only a fashion change.

  9. Werner Traine says:

    This was the entire first section of the Bell Curve, minus the explicit attribution to genetics. Throw Charles Murray a hat tip, at least.

  10. duji says:

    The opposite can also happen, though not as often.
    People who have nothing to lose might emigrate.

    In our time, moving to a foreign, but more generous country can improve their standard of living more than unsuccessful attempts to achieve a respectable income at home. This is certainly true for Bulgarians, but could even be true for Singaporeans who cannot compete with their peers.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Still, it takes some effort to leave.

      Paradoxically, those ones trying to reach Europe by boat have expended both considerable effort and money to be in that boat.

      Those moving because they’re in the EU don’t have anything like the trouble of the boat people.

      Not sure about people from Singapore.

      What you suggest could certainly be the case for some.

    • DRA says:

      Or male mainland Chinese generally, born during the one-child policy times and the resultant lack of enough women to go around. See also “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa” by Howard W. French.

  11. AnonFinn says:

    When I was in the army (conscription, yay) a few years back in my squad the smartest 4 % were overrepresented by a factor of 11.
    The base just so happened to be right next to maybe the 3 richest cities in my home country.

    Who would have guessed that the sons of urban attorneys, editors, nuclear physicists and elite school graduates make up a big chunk of the quick-witted..

    • FkDahl says:

      I was at a staff-mortar company. The signals platoon guys slept in two rooms, the mortar handlers in two others, fire control NCOs in another. Huge difference in atmosphere in those rooms as the fire control/signals guys require to have IQ higher than 110 (roughly, 9-grade scale with 9 being 125+).

  12. Dividualist says:

    To a true anti-hereditarian, every day is fresh & new & surprising, because hardly anything happens as they expect.

    I’m sorry, what? My immediate thought was that this is precisely what anti-hereditarians expect and will take it as a strong confirmation of their beliefs. They will just ignore the brain drain, smarter people moving out part. And the polygenic scores part. Their media will do that for them.

    If they ignore that part, then there is just a clear causal chain between a place becoming economically depressed causing the educational attainment in that place to go down. This is precisely the “evidence” they always wanted for justifying spending and intervention or to justify the logic of “social injustice”.

    OK what I really want to say here is “liberal”, not “anti-hereditarian”. Because their opponents are “conservatives” who are also not very good at being a hereditarian. The “conservative” logic is meritocratic, cultural, judgemental, and bootstrapping-oriented. If a correlation is shown between poverty and low educational attainment, they “conservative” says low educational attainment causes poverty. Kids are just not trying hard enough these days. Ghetto culture is just so bad, they punish each other for “acting white”. If they would get their shit together and work harder at school they would later be making more money.

    To which the “liberal” says “nonsense, it is the other way around, a place becoming poorer predates and clearly causes the lower economic attainment”. Lower education spending or parents not having enough time to spend with kids etc. etc. And they will just take this as the perfect evidence for their claims – leaving the polygenic and brain-drain elements out.

    So I am not really happy because my view is that hereditarian anything > antihereditarian “conservatism” > antihereditarian “liberalism”. And this will be spun so that antihereditarian “conservatism” loses not antihereditarian “liberalism”.

    But maybe it is a good idea to kill antiherediterian “conservativsm” first and then antihereditarian “liberalism”. That which can be destroyed by the truth…

    • I like your description of the two kinds of anti-hereditarian. When I go to blogs with politics at all, they are mostly conservative, which double down in their insistence on how terrible the education is and how irresponsible the parents are as the entire explanation. They wax rhapsodic about how great teachers and curriculum were in Ye Good Olde Days.

      Related: Remember that in Lake Wobegon, MN, with all its Norwegians, “all the children were above-average.” That would likely actually have been mildly true in Keillor’s childhood – but people moved out.

    • gcochran9 says:

      In many cases, due to state and federal funding, slum kids have higher than average amounts spent on education. Doesn’t make much difference, doesn’t stop liberals from talking about “Savage Inequalities”.

      • Young says:

        ‘Slum kids have higher than average amounts spent on education.”

        True up to the word ‘education’. ‘Education establishment’ would be more to the point. A friend [liberal] who taught at Georgetown told me DC schools need a lot more money because the buildings were in poor condition and books and equipment not always available. Without going there I could guess from public reports that his comment about the condition of DC schools was correct. However, when I compared the amount spent per student in DC to the amount spent per student in prosperous La Jolla, DC was getting more money with much less student success and, apparently, much less put into actual school resources. I would guess that much of the money was going to the educrat establishment rather than to actually helping students. Education in inner city schools looks like a criminal scam. I do agree that even if more of the money went to students and even if they hired capable teachers rather than affirmative action climbers, and even if they restored order and civility to the classroom, they aren’t going to be turning out many Nobel Prize winners. But they would be doing better than they are. Whatever genetic potential may be there, it is not being developed as much as it could be..

    • gcochran9 says:

      You can find schools with mixed student bodies, by race or by class or both. Each kid does as you’d expect from his ancestry, not much influenced by the school attended. Money spent per pupil is of course the same.

      This mystifies people. There is a consortium of schools with poor-scoring black kids and high-scoring white kids ( places Like Evanston, Berkeley (!), etc) that has banded together to search for the cause of this mystery.

    • shadow on the wall says:

      Well said.
      Everyone agrees that bad neighborhoods are bad, and everyone have an idea how to make them better.
      Normie left: End racism, end police brutality, fund education more, and you will see progress.
      Normie right: Abolish welfare, abolish minimum wage, abolish all occupation licensing and health and safety regulations, end all gun control laws and open on every corner gun shop that will sell fully automatic weapons and machine guns, and the hood will be great again.

      • mtkennedy21 says:

        Fallacies. Good schools might make kids with better genes do better than bad schools. The “Normie Right ” has all the lefty cliches.

        • shadow on the wall says:

          I forgot banning abortion and deporting all illegal immigrants, but what other great right wing ideas have I missed?
          Common Republican talking point is that bad neighborhoods and towns are bad because they are ruled by Democrats for 50,60,100 years etc, and if Republicans got the chance they would make Detroit great again.

          • No, only occasional extremist commenters on conservative sites say we should abolish welfare, fewer say end all gun control laws, and none say open gun shops on every corner. Abolishing minimum wage and occupational licensing – that you might get some agreement on, though more with libertarians.

            In your follow-on comment, some conservatives would advocate banning all abortions, yes. As for Democrats running cities, the Republicans at least have correlation going for them on that. They might not do the least bit better, but they’ve got a strong argument that something else might be tried.

            In general, opposing an increase in something is not the same as advocating for its elimination. Those are straw men you are setting up there.

            • shadow on the wall says:

              No, only occasional extremist commenters on conservative sites say we should abolish welfare, fewer say end all gun control laws, and none say open gun shops on every corner.

              All the time.
              What causes poverty? According to the left, it is racism.
              According to the right, racism is solved problem, it does not exist any more.
              Why is there still poverty?
              Because of big gubmint meddling. Taxes, health, safety and environmental regulations, zoning laws, occupation licensing, labor unions, government schools, minimum wage, gun control. Get rid of these things, let people be free, and even the worst places will prosper.
              This is the official answer from the right, as far there is one.

            • Jim says:

              In Central Texas it seems like there is a gun shop on every corner or at least every other corner.

      • Jesse says:

        Spot on about the Normie Right – although they also have a cargo cult about marriage. (That said, it’s difficult to know how much is sincere idiocy and how much is a code for talking about black people).

        The monomania about licencing is deeply weird and, again, it’s hard to see how much is sincere and how much is union busting.

      • Jesse says:

        Normie Right: end all health and safety regulations! Unless it’s at abortion clinics! Why do people think we’re acting in bad faith!

        • Please show me who is advocating for ending all health and safety regulations. You might want to look up the meaning of “cargo cult,” as I don’t think conservatives are advocating that people write on pieces of paper that look like wedding licenses and pass them to each other, or dressing up and having wedding-looking events as a way of saving culture. The marriage advantage may be real genetics as well, as the general sort of responsible people who would hang around may indeed contribute more genes for good behavior, even if they themselves get killed in a war or die young via disease.

          I am also puzzled at how many monomanias a person can have. You like using fun words and phrases to be a clever insulter.

          You are mind-reading the motives of people you don’t like. If you know where I can get a good deal on a Motive-o-meter, let me know. If you don’t let me in on this, I will know you are acting in bad faith.

          • Jesse says:

            Look at the approach of anti abortion politicians: they are self consciously bypassing the public will (because they know they’d lose) and going straight to borderline autistic enforcement of the law, but only on abortion.

            • gcochran9 says:

              Abortion was legalized by judicial fiat.

              • Young says:

                Partly right. It was illegal under state law but those laws were declared unconstitutional in Roe v. Wade. Even then, not all state limitations on abortion were banned. If Roe v. Wade were reversed tomorrow the issue would be back in the hands of state legislatures. Old statutes banning abortion that had not been repealed would be in force again.

                I have wondered about live birth abortions and the push to make those legal. Virginia seems to have gone far in that direction. Perhaps it is possible to argue that at the moment of birth, or viability, the child becomes a US citizen who is entitled to a collection of rights, including the right not to be killed. ‘Abortion’ at that point would be murder. It is odd that the child of an illegal alien who slips across the border and gives birth is instantly a US citizen but a child born in an abortionist’s clinic is not.

            • Jason says:

              “public will”
              Oh wow.
              Tell me again what the poll numbers are for abortion past the first trimester, Mengele.

