Open thread, 9-12-2012

By Razib Khan | September 12, 2012 10:59 pm

Commenters arise!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Blog
  • Ultan Gannon

    Hello again!

    Thank you very much for answering my question last time.

    I tried to send a reply at the time but it wouldn’t seem to let me.

    My question this time is on the science of politics not the politics of science.

    There have been a number of books, such as Chris Mooneys The Republican Brain, and a host of articles written recently about genetics, brain structure and political philosophy.

    They all suggest that politics is closely linked to personally types and then to the Neurochemicals and brain structure and genetics, with different genes influencing how people experience the world and then turn these experiences into a personality type and rationalise feom that into a political political.

    For instance it’s been found that the DRD4 gene seems to be associated with novelty seeking and thus political liberalism. (I understand some metaanalysis has brought this into question but it’s just an easy example)

    In your opinion is the idea sound?

    Can we make a credible connect between genetics and political, or many other, kinds of philosophy?

    Do you think that it’s possible, as people such as Joan Choi have suggested, that there maybe even be genetic components to the various different philosophies we see continuing across time in different civilisations, like individualism in the west and more collectivism in the east?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    all things are possible my child. the question is: are they probable.

  • Darkseid
  • I_Affe

    Feel free to delete this, but I have a question on religion. When things like the consulate attack yesterday happen, why do many people (mainly I’m referring to other Muslims and liberals) insist that it wasn’t Islam, but the culture that caused people to do such a bad thing? I mean, they condemn the attacks, but if some American Evangelical group did a similar thing, those same liberals would go apeshit and definitely blame Christianity for the attacks.

    I can understand why other Muslims say it (to distance themselves from the attackers, improve the brand image, etc.), but why do liberals do it? Is it because their enemies (i.e. conservatives) don’t like Islam, like some sort of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”? Is it because it’s mostly non-white and non-Americans doing such things? It’s like liberals treat non-white people with kid gloves.

  • http://delicious.com/robertford Darkseid

    It’s obviously because things you believe in have absolutely no influence over your behavior. So, don’t attack the *people* in the KKK – just attack their beliefs. See how that works?:)

  • Mr. Anthony

    I_Affe #4: I see more and more people noticing that ‘white guilt’ can be just as condescending and xenophobic as good old racist imperialism. The idea of a ‘noble savage’ is still right there at the heart of it, isn’t it?

    On the other hand, as far as I can tell, there are good reasons to suggest that even though these extremists say they are religiously motivated, they are kidding everyone including themselves. Here is an article from 1990 by Bernard Lewis on ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage':

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1990/09/the-roots-of-muslim-rage/304643/

  • Ultan Gannon

    @I_Affe I think you’re totally right that it’s a ridiculous double standard, the western left would probably treat the whole thing differently if it’d been Christians killing people over an offensive movie!

    And I reckon that you’re probably right that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has a lot to do with it.

    But I’m gonna stick with my original theme and say that it’s largely caused by a genetic predisposition towards favouring things that are novel to the individuals.

    White American liberals are all too used to Christian extremists so they’re basically bored of there bullshit and won’t put up with it.

    But to their own personal experience Muslim extremism isn’t day to day aspect of life, it’s foreign and novel to them so they are emotionally predisposed towards it and rationalise this experience as an obvious, and to be infuriating, double standard!

    Basically I reckon they do it for the same reasons the same people probably, based on statistical evidence, prefer foreign movies to Hollywood block busters and might like “world music”** more than country.

    Also all the clever clogs from Nietzsche to Popper to Habermas agree that the modern western left is really just a secularised godless version of Christianity.
    And Christianity’s core teaching largely boils down to a preference for the underdog and in the minds of many on the left brown people seem to be seen as underdogs by default, even if they are in a country where they’re the vast vast majority!

    @Razib, any chance of a more elaborate answer on the growing evidence that genes and politics are at least somewhat connected?

    (**I hate that name, what isn’t world music, listening to Neil Armstrong singing on the moon?)

