Posts Tagged ‘Genetics’

Quote note (#345)

Quality abyss-gazing:

Is this what Bannon sees? A global scale generational crisis that is going to come to a head in the form of a massive struggle among civilizations? One so large and so bloody that it will leave an enduring mark on the human genome for all time? […] It might be. And here is the hard part — he could well be right.

XS, for one, welcomes our new darkness arms race.

March 23, 2017admin 75 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#119)

Yes, it was an odd conversation …

March 8, 2017admin 41 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Aesthetics

Moron bites (#18)

From ThinkProgress (surprisingly!):

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are [sic] a hallmark of white nationalism.


So, just to begin with, the entire discipline of genetics is now classified as ‘white nationalist’ by these lunatics. A cynical liar, a pitiful ignoramus, or an abominable racist — choose one. No wonder these creatures are losing so badly.

November 30, 2016admin 438 Comments »

Sentences (#71)

Intrasexual competition as an engine of moral calculation:

In four studies, we show that men are more likely than women to make the anti-utilitarian (hypothetical) choice of causing three same sex deaths to save one opposite sex life; and that this choice is more likely when there are fewer potential sexual partners, more likely for heterosexual men and less likely if the female character to be saved no longer has reproductive value.


September 6, 2016admin 12 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#83)

September 1, 2016admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Quote note (#273)

Left behind:

Western democracies are, by design, sensitive to popular opinion. Elected politicians will be less likely to fund controversial projects, and more likely to restrict them. By contrast, countries like China that lack direct democratic systems are thereby less sensitive to opinion, and officials can play an outsize role in shaping public opinion to align with government priorities. This would include residual opposition to human enhancement, even if it were present. International norms are arguably emerging against genetic enhancement, but in other arenas China has proven willing to reject international norms in order to promote its own interests. […] Indeed, if we set ethical and safety objections aside, genetic enhancement has the potential to bring about significant national advantages. Even marginal increases in intelligence via gene editing could have significant effects on a nation’s economic growth. Certain genes could give some athletes an edge in intense international competitions. Other genes may have an effect on violent tendencies, suggesting genetic engineering could reduce crime rates. […] Many of these potential benefits of enhancement are speculative, but as research advances they may move into the realm of reality. If further studies bear out the reliability of gene editing in improving such traits, China is well-poised to become a leader in the area of human enhancement.


August 15, 2016admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Quote note (#228)

Steve Hsu on the genetics of intelligence:

… the largest effect size [from a single allele] researchers have been able to detect thus far is less than a single point of IQ. Larger effect sizes would have been much easier to detect, but have not been seen. […] This means that there must be at least thousands of IQ alleles to account for the actual variation seen in the general population. A more sophisticated analysis (with large error bars) yields an estimate of perhaps 10,000 in total.*

Each genetic variant slightly increases or decreases cognitive ability. Because it is determined by many small additive effects, cognitive ability is normally distributed, following the familiar bell-shaped curve, with more people in the middle than in the tails. A person with more than the average number of positive (IQ-increasing) variants will be above average in ability. The number of positive alleles above the population average required to raise the trait value by a standard deviation — that is, 15 points — is proportional to the square root of the number of variants, or about 100. In a nutshell, 100 or so additional positive variants could raise IQ by 15 points. […] Given that there are many thousands of potential positive variants, the implication is clear: If a human being could be engineered to have the positive version of each causal variant, they might exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average. This corresponds to more than 1,000 IQ points. […] It is not at all clear that IQ scores have any meaning in this range. However, we can be confident that, whatever it means, ability of this kind would far exceed the maximum ability among the approximately 100 billion total individuals who have ever lived. …

* Hsu, S.D.H. On the genetic architecture of intelligence and other quantitative traits. Preprint arXiv:1408.3421 (2014).

March 9, 2016admin 41 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Chaos Patch (#97)

(Open thread + links)

ACIDS. Hyperborean NRx. Limits of fascism, and nationalism. In defense of deontology. Journalism today. The weekly round.

Sell everything. The China bubble (related Marxist take). How low can oil go? Epocalypse (also). Western Spring (related). A fable for our times. The fury. Cthulhu dreaming. Thoughts on the deep state. Democracy in question. Charlie don’t surf.