              • shadow on the wall says:

                How many of the general public who answered the poll can explain, in their own words, what “trimester” means?

              • Jason says:

                “How many of the general public who answered the poll can explain, in their own words, what “trimester” means?”

                Everyone on the planet who has had a baby. This isn’t exactly esoteric stuff.
                Are you childless or something? I can’t believe you’re so unfamiliar with basic pregnancy terminology.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Steven Pinker in the “The Blank Slate” gives example of both right and left getting it wrong.

      One woman told me she read the book and didn’t believe it. She was heavily invested in believing the effects parents could have. They do have an effect, just not the way she thought.

      I wonder how many people secretly know about the whole thing but keep quiet because it’s such an unpopular view. I’m sure there’s some.

      Pinker stays away from the subject these days, writing more optimistic books.

      • duji says:

        I’m impressed by Pinker’s ability to keep his job.
        I do not think that he is dishonest, but some of his actions (like giving a talk about the evolution of Ashkenazi IQs) would have gotten most people in trouble.

        That being said, he attributed the black-white IQ gap to environmental factors and cited Thomas Sowell as his source. He seems to have moved to the left in recent years, and did not even mention dysgenics as a threat to a better future in Enlightenment New.

  13. Realist says:

    Your comments are spot on.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m from (and still live in) a rural county in Georgia. When I was in high school and had more conventional views, I assumed that, despite test scores indicating otherwise (and probably 30 % of the student body being black), the intelligence distribution of my high school must be the same as anywhere. What has really come to stun me was finally realizing how sparse the right tail of the distribution is in rural areas in the South. The disparity is truly stunning. Some schools (and not just majority minority ones) may not even have a STAR student some years. In most years, the typical rural high school would probably not have a single student who could even reach the average SAT score of, say, Georgia Tech. Most rural high schools would probably go years and years, and possibly forever, without having a national merit scholar. High-IQ individuals are concentrated in metro Atlanta (and some of the other metro areas), and this geographic disparity is only widening as the few high-IQ individuals from rural areas continue to move to places like metro Atlanta.

  15. RCB says:

    The beauty of selective migration is how fast it can operate. Los Alamos’s gene pool for intelligence has noticeably changed after just 1-2 generations, no massacre necessary!

    Naturally my mind wanders to the thought experiment of starting a society where only folks with, say, >=115 IQs (+1 std dev above mean) would be permitted as founders or immigrants. (I say this is only applied to the founders to avoid the unpleasantness of having to evict less bright children every generation – not a great incentive to move.) Even after mean regression and reattaining the normal distribution, such a place would be off the charts. Some basic calculations: if the initial population were a random selection of individuals from N(100,15) population, truncated at 115, then the mean would be about 122.9. If we suppose that heritability is only about 75%, then the mean breeding value for IQ is about 117. That’s the value the population regresses to the next generation – and then stays there for all later generations, apart from the effects of selection and migration. The distribution starts as a truncated normal, but slowly due to mating and genetic segregation flattens out to a normal distribution again. If we assume that about a 15 point SD is eventually regained, then we have a society with IQ distribution N(117, 15). Only about 13% of this population has an IQ below 100. Only about 1.6% with IQ below 85. Think of the implications for crime. How little would need to be invested in social safety net infrastructure, in a society where almost everyone can take care of himself and can save for retirement.

    • This has its attractive features, but anyone who has spent a lot of time in such an enriched atmosphere, say. an elite college or a top hospital, will tell you that IQ aint everything, especially when everyone thinks he knows it all.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I think they’d be systematically more likely to be crazy on a number of topics, some vital. They’d be more likely to disbelieve in the logic that created the place in the first place !

        Now, if you also put a lot of effort in to making true arguments that also sounded cool, or you found a way to select for enhanced sanity and resistance to bullshit, you might make the thing work.

    • Frau Katze says:

      Restricting immigration, you say? Well, lower or just average IQ outsiders might just decide they like your land. They might use force to gain entry, and take over (if there are enough of them).

      This alone might well doom your project, depending on how large it is and its location.

      History records an endless stream of people invading promising land.

      In our current society, you don’t even have to invade. The doors are open. You just need to be patient, not have too many walking in at once. Bide your time, ignore the locals and set up enclaves.

    • Hugh Mann says:

      As Sailer puts it, a lot of new high-IQ scoundrels are the last thing a society needs.

    • Peripatetic Commenter says:

      If we ever establish a colony on the moon, there will likely be strong selection for high IQ.

      On the other hand, if they are forced to include diversity candidates, it might be the death of them all.

      • Frau Katze says:

        A colony in Antarctica would be much easier to establish than one on the moon, if one had money or motive to start new colonies. The engineering challenges would be enormous on the moon. The supply line would be very distant. The advantage of such a place is unclear.

        I doubt it will ever be done.

        • shadow on the wall says:

          Follow the $$$.
          Colonies were founded to make money. Gold, slaves, precious silks and spices, sugar, tobacco, cotton. All extremely profitable at the time.
          Is there any way to get rich quick on the Moon or Mars? No.
          Until there is one, science fiction will remain… fiction.

        • Jim says:

          Large parts of Siberia are almost empty. It’s not the Amalfi Coast but I’m sure it beats Antarctica or the Moon.

          • Jim says:

            For that matter a lot of West Texas is pretty empty. The landscape is stark but for an amateur astronomer the night time sky is gorgeous with few clouds and low humidity.

          • Warren Notes says:

            Yes, most of the population of Siberia is clustered along the Trans-Siberian railroad. Tons of empty space. Pretty damn unpleasant empty space.

  16. Patrick L Boyle says:

    People mostly fall into the error of radical environmentalism because they misperceive the basic human situation. The reality is that the most important moment in your life was that moment when your father had sex with your mother. The new code string forged in that moment, defined you and determined most of the major and minor choices you would be confronted with thereafter. That string has never changed (much). When you matured enough to experience consciousness you began to watch the movie of your defining code played out before your eyes. Living a human life is like watching a movie. The script for your movie was forged in your parent’s bed.

    It is all about the illusion of free will. Human existence is our little spark of awareness watching that code script play out. We see ourselves as making choices but where do those choices come from? Why did I leave the East and go to California in my late teens? No ethologist or close observer of animal behavior would find exogamy by emergent breeding animals very surprising. When observed from the outside this kind of behavior seems quite obvious – an evolutionary adaptation that promotes genetic diversity. But it feels like I just got restless and adventuresome. Yup – I just got wanderlust. I felt the Wayward Wind blowing.

    If you think that you make all those kind of choices from pure simple ‘free will”. You have made a serious error in your understanding. You will likely believe many silly things. You will probably vote Democratic.

    • shadow on the wall says:

      If you think that you make all those kind of choices from pure simple ‘free will”. You have made a serious error in your understanding. You will likely believe many silly things. You will probably vote Democratic.

      Exactly the other way around.

      If you are programmed to believe in the delusion of “free will” you will vote Republicans, who will tell you if work hard, if you pull yourself by your bootstraps, you will soon be rich enough to qualify for the latest tax cuts.

      If you are programmed to believe that forces beyond your control like racism, poverty and structural oppression are keeping you back, you will vote Democrats.

      (the way you wote, and whether you bother to vote at all, is determined by your genes as everything else you do, and makes no difference in your personal life anyway)

    • morris39 says:

      “If you think that you make all those kind of choices from pure simple ‘free will”. You have made a serious error in your understanding”
      Talking about free will is an indicator that you don’t care about things that can be measured/tested/observed or are useful in general except if you can extract a small gain by pretending to know (teach).
      All living things have will i.e. to thrive. That is observable from they all do i.e. constrain entropy in the abstract. Only humans seem capable of noticing this but not all do.

  17. Steven E. Sailer says:

    “Cocoa Beach, back during the Apollo project”

    Back in the 1970s, I had a college girlfriend who was a graduate of Cocoa Beach HS in Florida. She mentioned her SAT scores was 1580/1600.

    Me: Wow, that must have been the highest in your class.
    Her: No, it was 4th highest.
    Me: Who came in ahead of you, the descendants of German rocket scientists?
    Her: Yes.

    • Alex says:

      Even your girlfriends were noticers!

    • J says:

      In my University there was a clique of sons of Nazi refugees in Argentina, we called them Hitlerjugend. Arrogant but mediocre students. The Gold Medal Diplomas always went to a group of very quiet Peruvian Indians with Spanish names. They were no Quechuans but descendants of Chinese coolies imported to Peru to shovel the guano. Las apariencias engañan (I assume by now Californians understand Spanish).

  18. Jesse says:

    Maybe if people could lead with solutions, some – not all – might be more amenable. “Some people are always going to be at the bottom, and that’s that” makes ordinary people sick. Starting with how to arrange society so that being at the bottom isn’t a catastrophe would be better. It would certainly sort the good intentioned environmental folks from the ones who don’t care about less intelligent people and would be okay with them being crushed. And the ones who just want cheap labour.

  19. Young says:

    The only reservation I have on this comment relates to this:

    “Los Alamos and Oak Ridge must be secretly bathing the kids in N-rays, while the meals served to the kids in the Chicago Public School system must be enriched with lead.”

    No, no ‘N-rays’ or the like, but it seems likely that those homes are going to have more opportunities for learning at an early age than will be found in poorer or less intelligent homes. Some things are best learned early. A second language is demonstrably one such thing and competency in music is likely another. One could imagine that there are other things. Genetics may not reasonably account for all of the differences between the children of accomplished, and gifted, families and those of less achievement or intelligence. I imagine that peer groups may also play a role. A Newton hanging out with his ‘homies’ on a street corner in Harlem might disappoint his potential.