  • Karl Zimmerman

    4, 6 –

    I think you’re both a bit wrong here. In the U.S., while most seculars are liberal, most liberals are not secular. There would not be a full-court press against Christianity if some extremist yahoos killed a few people – outside of the likely suspects in the “new atheist” movement, you wouldn’t hear crap attacking Christianity outright. Certainly there would be those which would demonize particular variants of Christianity, but this is not the same thing.

    In general, I think the opinion on the left regarding criticism of other cultures is in the vein of “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” Criticism of other cultures, in general, is considered rude because of the numerous problems which yet remain in “your own culture.” Obviously there are limits, or else people wouldn’t decry things like female genital mutilation, but overall I think it’s seen that the proper place for cultural criticism is on a domestic, not international, level.

  • Mr. Anthony

    KZ, #8:

    (note: I’m new to these threads and I’m not entirely sure you refer to my earlier comment which for me is #6, but ‘awaiting moderation’.)

    When liberals say the attacks aren’t about religion at all, but about how badly the west has treated the Middle East, more explanation is required than a desire to be polite or follow the teachings of Jesus. My point was that blaming colonialism may be white guilt, and btw, Muslim rage may not actually be about religion OR about how badly they’ve been treated (I recommend the article I linked to above).

  • Boris

    4, 6 Please give support for your claim that the left would go apeshit and condemn Christianity if the perpetrators were Christian. To give one random recent example, Anders Breivik calls himself “100% Christian”–who were the voices on the left that condemned Christianity? Does the left blame all of Christianity after violent acts by anti-abortion activists? For that matter, the makers of the anti-Muslim film and Terry Jones are Christians–is anyone attacking Christianity because of it? If these things did or do happen, please provide examples.

  • I_Affe

    Karl,

    I get what you’re saying in your second paragraph. Anecdotally, when I was a teenager I used to frequent certain bulletin boards. Occasionally there’d be discussions about Japan or some other country, sometimes someone would mention something negative about Japanese (or X) culture, almost immediately someone else would mention negative things about American culture. It was super annoying and a total non sequitur. It wasn’t as if the all of the commenters were going on about how Japan (or X) totally and completely sucks and how the US was the “bestestest place eva! with absolutely no faults” It was like some people found other cultures beyond reproach.

    I just don’t see the harm in criticizing other cultures and I don’t completely understand why some people do.

  • Simone Simonini

    #4, have you read Razib’s posts where he goes through the beliefs of Muslims as reported by the Pew Global Attitudes Survey? There is a lot of cultural variation between Islamic countries and Islam doesn’t necessarily imply this sort of violence.

  • April Brown

    @ 4

    Indonesia is heavily Muslim, and you don’t see our embassy in Jakarta going up in flames. So in this case, the liberals you refer to may just be people who are more aware of the rest of the world than the current batch of highly vocal conservatives, who seem to think it’s unpatriotic to be too knowledgeable about the world.

  • I_Affe

    #12

    I’ve read Razib’s posts on the matter and I’ve even had Muslim friends and acquaintances who were pretty chill and laid-back. So I don’t think every Muslim or every form of Islam is some sort of evil and bad thing. I know there is regional and within group variation. But when people riot over a cartoon depicting Mohammed or when people specifically say that Islam is the reason (or at least part of it) why they’re committing certain acts, then there’s something wrong with Islam (or at least that variant of it).

    edit: I just want to add that I DON’T THINK ALL MUSLIMS ARE EVIL! or that Islam is completely and totally bad. I’m also skeptical that US liberals are more aware of the rest of the world than conservatives. I may have to pull a Razib and dig through the GSS or some pew surveys to find out, however.

    Anyway, I’m talking too much on this thread, so I’m just going to sit back and take in other people’s expertise and opinions.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    And Christianity’s core teaching largely boils down to a preference for the underdog

    this is not really a useful definition. don’t treat religion like it’s a mathematical system. it ain’t.

    in regards to the thrust of this thread

    1) my liberal friends on FB seem more focused on the irresponsible maker of the film, than the savages rioting over their stupid superstitions

    2) the conservatives seem more focused on the root causes of islamic barbarism, rather than the individual who triggered all of this

    who cares about personal responsibility all of a sudden? who cares about structural factors? :-) the shoe is nicely on the other foot it seems to me.

    in regards toward liberal antipathy toward christianity, i think it lacks a modifier. white evangelical protestantism. interestingly, liberal antipathy toward this group (and conversely) is so extreme that it’s funny how non-evangelicals routinely get classified as such by “false positive” mistake. e.g., santorum.* i recall that stephen breyer’s episcopalian minister daughter referred to bill o’reilly as a white evangelical once offhand, probably because she disagreed with his politics, and assumed he would be of that persuasion (he is a conventional catholic, not even a particular conservative one seeing that he’s not against abortion in all cases).