The Sunni/Shia line up. Jihad in Istanbul, Jakarta, and Ouagadougou.

Who needs cash? How to make money better. Bitcoin and security. Event horizon.

More to come. The liberal agony (1, 2), and the other thing (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Tightrope walking. Taharrush. Feminism in crisis (plus, and related). The Swedish angle (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Lie back and think of multiculturalism. Comedy hour.

An epic (loose) trilogy from Feser on Islam and Western religion (1, 2, 3). Other Catholic responses (1, 2).

Trumpenführer panic report (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Bonus Cruz popcorn. Nuclear popcorn.

SJW target of the week. Milo was warned (plus anecdotal fluff). Twitter and free speech. The Enlightenment in ruins. Adolf is back.

Why IQ matters. Hamiltonian bees. A colorful character. A CRISPR walk-through. Genes and brains ((cautious) Steve Hsu video interview). Tesla crime-think. The welfare trait. Liberated infidelity. The liberal war on science (remember). Smoking and schizophrenia.

Galactic dark ages. Space (and 2016 stuff). Colonizing the galaxy will be hard. Difficult numbers.

How England was undone.

Time to short Penn.

Tech acceleration made simple. Split futures. The year to come in quantum computing.

Wikipedia, an appreciation. Lessons of The Illiad. On Stephenson’s Anathem, and Gibson’s ‘Agrippa’. Closing of the childhood frontier.

“A common bias among the smart is to overestimate how smart everyone else is.”

January 17, 2016admin 37 Comments »
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Twin Discoveries

Twin studies are the foundation of realism in all subjects pertaining to human beings (although their implications are wider). They reveal two crucial pieces of information:
(1) Heredity overwhelms environment in the (rigorous, statistical) explanation of human psychology, and
(2) Humans are massively predisposed to under-emphasize hereditary factors in the folk explanation of human psychology (including their own).

Both points emerge lucidly from Brian Boutwell’s article on twin research in Quillette:

Based on the results of classical twin studies, it just doesn’t appear that parenting — whether mom and dad are permissive or not, read to their kid or not, or whatever else — impacts development as much as we might like to think. Regarding the cross-validation that I mentioned, studies examining identical twins separated at birth and reared apart have repeatedly revealed (in shocking ways) the same thing: these individuals are remarkably similar when in fact they should be utterly different (they have completely different environments, but the same genes). Alternatively, non-biologically related adopted children (who have no genetic commonalities) raised together are utterly dissimilar to each other — despite in many cases having decades of exposure to the same parents and home environments.

Without wanting to play down the importance of the parenting angle, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a rare zone where it remains politically acceptable to bring hereditarian findings to the table. Upsetting parents is still OK, and even vaguely commendable, so it provides a doorway through which to introduce matters of far broader significance. The truly critical point, from the perspective of this blog, is that we should expect a systematic cognitive bias against the influence of heredity and thus — intellectual integrity demands — we should lean against it.

There’s an important lesson here:

Children who are spanked (not abused, but spanked) often experience a host of other problems in life, including psychological maladjustment and behavioral problems. In a study led by my colleague J.C. Barnes, we probed this issue in more detail and found some evidence suggesting that spanking increased the occurrence of overt bad behavior in children. We could have stopped there. Yet, we went one step further and attempted to inspect the genetic influences that were rampant across the measures included in our study. What we found was that much of the association between the two variables (spanking and behavior) was attributable to genetic effects that they had in common. The correlation between spanking and behavior appeared to reflect the presence of shared genetic influences cutting across both traits.

Parents are twin sources of influence. They “pass along two things to their kids: genes and an environment” — which facilitates the misattribution of genetic to environmental factors. If you find yourself regularly spanking your kids, it’s very likely that you’ve genetically-endowed them with the same spank-worthy characteristics you have yourself (because you were spanked as a kid, too, right?). The environmentalist delusion practically leaps out of this situation, pre-packaged for credulous belief.

See original (of both quotes) for references.

(Don’t just read the whole of Boutwell’s article, read the whole of Quillette.)

December 2, 2015admin 33 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#32)

November 2, 2015admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility
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