    • As above: that idea has occurred to many people, but they have been unable to find more than correlations. If you can find something that is nailed-down proof positive for causation in any of those environmental factors, your place will be made in the social sciences for your lifetime, and you will dine out handsomely. They are looking for this.

      I exclude such extreme environmental factors as consuming lead, getting hit over the head, severe childhood malnutrition, or diseases such as malaria. I am referring to those beloved environmental factors such as books in the home, more words heard, playing the cello, or going to Montessori schools. (And I did send my kids to expensive Montessori schools, which I now think was a waste.)

      Google twin and adoption studies.

      • Young says:

        I did not mean to suggest that the local environmental factors are going to raise or lower innate intelligence. I was saying that local factors can make more or less of what genetics has bestowed.

        Take it off of intelligence for a moment. Some people are born with more athletic ability than others. If a person with athletic potential lives as a couch potato and another with less innate athletic ability improves his skills with training then I would expect the trained person to do as well as and probably better than the couch potato. Why should we expect anything different with innate levels of intelligence?

        Beyond that, there seems to be a measure of plasticity in development that can be exploited at early stages. A friend of mine, a former Assistant United States Attorney, was brought to America from Germany when he was about four years old. He spoke German and English flawlessly but he told me [from observing others from Germany] that if he had come to America about two years later in life his English would probably sound like Henry Kissinger’s. Similarly, American children who are fortunate enough to be raised with a nanny or tutor who uses a second language will learn both languages easily. President Trump’s granddaughter is one such and she is said to speak Chinese fluently. This early involvement with a second or third language is an opportunity likely to be found in educated or affluent families more often than average families. It doesn’t raise core intelligence [I suspect] but it does make more of what, for a limited time, is available.

        A similar example probably can be made of competency in music and, possibly, in other fields.

        In that sense, being fortunate enough to grow up in an educated and well-to-do family is likely to benefit one quite apart from the parent’s genetic contribution.

        As for the twin studies you reference, if one twin is raised in a coal miner’s family and the other is raised with the Trump family, learning to speak Chinese and play a musical instrument at an early age, don’t you imagine we will see some significant intellectual advantages that the privileged twin has that the other does not?

        Altogether, even apart from genetics it should not be surprising that the children of gifted and well-to-do parents generally do better in school and career than other children–even without N-rays. Learning to play the cello may not make you smarter, but it might make you a good cello player, and that is something.

        • gcochran9 says:

          I don’t really think you’re right. Maybe if there was no such thing as a public library – but there is.

          • Young says:

            I may not be right, but a public library is not going to help anyone learn fluent Chinese while young or help to learn to play a musical instrument. I grew up in a relatively isolated mining town and used the public library, though it was rather small. I currently own about as many books as our town library had. But there were limits. When at 6 years of age I asked to learn to play a violin I was laughed at, unthinkable, and in any event, there were no violin instructors within fifty miles.. I bought a ragged copy of of Schopenhauer’s essays in a second-hand store and noticed that some of his footnotes were in the original Greek of ancient authors. I wanted to learn more about it, but there wasn’t a Greek text within 50 miles [if that] and nobody I knew knew anything about the language. In any event, my stepfather asked if there were something wrong with me, something pathological, because I read so much. There were skills I was interested in acquiring but could not possibly do owing to my environment. Perhaps I am more acutely aware of the advantages and disadvantages of one’s upbringing than most people whom I meet these days. And, as you say, perhaps I am mistaken.

          • AnonFinn says:

            The grade-skippers in SMPY-cohort do much better financially and academically than matched controls, and the effect is higher among the low SES kids. (Less retarded peers and stimulating busy work, yay)
            I personally believe that there must be even better educational interventions than skipping a grade so probably a lot of untapped potential, atleast among the less priviledged of the top 1 %.

            Even if IQ explains a big chunk of the variation, there is no world-class excellence without insane effort and the heritability of conscientiousness is pretty low. Take e.g. von Neumann. Having a renowned borderline genius tutor crying out of enthusiasm must have a noticeable and rare effect, positive reinforcement. The IQ 80 black kid with dyslexia could hardly have the same benefit if he was adopted by billionaire nobelists, and if I’m not mistaken a little smarter or a few months younger adoptees can benefit significantly from adoptions to upper-middle class.
            It doesn’t take a phd in psychology to understand that unstimulated environments hostile to consistent effort contribute to bad habits and harmfull believes, e.g. “the three identical strangers” had a nice correlation between SES and work ethic, unburdened by the restriction of range of the conventional adoption studies moslty into middle-class or up.

            PS sadly there are not many books about e.g. libertarianism and IQ in Finnish libraries.

          • Anonfinn says:

            Do you have some automatic spam-filter, because my comment seems to have disappeared?

        • Pincher Martin says:

          As for the twin studies you reference, if one twin is raised in a coal miner’s family and the other is raised with the Trump family, learning to speak Chinese and play a musical instrument at an early age, don’t you imagine we will see some significant intellectual advantages that the privileged twin has that the other does not?

          There are five Trump kids who represent the Trump family’s third generation of wealth. Name one who speaks a foreign language with any proficiency or plays a musical instrument with any obvious talent? Name one, for example, who plays the piano as well as Harry S Truman or the saxophone as well as Bill Clinton, both of whom grew up poor.

          I doubt any of Trump’s kids would score in the top five percent on an IQ test. They appear to be moderately bright, but not exceptionally bright. And I know countless people who have kids who speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument without the tiniest sliver of the Trump family’s wealth.

          • Young says:

            This seems more opposed to Trump than to my statement. Non sequitur.

            • Pincher Martin says:

              Non sequitur? I took your specific example and showed that “significant intellectual advantages” in areas like music and foreign languages were not the result of being raised in Trumpian splendor. How could they be? Not a single one of Trump’s kids demonstrate these advantages.

              • Young says:

                Trump’s granddaughter speaks Mandarin because she has a Chinese nanny partly for that purpose. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinese-love-trumps-mandarin-speaking-granddaughter-arabella-kushner She has entertained Chinese on official visits.

              • Pincher Martin says:

                Trump’s granddaughter speaks Mandarin because she has a Chinese nanny partly for that purpose. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinese-love-trumps-mandarin-speaking-granddaughter-arabella-kushner She has entertained Chinese on official visits.

                Yes, she does. But she is an outlier. She’s the fourth generation of Trumps to have wealth, and she has a Jewish daddy from a high-achieving Jewish family. Let’s see if she keeps her language studies up or if she becomes a standard Trumpkin when she reaches her teenage years.

              • Young says:

                You think Trump’s granddaughter speaks Chinese because she is part Jewish? I think it is because she has the advantage of having a Chinese nanny who speaks to her so she can learn the language naturally rather than, as you say, by Chinese studies. If I had had a Chinese nanny I would speak Chinese too. But I didn’t and I don’t which goes to my whole point about non-genetic advatages. You are working this too hard and it is not a good look.

              • Pincher Martin says:

                You think Trump’s granddaughter speaks Chinese because she is part Jewish?

                A cultivated bilingualism is common among a certain smart set in America. Years ago, when I was in school, I introduced a young Chinese woman and fellow classmate to a white Northern California couple who was interested in having their two-year-old daughter exposed to the language at an early age through a native-speaking nanny. They knew I spoke Chinese, assumed I knew some Chinese women who might be interested in the job, and asked me for an introduction, which I gave them.

                The white couple was only modestly well off. They couldn’t afford a full-time nanny and had to come to terms with the young Chinese student for part-time work – something on the order of three hours a day for five days a week. They did this not because they were wealthy, but because seeking this kind of linguistic distinction in America is far more indicative of education than wealth.. (The same thing is true of any serious talent in music.)

                And so, yes, it makes a difference that Ivanka’s husband is Jewish rather than, say, the football player Tom Brady, who I once read that Donald Trump wished had married his daughter. The daughter of Ivanka Trump Brady does not study Chinese. The daughter of Ivanka Trump Kushner studies Chinese. It has nothing to do with Trump’s wealth. Or Kushner’s.

              • Young says:

                You are far too disturbed by Trump and wealth. I pointed to benefits arising from environmental advantages that make intellectual ornaments, not IQ, easier to acquire. Those advantages could include wealth or education or business acumen. I think that if I had used anyone other than Trump you might have gotten the point. Basically, the fact that the blank slate is nonsense does not mean it should be replaced with a full slate.

              • Pincher Martin says:

                You are far too disturbed by Trump and wealth.

                You are fantasizing a political agenda on my part that doesn’t exist. I don’t care about Trump or his wealth. You were the first person here to mention both, and to make a fallacious argument about their potential impact on intelligence. Had you used some other inapt example, based on someone else besides Trump, I still would’ve taken exception to it.

                I pointed to benefits arising from environmental advantages that make intellectual ornaments, not IQ, easier to acquire.

                And yet your example (Trump’s family) shows that the large environmental advantages created by wealth do not produce the intellectual “ornaments” you believe they produce.

                Oddly enough, you aren’t the slightest bit bothered by the fact that your own example does not support your argument, probably because you are still giving it as little thought now as you did when you first gave it.

                If great wealth provided the intellectual advantages you believe they do, then we would frequently see the children and grandchildren of billionaires and centimillionaires become exceptional scientists, linguists, musicians, etc., when in fact we almost never see that.