    * the inverse case of course is that conservative protestants will casually label political liberals secular humanists or ‘non-christian’ when they may actually be regular churchgoers.

  • jose

    I think it is darkly comic to have the leaders of the US (Obama, Hillary, most of the media) going on and on about how the US condemns all attacks on religious beliefs. Obama’s quote was “the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others”.

    Huh? The Book of Mormon won a Tony Award for Best Musical just last year. It’s still playing on Broadway and about to open in London. So we can all have some good laughs at the stupid Mormons, but if anybody mocks Islam it’s all of a sudden a hate crime. It’s crazy.

    And I say this as somebody who really liked the Book of Mormon. It was funny. I really dug Jesus Christ, Superstar, too.

    And what about the last 15 years of constant jokes by comedians on TV about Catholic priests all being pedophiles. I’ve probably heard hundreds of jokes on TV mocking Catholic priests as closeted gay pedophiles. Pretty sure those jokes were intended to denigrate.

    I think the Muslims just need to get used to hearing blaspheming jokes. Nobody who makes fun of Catholics or Jews or Mormons or Baptists has to go into hiding. And seeing the State constantly trying to protect one and only one religion – Islam – is disturbing.

  • pconroy

    @16 Jose,

    Agreed – it’s very disturbing! It seems we Americans must preserve the sanctity of the Koran and the prophet above all else. One wonders if the president had not spent many of his formative years as a Muslim, would he be so anxious to apologize…

    Also, it’s disturbing in the same way as commercials on TV now regularly poke fun at White Men, but it’s completely verboten to make fun of any other men – as that would be Racist?!

    These two examples are of media-types being Anti-White, Anti-Christian in general. I believe they truly fear the bible belt males more than they fear Islamic terrorists…

    My point is basically that many in the media see all this as a Zero Sum Game – for their side to prosper, they must denigrate the other and destroy them. Personally I don’t see it like this at all.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    hey guys, come on, it’s different with barbarians. you can’t expect them to behave like mormons.

  • Chris_T_T

    2) the conservatives seem more focused on the root causes of islamic barbarism, rather than the individual who triggered all of this

    There is evidence that the attack in Benghazi was planned before anyone even knew about the film.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    some semi-random points

    – there isn’t a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ position on this. i actually agree with a lot of liberals that we should just keep out of the middle east politics, and we’d be in a better position

    – but, i also agree with conservatives that we need to defend our values, because they’re out values. what are we supposed to do? use the ‘red lines’ (egyptian president’s words) as our markers in our societies? they sure as hell won’t use our ‘red lines’ in their society. the reality is that this film was made months ago, and it only caught on as a trigger recently. there’s shitloads of blasphemy to go around, we can’t go policing it to figure out what might, or mightn’t, trigger barbaric outbursts. probably the outbursts will occur no matter what based on one of innumerable offenses, real and imagined

    – most people aren’t empiricists, and don’t know jack shit about international affairs. their knowledge of social or cultural phenomena goes marginally beyond their general education college courses, when they were probably doing more drinking than studying. so, for example, many people who are self-defined liberals assume they know more about international affairs and history than me because i don’t accept their narrative. it usually takes about 5 minutes to make it clear i know 2 orders of magnitude more about any given country or historical period than they do (i’m averaging). liberals seem to operate under a framework of inter-cultural relativism, with selective reframing of other cultures through their own lenses (e.g., stupid things like the idea that anti-gay ideas must have come from the west). but, within culture (for white liberals, all white westerners) they are quite normatively oriented. e.g., anti-gay white protestants are BAD people, because they don’t have values of tolerance. in contrast, most white conservatives don’t have a bad theory, as much as bad facts. david barton has done a good job, for example, totally retardifying the database of conservative white protestants. additionally, while they reject inter-cultural relativism (they call a barbarian a barbarian), they are relativists intra-culturally (e.g., the slave ownership of the founders is different cuz it was a different period).