                If your child grows up to become a great classical pianist, for example, you’re more likely to be a middle class piano teacher than a businessman who earns a hundred million dollars before your child is born.

              • Young says:

                Pincher said:

                “You were the first person here to mention both [Trump and wealth], and to make a fallacious argument about their potential impact on intelligence.”

                And then you quote me: “I pointed to benefits arising from environmental advantages that make intellectual ornaments, not IQ, easier to acquire.”

                The ‘NOT IQ’ expression should have made clear that I was not saying that environmental advantages DO NOT impact native intelligence.

                ?????

                Rather I have been saying that whatever inherent intelligence an individual may have, he will have greater opportunities to exploit it and acquire intellectual skills if raised in a favorable environment. Greg seems to acknowledge that when he says that access to a library can help a gifted child develop. A library is an external advantage, separate from inheritance, which you would understand if you had ever lived in a place where it was unavailable or of limited value.

                If the trappings of civilization offer nothing of benefit, then we might as well scrap libraries and schools and universities [though that is looking more attractive these days] and expect our children to emerge from the womb playing the violin like Hillary Hahn or the piano like Helene Grimaud and, of course, fully literate and fluent in multiple languages. Funny that that does not seem to be happening.

                By the way, how do you know that Trump’s granddaughter was given a Chinese nanny so she could learn the language at the urging of her Jewish father rather than the urging of Ivanka? She is quite a shrewd businesswoman in her own right and languages do seem to be more of a female than male thing.

            • Pincher Martin says:

              Young,

              See my reply to you below at the bottom of the comments’ page.

          • Young says:

            Typo correction:

            THIS: The ‘NOT IQ’ expression should have made clear that I was not saying that environmental advantages DO NOT impact native intelligence.

            SHOULD HAVE BEEN: The ‘NOT IQ’ expression should have made clear that I was saying that environmental advantages DO NOT impact native intelligence.

      • 3g4me says:

        I have two boys – one extraordinarily high IQ and one most definitely below average. They both have the same biological mother and father. They were both raised in the same city by a high IQ, well educated, stay-at-home mother (me!), and were sung the same lullabies. Neither had birth complications and both were breastfed. Economically we are solidly middle class. Obviously they received quite a different mix of IQ-genes from me and their father, but there are other differences unrelated to environment. The smart one has always been more curious about the world, adventurous, and impulsive. His brother has always been more cautious. Despite a house full of books and parents who read a lot (and a mother who read to them constantly), the smart one has always loved reading and the other one has rarely read unless required to.

        What anti-heriditarians might attribute purely to personality or parenting or age differences, I see as heavily genetically-influenced predilections. I’m not a total genetic determinist (I do believe parenting-style, peer group, and environment can help maximize or minimize genetic potential), but I also recognize the futility of trying to change people, or attribute their success or failure solely to their IQ (self-control, delayed gratification, and sheer determination play a heavy role, and all these also have their own genetic basis as well as environmental influences). As I’ve grown older and moved farther to the right on almost everything, I have come to give more credit to environment – but not in the way that leftists or even commenter “shadow on the wall” seem to believe. Had I not benefited from the safe, orderly society and solid educational institutions established by generations of people of White, European, Christian heritage, my genetic high IQ potential would have remained just that – potential. So in the end, everything I know and have experienced and believe reaffirms what Z-man says better than I could: “If it is a fact that some human traits fall along a range of propensity, based on genetics, then environment plays some role in how those traits are expressed.”

        For further detail, he explains:

        “As in moral philosophy, the fact-value divide with regards to human traits is starting to come apart, as science gives us a greater understanding of human genetics. For example, complex human traits like intelligence are not the result of a single gene, but the result of many genes. In the case of intelligence, science has identified 55 alleles that influence general intelligence. How these switches are set influences intelligence, but the combinations are also an important factor . . .

        A useful way of thinking about this is to imagine genes that cause someone to become an alcoholic. Let’s say ten genes positively or negatively influence a person’s propensity to alcoholism. If all ten switches are on, you will be a serious drunk. If all ten switches are off, you will be a teetotaler. Then there are the combinations in between. Alcoholism is therefore a spectrum. The person’s ability to control their drinking will depend upon where they fall on the spectrum and their access to alcohol . . .

        That last part is where the either/or way of thinking falls apart. Someone with a lot of the drunk switches set to on, but living in a society without alcohol or one with severe repression of it, like Saudi Arabia, is less likely to be a drunk than the same person living in Ireland. In fact, that person with the high genetic propensity to alcoholism may never express those traits, because they are never exposed to alcohol. At the extremes, at least, environment can overcome nature with regards to behavior.”

        • Frau Katze says:

          Alcoholism (or addiction to other drugs) is a special case. These substances only became available recently in evolutionary time. My guess is that evolution against alcoholism did take place in some parts of the world. The middle east was introduced to it much earlier than northern Europe. The natives of the Americas were introduced even later still.

          In western Canada the natives are extremely susceptible. But evolution is no longer taking place in our society. Currently, the socially acceptable explanation is that these natives are alcoholic due to bad treatment by invading Europeans. I see no solution to the problem.

          • DRA says:

            I suspect that the pastoral peoples in Arabia and the Sahara may not have evolved as much ability to deal successfully with alcohol as the more agricultural lands around the Mediterranean sea. Perhaps why Mohammad was told to forbid drinking…

            As for evolution no longer taking place in our society, young men who recklessly over indulge in alcohol and drive vehicles do have a tendency to remove themselves from the gene pool at an early age. Perhaps before having any children.

            However, in the recent past young girls who drank to much may have tended to have more children at a younger age, which may have reduced the negative effect on population growth among earlier drinkers.

            • Frau Katze says:

              Could well be the case for Mohammed. He was evidently familiar with alcohol and thought it was bad. His area was quite arid (at least in the present), not as conducive to growing sweet grapes as closer to the Mediterranean.

              True, young alcoholic men in the present might kill themselves in auto accidents. I was thinking of how much more negative it would be back it would be in Mohammed’s day. Especially for women: it would really make it more difficult to successfully raise children.

              • J says:

                In Antiquity, scarce and expensive alcohol would not be wasted on women. You committed a translatio temporum imagining that in Mecca one could buy a bottle of wine for two obols.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @J You underestimate the determination of the alcoholic.

                Drunk mothers would be a strong driver of evolution toward people not prone to addiction to alcohol.

              • dearieme says:

                There are remarks in the Koran – references to going out to till fields, growing olives, and others – that imply that the Holy City could not be Mecca and that instead M came from somewhere where cultivation was normal. That might explain why that book warned against booze.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @Dearieme I’m afraid don’t know much about it.

        • Frau Katze says:

          That two sibs can be very different is also the case for my two (and my sister’s four).

    • Philip Neal says:

      Enriched with lead? At one time, everybody knew that the cause of urban problems was the invisible menace of tetraethyl lead pouring out of cars. It was finally banned, but by that time everybody knew that the cause was some completely different invisible menace.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Lots of lead is known to be bad for you. Questions remain about the effects of very small doses. Mercury is also bad for you: “mad as a hatter”.

        • DRA says:

          May also be differences in susceptibility to negative effects of environmental lead. Perhaps if populations in the classic civilizations were exposed to enough lead they may have developed some ability to cope that pastoral or hunter-gathers did not.

          Has anyone done studies on effects of children of different ethnicities of their exposure to lead?

        • Philip Neal says:

          Of course lead is harmful. I meant that studies correlating exposure to lead in the air with levels of lead measured in blood were of the customary quality. Note the bit about “virtually all of the urban children are black; all of the suburban children are white.”

        • J says:

          EPA considers that there is no lower limit for lead – even infinitesimal concentrations are harmful. It may change with Trump.

          • Young says:

            That’s a power grab by the EPA, not science. They make lead sound like sarin so they can implement more regulations.

  20. dearieme says:

    Today’s Times writes about the failure of the Scottish government as educational reformers:

    ‘… In 105 of 216 secondary schools (48%), the poorest pupils fared worse in 2017-18 — when more than £100m was handed to head teachers to boost attainment — than the previous year.’

    So you spend a small mountain of cash to close the “attainment gap” and it fails about half the time. It sounds to me as if the effect is merely random. However there is one way in which the Scottish experience may differ from the American:

    ‘Teachers, however, are cautious about the merits of spending millions to boost attainment, with just over one in four believing it is making a difference, according to a recent survey of 550 teachers by EIS, the education union.’

    Maybe that particular union is favoured by the intellectual descendants of hard-headed Calvinists.

    • Young says:

      That is an interesting article but the results do not surprise me. I doubt that pouring more money into our own educational system would do much for pupils but unions and administrators and textbook companies would likely benefit. Public schools may have a negative impact on learning. I thought I hated history until I picked up an actual history book in the library.

    • Young says:

      Incidentally, I asked a friend who is a high school teacher to lend me a copy of the American history book used in his school. It was written by two people in ‘studies’ programs [women’s studies, I think] and one other person who probably had an acquaintance with history. The book was a jumbled mess and actually unreadable. I handed it to a friend who is a partner in a local law firm and who enjoys reading history at home. He could scarcely finish the first page before handing it back in disgust. But some publisher is doing very well with that book–the students not so much. More of this isn’t going to do anything for the victims of our educational system no matter how much is spent on it. You may have noticed that so many young people actually sound like idiots these days. That isn’t entirely the fault of the gene pool.

  21. shadow on the wall says:

    Climate Change” is the religion of the left.