  • ackbark

    For, just about forever, every now and then, maybe twice a year, I’ll go into the bathroom in the middle of the night and flick the switch and there’ll be this bug laying in the middle of the floor flat on it’s back waving it’s legs in the air.

    What is up with this bug?

  • ackbark

    16. If you can demonstrate all of those things reflect the stated position of the United States government you’d have a point, but you can’t so it’s more like you’re jumping into an empty pool.

  • jose

    @22 Huh? I quoted Obama’s actual words. What are you talking about? Do you not believe The Book of Mormon really won a Tony Award?

  • ackbark

    23. Do you really believe the Book of Mormon play on Broadway is the stated position of the US government?

  • AllenM

    Well, one of the problems with the entire discussion of religion in general is that science is seen as a simple servant of humanity. The problem is science in general challenges the old religions because of the outright refutation of some of the old texts. Something written when Aristotle was fresh talking about the world, compounded with interpretation by genius (the earth is just under 6,000 years old, and here is the date of the first day…) to paper over those flaws, is not going to be able to adequately respond to where science might go the next day.

    In short, by trying to extend a philosophical question (why are we all here- what is the meaning of life?) into every facet of life (you can’t eat this, or do that on Friday or Sunday), one begins to weaken the original meaning of the question, and the original meaning of the response.

    Here is a really good form of the argument: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-10/14/iain-m-banks-interview

    “Religion just doesn’t do that, it’s a set of hypotheses arrived at by very primitive people two thousand years ago, and it’s not fit for purpose, it doesn’t describe reality, it’s that simple. You can believe whatever you want to believe, but when you start basically saying that reality isn’t reality, when you start saying this nonsense about the world is only six thousand years old, when you have this absolute refusal to meet with reality, we can’t just say, “You’re entitled to your view.” No you’re not! You’re not entitled to put that view across as being just as good as science, because we can prove that science works. In a sense the results of science are embodied in technology, it’s only because of science and reason that this technology works. There’s an entire web, a system, which fits together and which tells us through tree ring dates that there are tree dates that go back way beyond 6,000 years.”

    We can prove that science works, and when it doesn’t, we come up with new theories, which we then try to prove with experiments. That thought is the most difficult part of the entire part of Western Civilization- that science would yield us technology, which then allows us to create much more advanced systems of existence and being. That existence and being, in terms of those who don’t really understand technology, and don’t want to believe in how it is created, is I think one of the fundamental causes of the war between religion and science.

    When religion becomes the state, you get http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno and his trials for heresy, because disbelief in religion is a crime. I would note that under the laws of a significant part of the world today, Bruno would be executed again. I believe the inability of those who are unable to separate the state from the religious authority, are the same people who are unable to deal with the modern western model of that separation. In short, once you conflate the state with religion, you then must suppress all challenges to the religious authority, including challenges to dogma by science- because they challenge the fundamental legitimacy of the state. Once you take that course, science is chained up and essentially forward progress in science will cease, because that progress will inherently threaten the state.

    This theory accounts for why so much progress has shifted around the world in terms of technology over various time periods. You have here in the past discussed the Renaissance of the Islamic World in terms of science and technology, and noted when science was repressed, progress was halted. I would note even in China, without the overall influence of religion being hostile to technology, the repression of the state delayed technology and channeled the best and brightest into nonscientific pursuits.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    Religion just doesn’t do that, it’s a set of hypotheses arrived at by very primitive people two thousand years ago, and it’s not fit for purpose, it doesn’t describe reality, it’s that simple.

    i think this is a bad and misleading definition of religion, fwiw. the irreligious modern atheist tends to reduce religion to primitive analysis. that’s a sliver of it.

  • ackbark

    I’ve always described religion as an art theory, essentially the same thing as surrealism or cubism, or feng shuei, an aesthetic of physical reality.