    Maybe “the left” “believes” in climate change. I have no idea, I am not “the left”.
    Educated people who understand basic physics know that climate change is real.

    Your Eocene & Triassic links are irrelevant, since humans would not walk the earth for a further 55 million years (at least).

    Exactly my point. Back in the Permian, we were not there, and neither any intelligent trilobites or ammonites, as far as we know.
    When Mommy Nature began burning the massive coal deposits to wipe out 90+% of all life and start anew (because trilobites suck), she did it in her usual lazy sluggish unthinking way.

    https://skepticalscience.com/underground-magma-worst-extinction-with-ghgs.html

    https://skepticalscience.com/pollution-part-1.html

    https://skepticalscience.com/pollution-part-2.html

    Today, we are repeating it, only much faster, and much better. Be proud.

    Our emissions, if they carry on at the present (2014) rate? 3,230 billion tonnes per century. The conclusion is stark: we are outgassing carbon dioxide at the same (or greater) rate as a Large Igneous Province whose overall effects killed most of life on Earth at the end of the Permian.

    https://jpratt27.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/part-two-the-siberian-traps-and-the-end-permian-mass-extinction/

    Anyway, it does not matter at all whether you “believe” in something or not.
    What matters is whether are you ready for the ride.
    The world’s billionaries are prepared.
    Are you?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4332818/Inside-billionaire-bunkers-bought-super-rich.html

    • gda53 says:

      No intelligent person doubts that the climate is changing. What they question is the Chicken Little type adherence by the “We Are Doomed” crowd, to demonize all carbon-based energy and proscribes ridiculous “solutions” for us in the West while simultaneously ignoring the carbon output of China, India, etc. which absolutely dwarf our own.

      It’s the willingness, nay eagerness, to preach to others while denying their own sins of omission and commission which perhaps pisses us off the most.

      Have you ever actually read any of the full IPCC reports? Or do you just read the political document aka “Summary for Policyholders”? Do you realize that those scientists who look to question the narrative are unable to receive funding in today’s climate – so we only get one-sided “studies”? Are you aware of the abysmal state of so-called “peer review” in today’s academia?

      Instead of reading biased sites such as “Skeptical Science”, which is just a mouthpiece for the Chicken Little crowd, you would do well to go read the archives of ClimateAudit, particularly the years between 2005 to 2010. A non-scientist, but brilliant lay person, statistician, and former mining engineer, Steve McIntyre (a Canadian liberal, incidentally, lest you might wish to wave him off as just another right-winger), completely demolishes the so-called Hockey-Stick temperature graph.

      “….. the Hockey Stick diagram of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH), .. was featured in the IPCC Third Assessment Report and many government publications.
      ………MBH98 made 5 main warranties: statistical skill, robustness, careful proxy selection, appropriate methodology and relatively even geographical balance. These warranties were fundamental to its acceptance. (My background is in business and I think in contract terms.) All their warranties have been breached.”

      Yes Virginia, the scientists fudged the data. And continue to do so. And you continue to bore us with nonsense that keeps being repeated endlessly.

      But the discerning public knows a scam when they see one.

      • Frau Katze says:

        Greta Thunberg was a major mistake. She’s awful.

      • shadow on the wall says:

        Have you ever actually read any of the full IPCC reports?

        Yes.
        Have you ever read any reports that show official IPCC models as hopelessly optimistic?

        https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43e8yp/the-uns-devastating-climate-change-report-was-too-optimistic

        https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-06-19/climate-change-why-is-it-so-often-sooner-than-predicted/

        Do you realize that those scientists who look to question the narrative are unable to receive funding in today’s climate – so we only get one-sided “studies”? Are you aware of the abysmal state of so-called “peer review” in today’s academia?

        Really? There is excellent scientific work, somewhere, that could disprove global warming once and for all, and no one wants to pony up some cash? No one, not even one friendly oil or coal company?
        Maybe the science is not as good as you think?

        Steve McIntyre (a Canadian liberal, incidentally, lest you might wish to wave him off as just another right-winger), completely demolishes the so-called Hockey-Stick temperature graph.

        Yeah, hockey stick. You are still going on about this. Well, what else you have?

        http://environmentalforest.blogspot.com/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html

        Anyway, lots of things happened since 2009.

        https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/2018-fourth-warmest-year-ever-noaa-nasa-reports/

        No intelligent person doubts that the climate is changing. What they question is the Chicken Little type adherence by the “We Are Doomed” crowd, to demonize all carbon-based energy and proscribes ridiculous “solutions” for us in the West while simultaneously ignoring the carbon output of China, India, etc. which absolutely dwarf our own.

        As I said before, there will be no solutions. Not in the west, not anywhere else.
        The time to act was 20 years ago. We got something better, war on terror and lots of tax cuts.
        You have won, you got what you wanted.

        Enjoy the ride.

      • shadow on the wall says:

        [reposted with fewer links, will it pass now?]

        Have you ever actually read any of the full IPCC reports?

        Yes.
        Have you ever read any reports that show official IPCC models as hopelessly optimistic?

        https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43e8yp/the-uns-devastating-climate-change-report-was-too-optimistic

        https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-06-19/climate-change-why-is-it-so-often-sooner-than-predicted/

        Do you realize that those scientists who look to question the narrative are unable to receive funding in today’s climate – so we only get one-sided “studies”? Are you aware of the abysmal state of so-called “peer review” in today’s academia?

        Really? There is excellent scientific work, somewhere, that could disprove global warming once and for all, and no one wants to pony up some cash? No one, not even one friendly oil or coal company?
        Maybe the science is not as good as you think?

        Steve McIntyre (a Canadian liberal, incidentally, lest you might wish to wave him off as just another right-winger), completely demolishes the so-called Hockey-Stick temperature graph.

        Yeah, hockey stick. You are still going on about this. Well, what else you have?

        http://environmentalforest.blogspot.com/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html

        Anyway, lots of things happened since 2009.

        https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/2018-fourth-warmest-year-ever-noaa-nasa-reports/

        No intelligent person doubts that the climate is changing. What they question is the Chicken Little type adherence by the “We Are Doomed” crowd, to demonize all carbon-based energy and proscribes ridiculous “solutions” for us in the West while simultaneously ignoring the carbon output of China, India, etc. which absolutely dwarf our own.

        As I said before, there will be no solutions. Not in the west, not anywhere else.
        The time to act was 20 years ago. We got something better, 9/11 and war on terror.
        You have won, you got what you wanted.

        Enjoy the ride.

        • Frau Katze says:

          Even if the West had made a serious effort, it would have been overcome by the use of fossil fuels in China and India.

          Not without reason these countries say: you had your Industrial Revolution. Our turn now. You have acknowledge their p.o.v.

          I got onto a comment thread like this on a video by Brett Weinstein (famously fired from Evergreen College in Washington). His vids attracted a certain type of people.

          I got involved in a sub-thread about nuclear power. It was quite interesting. I wish Weinstein would post more. But maybe he’s writing a book on his experience to keep his wife and kids fed. I imagine he’s unemployable now. His wife lost her job too.

          Yet I think he’s more conventional than our host.

        • Frau Katze says:

          On a brighter note I researched how much fossil fuel is left. Oil, maybe a few decades.

          Coal was harder to gauge. Sources varied, from a few decades to a 100 years.

          So it will have to end in the not too distant future. If that’s all we’ve got, we might get by without catastrophic effects.

          I’m not a “denier” but as far as I can make out, the sea level has not yet risen. The Northwest Passage is still not navigable (but the ice is receding.)

          Most of the temperature change is at at the poles, to judge by the maps that NASA sends out.

        • gda53 says:

          All I wanted was to shut your Global Doom nonsense up. It appears I did NOT get what I wanted.

          How impertinent of you to suggest that what I personally wanted was the end of the human race. And to imply that somehow I was actively complicit in that extinction-to-come. Are you insane?

          Seriously, you need to get a grip.

          Is that you, Al?

      • Warren Notes says:

        Please – “Yes Virginia” went out decades ago. You’re the second one I’ve seen try to revive it in the last two weeks. I won’t stand for it.

  22. dearieme says:

    “Educated people who understand basic physics know that climate change is real.”

    You are muddled: if climate change is real you don’t need to understand basic physics, you need only look at weather measurements (and proxies for weather) from around the world over a useful number of centuries.

    • Frau Katze says:

      There are some people who acknowledge climate change but say it’s not connected to burning fossil fuels. They’re a minority I think.

      • shadow on the wall says:

        Raw, in your face denial “nOTtHinG iS HaPPeNinG, WoRLd IS nOt WArmInG, iT Is aLL cOMmuNisT HoAX” indeed used to be the main skeptic argument.

        Not any more, all except the most brainless gave it up. For obvious reasons.

        “It is happening, but not due to greenhouse effect, not at all. It is unknown natural process. The cause is completely unknown, but we are 100% sure it is 100% natural. It began by random chance, by mere coincidence exactly when we began burning hundreds of gigatons of fossil fuels. Nothing to see there, all is fine.” is the main skeptic talking point today.

        The most advanced skeptics are not skeptics any more, cheerleading for the climate change is the next step up the ladder.

        “What is wrong with warm weather, libtard? I like heat, heat is good! CO2 is great, CO2 is plant food! Burn, baby, burn, the more the better! Soon, we will grow bananas in Greenland and it will be glorious!”

    • Jim says:

      I wonder what level of understanding of “basic physics” educated people in the US actually have? What percentage of college graduates in the US could state Newton’s Laws of Motion? I don’t mean understanding them just parroting them.

    • DRA says:

      John Tyndall discovered the greenhouse effect, which underpins the science of climate change in 1859, before the American Civil War. The absorption of certain frequencies of infrared radiation, then re-emission of same in a generally random direction, is an experiment that can be reproduced in a high school physics lab. Unless there is a miracle in play, this will result in global warming.

      Folks that hold with our legacy creation stories, literally, often take the posture that if something cannot be verified by reproducible experiments it is not science. Indeed, this is the basic definition that most of us learned first in high school. And many in our culture do not have the benefit of “science for engineers and scientists” courses in college to expand their views.

      Evolution, anthropogenic global warming, astronomy, economics and many other fields of scientific study are built on long chains of logic, blessed by occams razor and often by complex computer models as well. The proof we accept is provisional and based on the logic making falsifiable predictions that prove correct.

      This leaves a majority of our population effectively deciding on what authority they except in order to determine what they hold to be true.

      • Frau Katze says:

        Yes, I’ve tried that same line of reasoning on people who are definitely not believers in creation myths and hold professional jobs (not in science, though).

        “We know CO2 is increasing, we know that it has greenhouse effect. The wonder would be if there was no warming at all.”

        No one argues with me, or any commenter who takes this approach. But from their other comments it’s clear they don’t accept it.

        I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking.

        • dearieme says:

          To get your models to predict the heat death of mankind it’s no use incorporating solely the effect of CO2 – it’s dismally small for the alarmists’ purposes. You need to add an amplifier to your model. The one they use is water vapour. But, you may say, nobody knows how an increase in evaporation will affect the atmosphere. The water vapour might continue as vapour or it might condense to give us clouds – and they would act as a sunshade.

          The physics of the atmosphere is too poorly understood to let anyone be confident of what will happen. No matter; the alarmists can just bung in any old parameter values they fancy until they’ve tuned their models to predict the desired result. And so we get to Repent and Atone or Ye Will All Roast in Hell!

          Since the Climate Optimum in the early years of the present Inter-glacial, temperatures have slowly trended downwards, with wobbles about the line, so that you get the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. Are we currently enjoying another little wobble upwards? Maybe.

          We do know how all this will probably end: The Ice will return. This century? That would be bad luck, eh? This millennium? Perhaps so. Might we, while we’re waiting, have a Little Ice Age? Could be.

          “But what should we do, oh wise one?” you may ask. A good starting point would be what not to do. Don’t panic.

          • shadow on the wall says:

            The physics of the atmosphere is too poorly understood to let anyone be confident of what will happen.

            Let say you are right.
            The “experts” are full of shit, talking nonsense for Chinese money.
            All “climate science” is one big hoax.
            Nobody knows anything, nobody can predict anything, nobody understands how atmosphere works, no one has any clue what drives Earth’s climate.
            Therefore, we can add thousands of gigatons of CO2 into atmosphere, because WE KNOW WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN.
            Just like when you find yourself in airplane cockpit, and you know nothing about flying and planes, you will immediately start pushing every button, turning every knob, and pulling every lever, because you can.

            Since the Climate Optimum in the early years of the present Inter-glacial, temperatures have slowly trended downwards, with wobbles about the line, so that you get the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. Are we currently enjoying another little wobble upwards? Maybe.

            No, the current warming is not “little wobble”.
            No such thing happened in current interglacial, or any previous one.

            https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/climate-change-flesh-wound

            What could it be? It is not sun, it is not volcanism, it is not orbital forcing.
            Must be some mysterious “Force W”, unknown and unknowable, that started warming the world exactly at the same time when we began adding gigatons of CO2 into atmosphere.
            By completely random coincidence.

            We do know how all this will probably end: The Ice will return. This century? That would be bad luck, eh? This millennium? Perhaps so. Might we, while we’re waiting, have a Little Ice Age? Could be.

            No, it couldn’t be. We are over 400 ppm and rising fast. Ice ages do not happen at such CO2 %. Ice ages are over.

            • Philip Neal says:

              May an arts graduate chip in? The Mann et. al. reconstruction is the notorious Hockey Stick diagram which, in the opinion of many, was shown by Steve McKintyre and Ross McKitrick to be an artefact of a piece of statistical malpractice (“short centering”) which gives an exaggerated weighting to the – surprisingly scarce – proxy data from the modern period (essentialy some, but not all, 20th century tree rings) which manifest dramatic recent warming. Similar problems about centering arise from the Marcott reconstruction, which is in part dependent on that of Mann.

              Some may say that the only people entitled to an opinion are those with the degree of B.Sc. in the hard sciences. If so, fair enough. But the climate change movement is very eager indeed to win the endorsement of sports stars, film stars, pop stars and reality show stars. This being so, let them not cavil if linguists, historians, economists, classicists and others who have mastered a body of exact knowledge are not so easily persuaded.
              This
              on the Climategate emails in the context of McKintyre’s requests for Mann’s computer code and data is worth reading.

              • shadow on the wall says:

                LOL “hokey stick”. It is 2019 and you are still going on about this.
                The hockey stick is not fake.

                https://skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

                Here is long list of hockey sticks replicated by various methods.

                http://environmentalforest.blogspot.com/2013/10/enough-hockey-sticks-for-team.html

                Let aside the little thing that temperatures are rising, and the hockey stick end gets steeper and steeper,

                Some may say that the only people entitled to an opinion are those with the degree of B.Sc. in the hard sciences. If so, fair enough. But the climate change movement is very eager indeed to win the endorsement of sports stars, film stars, pop stars and reality show stars.

                In ideal world, people should rely on scientists and experts, not celebrities.
                We do not live in ideal world, to put it mildly.
                The general public trusts reality show stars, not scientists, and if you want to persuade the masses, you need to have lots of celebrities on your side.
                One side have Greta, the other have Donald. The same thing – except one side also have the science.

                This being so, let them not cavil if linguists, historians, economists, classicists and others who have mastered a body of exact knowledge are not so easily persuaded.

                Just like world class mathematician Anatoly Fomenko and world chess champion Gary Kasparov know all “ancient history” is hoax invented in the Renaissance and are not so easily persuaded.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Chronology_(Fomenko)

          • shadow on the wall says:

            The link I posted in my post above – why this link?
            To show you that climate change is not political issue, it is scientific issue.
            You do not have to be “libtard” to know that climate change is real.

            See the American Conservative magazine.

            You know who they are. Paleoconservatives, who left mainstream conservatism over Iraq war.
            Solid right wingers, hard line anti communists, anti gay marriage, anti transgenderism, anti abortion.
            Not a “libtard” bone in them.
            Check what they say about climate change.

            https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/global-warming-judgement-by-fire
            https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/heat-and-futility-global-warming
            https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/arctic-heatwave-global-warming

            (TL;DR: is is happening, it is very bad thing, we shall do something, we will do jack shit)

            I do not want to appeal to them as scientific authorities – they are not – I want to use them as example to show you that you do not have to become atheist, communist, homosexual or transgender to accept reality.

            • Frau Katze says:

              I’ve read Rod Dreher, I’ll check the links,

            • Frau Katze says:

              Dreher is a rather non-typical (Eastern Orthodox) Christian. A while back the Patriarch wrote a statement indicating he thought that people weren’t living up to their responsibility to look after the planet.

              https://www.patriarchate.org/the-green-patriarch

              But Dreher’s also forced to accept what scientists say. The more I read the more confused I get. Are there schools of thought on the topic or is there a general consensus?

              • shadow on the wall says:

                Dreher is a rather non-typical (Eastern Orthodox) Christian.

                He is typical Christian in that he sees homosexuality and transgenderism as the greatest threats to mankind. From Christian perspective it makes sense – all that climate change can do is shorten the existence of physical body that will perish soon anyway, but homosexuality and transgenderism damn immortal soul to eternal hell.

                He is not typical Christian in that he accepts the climate science – most Christians reject it as atheist communist hoax without second thought. This should be appreciated.

                But Dreher’s also forced to accept what scientists say. The more I read the more confused I get. Are there schools of thought on the topic or is there a general consensus?

                https://skepticalscience.com
                Here you find answers to all denial arguments from mainstream science perspective.

              • gcochran9 says:

                “He is typical Christian in that he sees homosexuality and transgenderism as the greatest threats to mankind.”

                You are a Martian.

              • Frau Katze says:

                @Shadow on the Wall These transgender people are starting to get my nerves. The new “women” compete against XX’s in sports and win every time.

                There have already been cases were “women” acted badly in a woman’s restroom, using this as an excuse for a nefarious XY to gain entry.

                I’m not opposed to them on religious grounds and not all trans people are like this. But the press gives the bad ones carte blanche.

          • Frau Katze says:

            Calculating the amount of warming is clearly not simply. Apparently a lot of physicists write programs. The forecasters look at them all and take an average.

            That’s the black box for me. But I can’t get people to accept even the first, simple statements. So it’s never come up.

        • DRA says:

          I remember in Illinois in the mid 1970’s my car would have fly-ash on the hood from the nearby urban coal fired power plant. It seemed that the solution was to move power production to outlying areas, and build taller smokestacks to spread out the impact. (the old “the solution to pollution is dilution” trope) Then we noticed the effects of acid rain and began to notice mercury pollution in fish in watersheds to the midwest and northeast.

          It seems about that time we started using scrubbers to remove the sulphur dioxide. And perhaps coincidentally temperatures began increasing more rapidly, and maybe the reduction of the aerosols caused by the sulphur dioxide were a contributing factor, as well as the ever increasing carbon dioxide and resultant increase in water vapor.

          I suspect, but don’t know, that the measured carbon dioxide sensitivity may not have been fully discounted for the reduction in haze due to scrubbing the power plants sulphur dioxide emissions.

          Of course, the additional cost of our efforts to clean up our power generation resulted in a comparative advantage for countries that haven’t employed state of the art technologies. Which is part of why much of our heavy industrial manufacturing has moved abroad. An these factors, along with population increase, and higher standards of living in the developing economies, has now resulted in the asian brown cloud. And more shading of the earth, at least for a while.

          I’ve also read that the cells in the computer models of the climate are kilometers on a side, which means that the mechanics of cloud formation have to be input from other analysis, rather than being generated by the general model.

          All in all, plenty of things to dispute and argue over, but unless all somehow balance out with the anthropogenic forcing from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, there will be manmade warming. Exactly how much and how quickly, and how adverse the impacts on environment are the question. But whatever they are, they will be much easier to prevent than to reverse. And prevention won’t be easy.

          • dearieme says:

            “whatever they are, they will be much easier to prevent than to reverse”: and easier yet to accommodate to.

          • Frau Katze says:

            Good points. I have no idea how the modelling programs work, nor whether or not reduction in haze is considered. Net haze might not have decreased, as I’ve heard it’s a serious problem in China.

            I do remember reading about the problem with acid rain. (Where I live in B.C., Canada we are nearly 100% on hydro power and it didn’t happen here).

            Strangely enough, someone on another forum gave acid rain as a reason to disbelieve global warming. “You never hear about it now, do you?” he wrote, clearly not knowing that the problem had been tackled. Between better smokestack control (and industries moving abroad), the acid rain no longer falls as far as I know.

            He spoke as though scientists suddenly decided to invent “acid rain” and when that went nowhere they’ve started in about global warming.

            The motivation of the scientists is said to be to get funding. That’s kind of weak, as the scientists are not actually pocketing the cash.

            But some scientists have lied on the side of industry in the past.

            • dearieme says:

              “The motivation of the scientists is said to be to get funding. That’s kind of weak, as the scientists are not actually pocketing the cash.”

              You’re wrong. The cash is essential to their careers. It’s what gets them tenure, gets them promotion, lets them recruit postgrads and postdocs, even pays them a salary over the summer. Follow the money.

      • swampr says:

        Most of the temperature increase attributed to carbon dioxide is not from direct forcing you describe, but a feedback from increased water vapor that is not so well constrained. There are other positive and negative feedbacks as well and independent human caused effects from sulfate aerosols and land usage. Add in multidecadal ocean temperature cycles and there are endless points for debate.

  23. Greying Wanderer says:

    random off-topic thought (apols)

    if
    – vitamin D is connected sunlight
    – vitamin D is connected to immune system
    – sunlight is connected to depression (?)
    could depression be a virus?

    • Rob says:

      Anecdotally, I get wrist-slittingly depressed a couple of days before a cold, so during the prodromal phase. It isn’t just an effect of being sick, because flu doesn’t have the same effect, nor does food poisoning.

    • Frau Katze says:

      I personally have always disliked the winter here on the west coast of B.C., Canada. It’s either raining or fixing to rain most of the time. It starts getting dark by 4 pm., just because of the overcast sky. (It’s not that far north).

      I don’t quite follow the reasoning of depression being a virus, though.

  24. Young says:

    Brain drain in the media: Amy Harmon has an article about the need for school biology books to boldly claim that genetics has nothing to do with Asian academic success or black athletic prominence.

    • Frau Katze says:

      I think the “narrative” is to keep lying about it.

      Once something becomes part the narrative it is highly unlikely to ever escape.

      The full force of the MSM, the universities and Hollywood (the “establishment”) are brought to bear on it. It’s not a conspiracy, more of a zeitgeist. One outlet will make an assertion. Others follow. It’s an unspoken agreement.

      It means you can expect outright lies.

      There’s always a percentage of the population that doesn’t go along with it. They are dismissed as racists, alt-right, far right, deplorables, bitter clingers, fascists and so on, at regular intervals.

      But since the Internet it’s much easier for the deplorables to contact each other.

      The establishment hadn’t thought of that. At first platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc were a bit lax. Twitter even a reputation for free speech. Currently this is in a state of flux. The “establishment” is trying to figure out to deal with it.

      The US constitutional protection of free speech is a godsend, nowhere else does it exist. People in the UK have been jailed for unacceptable tweets.

      The vast “diversity” of ethnicities and religions must be accepted by the deplorables. This is a real stretch for Islam but it’s on the program.

      I’ll check out Amy Harmon. Sounds like one member of the establishment speaking out in favour of the narrative. This is done at frequent intervals.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just finished The Broken Seal, Eagle Against the Sun next up. Books 2019?

  26. Pincher Martin says:

    (Continued from above)

    Young,

    Our discussion is getting squeezed on the righthand margin, so I’m restarting it down here at the bottom of the comments’ page to allow for easier reading.

    The ‘NOT IQ’ expression should have made clear that I was not saying that environmental advantages DO NOT impact native intelligence.

    For the most part during our long discussion, I’ve consistently used the two examples you first provided: Musical ability and linguistic ability (specifically, foreign language acquirement).

    I did not mention IQ in the post you were responding to. Nor did I mention it in my post to you before that. Nor in my post before that.

    In fact, you have to go all the way back to my first response to you before you will find a post of mine where I even mention IQ and even there I don’t focus on it.

    I believe IQ and musical ability/foreign language acquirement are linked, but for the purpose of this discussion I don’t need to talk about IQ. It’s clear that wealthy families today DON’T provide the kind of environment that allows for a CLEAR advantage over any other non-impoverished family who has the desire for their children to learn those two skills. It may once have been true in societies where young children had to work if they were poor, but it’s not true today.

    Greg seems to acknowledge that when he says that access to a library can help a gifted child develop.

    He mentioned that example not to agree with your argument, but to show what a low hurdle of environmentalism needs to be cleared in order to stimulate intellectual activity in someone who already has the inherent desire and ability to learn. As Greg has mentioned before in another similar discussion, it only took Ramanujan one book.

    If the trappings of civilization offer nothing of benefit, then we might as well scrap libraries and schools and universities [though that is looking more attractive these days] and expect our children to emerge from the womb playing the violin like Hillary Hahn or the piano like Helene Grimaud and, of course, fully literate and fluent in multiple languages. Funny that that does not seem to be happening. [My emphasis in bold.]

    Now you’re on to something, even if you don’t quite realize it and shy away from it in the end.

    How many of our great musical geniuses needed the equivalent of a Juilliard to become great? Handel? Bach? Mozart? Beethoven? Wagner? Schubert? No, no, no, no, no, and no.

    About the only musical prodigy who fits your criteria – i.e., of extreme family wealth allowing for excellent early training – would be Felix Mendelssohn, and I bet you haven’t even heard of him. Sergei Rachmaninoff might be another, although his Russian aristocratic family was going broke by the time he was still a pre-teen.

    Training is critical, but our academic institutions don’t provide the kind of training that is necessary for flourishing in that skill. You either have it or you don’t.

    As for the other half of your duality of skills – foreign language acquirement – read this article about hyper polyglots and tell me how critical academic training or family background is to picking up a foreign language.. And while hyperpolyglots are freakish in their ability to pick up foreign languages, the ability to pick up a language works similarly in all people. You either have to or you don’t.

    • Young says:

      You keep falling back on supreme examples of a talent. There are a lot of people between geniuses and idiots whose lives are enriched and improved by access to training or mentoring in any number of fields. I wanted to learn to play a violin when I was young and it was out of the question in our circumstances and where I grew up. If I had I was never going to be a Hilary Hahn and perform in concert halls. I mostly just wanted to play for myself but even that modest level, I thought, would enrich my life. Not everyone in society needs to ‘flourish’ in a skill for it to be beneficial.

      Why would you drift into pejoratives and bet that I have never heard of Mendelssohn? In fact, listening to Hilary Hahn play his violin concerto is one of my pleasures. There is a great video of her performing it that I have watched many times. If music required that only musical geniuses are allowed our concert halls would be empty.

      You say: ‘training is critical but our academic institutions don’t, etc.”

      You just conceded my argument.

      I have never said an enriching environment musy be academic.

      I am not even sure training is “critical” as you say.

      Enrichment could be access to a library or access to a musical instrument or access to great performances to see and hear what is possible or access to an enthusiastic mentor. Or being raised in a home where many of those things are readily available. Of many of those things I would put schooling very low on the list.

      But thank you for conceding my position by saying ‘training is critical’ which, in fact, goes further than I said. Training is not genetic; it is environmental.

      • Pincher Martin says:

        You keep falling back on supreme examples of a talent.

        I don’t fall back on them. The supreme talents in music are illustrative of what can be accomplished in the field, of what is possible in it. And if those extreme talents can write and perform such beautiful music despite growing up without any wealth worth mentioning, why is it so difficult for you to understand that other people interested in music frequently accomplish far less with the same limits?

        Besides, your own example of Trump was an extreme case in the other direction. You wanted to show how extreme wealth could produce “intellectual ornaments.” And then you picked, without the slightest trace of irony, a family with perhaps fewer intellectual ornaments than any other prominent family I can think of. The Trump family has its talents in business and media promotion, but I’m fairly sure that even most of the Trumps would recognize, if not admit, that acquiring intellectual ornaments are not among their gifts.

        The funny thing about classical music is that most of the great composers, from Haydn to Mozart to Beethoven, often had to rely on teaching wealthy aristocrats in order to make a living. Yet I can’t think of a single example of where this aristocratic class who was taught by the great composers produced a single composer of note. That class had the money, the time, the interest and the inclination to write and perform music, but they did not have the talent and drive to do so at the highest levels.

        Wealthy people were – and are – incredibly important in providing necessary financial support to major artists and thinkers, but as a class they rarely provide the artists and thinkers themselves.

        I wanted to learn to play a violin when I was young and it was out of the question in our circumstances and where I grew up.

        You probably didn’t want it as much as you think you wanted it.

        Not everyone in society needs to ‘flourish’ in a skill for it to be beneficial.

        Beneficial for whom and to what purpose? Personal enrichment is such a vague goal that almost anything falls within it or outside of it, depending on where you want to set the definition.

        You say: ‘training is critical but our academic institutions don’t, etc.”

        You just conceded my argument.

        Only if you believe wealth is necessary for training. I do not. In many cases, you don’t even need a teacher to get the necessary training. You can train yourself.

        • Young says:

          “You can train youself”.

          Yes you can. But if, say, you want to play the violin and you can’t get either the instrument or time then all you will train on is ‘air’ violin. It doesn’t sound as good as the real thing. But if you grow up in Trump’s home you can get any instrument you want. Environmental advantage.

          • Pincher Martin says:

            Yes you can. But if, say, you want to play the violin and you can’t get either the instrument or time then all you will train on is ‘air’ violin. It doesn’t sound as good as the real thing.

            You can currently buy a cheap violin on Amazon for less than a hundred bucks. All but the most impoverished kids can easily afford that, and most impoverished kids could steal that amount in an afternoon.

            And who cares if it sounds as good? You’re a beginner. How good can a beginner possibly sound? You need it to learn good habits, not create great music.

            I guarantee that if you had worked hard on a cheap violin someone would’ve eventually noticed and provided with a much better instrument, gratis. And probably;y with free music lessons, too.

            But if you grow up in Trump’s home you can get any instrument you want. Environmental advantage.

            What is that Spike Lee/Michael Jordan Nike ad? “Is it the shoes?! It’s gotta be da shoes!” “No, Mars.”

            It ain’t the violin. It’s the player.

            • Young says:

              Pipe dreams. When I asked to play a violin the mine was on strike and everything, incuding medical care and dentistry, had to be deferred in favor of food and lodging, neither of which would meet your standards. They didn’t meet what I wanted to be mine but we didn’t have a choice. Things we take for granted today were beyond reach and something like a violin was on another planet. I am a little disgusted with your thought that we could have stolen enough to get a musical instrument. We didn’t steal to get things we truly needed, much less for something like a musical instrument.

              • Pincher Martin says:

                I am a little disgusted with your thought that we could have stolen enough to get a musical instrument.

                It wasn’t a recommendation, just an observation that if you really wanted it, you would’ve gone out and gotten it. Somehow, someway.

    • dearieme says:

      “Felix Mendelssohn, and I bet you haven’t even heard of him.”

      Aw, come off it. Offer the chap an apology.

      • Young says:

        Thanks for the thought but I don’t expect I will get an apology from him. His responses began to take a juvenile turn shortly after he asked me to provide one example of a Trump family member benefiting from educational opportunities and I pointed to Trump’s Chinese-speaking granddaughter. She was immediately condemned as an ‘outlier’. No, actually she was the example he asked for. He chose to go the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy route.

        In any event, the question still interests me [environment, not Trump] and I recalled that the early Puritan colonists had a very high literacy rate. In large part that was due to the need to read scripture in that community and that led not to increased IQ but to increased ability to make use of their native intelligence. That seems a plausible example of one’s environment providing intellectual benefits that would otherwise be lacking.

        It is easy to dismiss them as a bunch of ignorant Bible thumpers, but that is to fall prey to the prejudices of this age. A large number probably did not get much from their literacy, but a number of them did. Cotton Mather who, as much as anyone, was responsible for the Salem witch judicial murders was a remarkable person. He knew Latin and Greek and at least part of some of the Indian languages and may have been acquainted with Hebrew. He conducted what would today be called scientific investigations that were good enough for him to be enrolled as a member of the Royal Society of London and was a member about the time Newton was president. He also pushed for inoculation against smallpox against a storm of resistance. He was no fool, but I doubt if he would have been so accomplished in other frontier societies. It is good to have fortunate genes, but it is also good to have a fortunate environment.

  27. Young says:

    It is odd that you thought I assume wealth is my sine qua non for acquiring the nonheritable accoutrements of civilization. I guess you are trying to set up a straw man argument to batter. I used a coal miner’s home on one hand and Trump’s home on the other because I thought the huge gap in what is available would be starkly obvious and because I knew his grandaughter learned to speak Chinese. Perhaps the point would have been more within your grasp if I had chosen a coal miner’s home on one hand and a dentist’s home on the other–but probably not. It seems to elude you completely even when you stress that training is crucial. I think you must live in California. Every time I say ‘Trump’ there eyes spin in their sockets, steam squirts from ears and logic is banished.

    If you say that training is crucial to development then you implicitly admit that environment in some form or other can exploit genetic ability. I suspect that a good violinist who has trained and listened to great music is going to sound better than a musical genius who has never bothered with music much less trained in it. That follows from my argument. You essentially agreed with it: ‘training is crucial’. Except for straw men to play with you are finished.

    • Pincher Martin says:

      Young,

      I didn’t see this post until just now.

      It is odd that you thought I assume wealth is my sine qua non for acquiring the nonheritable accoutrements of civilization.

      Well, you did use the Trump family as an example.

      You’re also at a website where you should know that everything is heritable. Like I told you earlier, the great composers were far more likely to have a musician or music teacher as a father than they were to have a wealthy man as a father who was merely interested in music and even played an instrument. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Or another example of environmentalism?

      I used a coal miner’s home on one hand and Trump’s home on the other because I thought the huge gap in what is available would be starkly obvious and because I knew his grandaughter learned to speak Chinese.

      I suspect Trump’s granddaughter is a long way from speaking Chinese. She’s been taught to regurgitate some cute poems and songs, and she probably knows many sayings in Mandarin. This is an impressive feat of memory and training for such a young girl, and if she’s keeps it up she can use it to build her knowledge of, and feel for, the language. But it’s not yet indicative of either literary or fluency. You can be trained to do this kind of thing without either literacy or fluency in a language.

      Besides, Trump has five children and ten grandchildren. Just a random roll of the dice would suggest that one of them would eventually demonstrate some modest skill in music or language. So even if Arabella is fluent in Mandarin, what about all the other Trump kids and grandkids who don’t demonstrate such skill? Even an average couple in brains and talents will eventually have one kid or grandkid, if they have enough of them, who’s exceptional in some way.

      And a coal miner’s home would not be the problem. The coal miner’s genes might be.

      I think you must live in California. Every time I say ‘Trump’ there eyes spin in their sockets, steam squirts from ears and logic is banished.

      You got the California part right. But I’m a self-identified conservative who would sooner commit seppuku than vote for a Democrat, and my main problem with Trump is that I think he’s unlikely to follow through on his campaign promises, almost all of which I support.

      But the Trump family is not a family which collects “intellectual ornaments,” which is why I found it laughable that you would use them as an example of how wealth is such an advantage in doing so.

      If you say that training is crucial to development then you implicitly admit that environment in some form or other can exploit genetic ability. I suspect that a good violinist who has trained and listened to great music is going to sound better than a musical genius who has never bothered with music much less trained in it. That follows from my argument. You essentially agreed with it: ‘training is crucial’. Except for straw men to play with you are finished.

      What you’re saying is no more profound than saying that to be good at something you must first do it. That’s both true and uninformative. It tells us nothing about the relative importance of environmentalism and genes in why someone is good at something or has the ability to pick it up.

  28. shadow on the wall says:

    You are a Martian.

    According to Vatican, transgenderism is direct rebellion against Creator God, destruction of his creation, annihilation of image of God. Very serious matter.

    https://popefrancisdaily.com/pope-says-choosing-gender-is-the-exact-opposite-of-gods-creation/
    Pope Says Choosing Gender is the exact opposite Of God’s Creation

    https://www.quora.com/What-does-the-Catholic-Church-say-about-transgender-people

    Francis told the Polish bishops: “Today, children are taught this at school: that everyone can choose their own sex. And why do they teach this? Because the books come from those people and institutions who give money,” he said.

    “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”

    The Pope connected gender theory with the exploitation of human beings and of the natural world. He suggested that both came from a lack of appreciation of humankind’s God-given dignity. “It is a global problem: the exploitation of creation and the exploitation of people. We are living at a time when humankind as the image of God is being annihilated,” the Pope said.

    And the transgender activists proudly agree. 😉

    • gcochran9 says:

      I’m sure they worry about other things more. And that you’re a Martian.

      • shadow on the wall says:

        I’m sure they worry about other things more.

        Then they shall moderate this apocalyptic language. It might work to rally the faithful, but it encourages the other side even more.
        In older times, you had to actually celebrate satanic mass in the sewers of Paris to be the ultimate rebel.

        Now, you can just put on opposite sex clothing and you can feel like Satan Triumphant victoriously trampling God’s Earth.

        And that you’re a Martian.

        Aww shucks, I have been found.
        So be it.
        The masquerade is over.
        SURRENDER OR DIE, EARTHLING SCUM!

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