  • Chris_T_T

    Religion is part of a category of things that get us out of bed in the morning.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan
  • pconroy

    @25 AllenM,

    Thanks for the “Ian M Banks” link and your additional analysis – I STRONGLY agree with this argument.

  • AllenM

    Re #26- I would tend to agree that particular definition of religion lacks elegance or consideration of people’s emotional involvement with religion, and as I pointed out in my comments, religion is a way to answer those fundamental questions of existence in a way that provides significant psychological and social support. ON the other hand, I would posit that combination of religion with the state invariably puts the state into the business of enforcing and policing religious belief and expression- to the detriment of science. That was the intent of my long diatribe.

  • pconroy

    @29 Razib,

    Seems like ADMIXTOOLS is written for Linux only?!

    Does anyone know if I can get a Linux simulator (Virtual Machine kind of thing) for Windows that could run stuff like this??

  • Onur
  • Karl Zimmerman

    Razib –

    What’s first on your agenda for ADMIXTOOLS (after figuring out the program)?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    brown rolloff

  • Tim

    How much does the new mutation rate push back the the human-chimp divergence from the last common ancestor?

  • Boris

    While Razib is right in pointing out that liberals tend to favor inter-cultural relativism while conservatives are inclined towards intra-cultural relativism, this does not exactly fit the situation in Benghazi. Obama did not defend the barbarians. Likewise, conservatives (I am sure even those circling the wagons around Romney now) know the video is despicable and offensive, but the liberal sin here is that they said it in public. Conservatives see that as a betrayal, like airing our dirty laundry to the world. There is a whole mess of fascinating psychological mechanisms at work here.

  • Ultan Gannon

    Karl Zimmerman, I never said that the left would condem Christianity in general if Christians had killed people over an offensive movie, I just said I’d reckon that some would treat the whole thing very differently if it’d been Christians instead of Muslims.

    You used the example of Breivik and I think that that is a good example of what I was trying to say.
    Breivik was treated by most people on the left, or right for that matter, as a murderous lunatic who killed innocent people because of his crazy religious and political views.

    Christianity wasn’t blamed and nobody, outside of maybe some mad supporters of Breivik, seemed to say that his actions where understandable because he felt people had been disrespectful to his faith.

    As other people on the trend have mentioned there appears to be a bit of a double standard going on with some people on the left in the west when it comes to crazy militant religious extremists.

    White Breivik is treated as an evil little bastard who did what he did because he was mad and or bad.
    But when Muslim religious extremist, who represent mainstream Islam about as much as Breivik does mainstream Christianity, do something similar and kill innocent people because they feel their faith is under attack for some people on the left in the west this seems to be acceptable or understandable.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    38 –

    I get what you’re saying. A Turkish friend of mine complained about a similar thing. When a Christian man kills his daughter for having sex, he’s a lunatic. When a Muslim man does so, the press labels it an “honor killing.”

    That said, I have personally not seen anyone on the left claim that these killings are understandable because of the passions that were riled up. All I’ve seen is people saying they aren’t representative of Islam in general.

    If you have links which suggest otherwise, please show them to me.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    I don’t know if the “Sea of Grass” thread was closed because it got too long, or because it was getting testy, but I wanted to post this diagram from Dienekes.

    As can be seen, the SW Asian component (this means the “pure” component, not modern Arabians is African shifted. It’s actually a bit more African shifted that North European is Asian shifted. Dienekes considers this due to the absorption of some Mesolithic East-African population which is similar to East Africans.

    Given a “pure North European” might have something in the range of 15%-20% Siberian-like ancestry, one would assume that a “pure” Southwest Asian would have an even higher component of this population.

  • Grey

    (apols if the sea of grass thread was closed for reasons other than testiness)

    @100 Barti Cox
    “I am seriously trying to learn and understand.”

    Bear in mind that the genetic side of this is still relatively new and that theories from the past not based on genetic data may turn out to be completely wrong.

    “he eventually settled into farming, 6,000BC, in so doing levelled areas of forest”

    Only in the south. The north european forest wasn’t levelled till the middle ages. It’s maybe why steppe invasions into Western Europe were more restricted than elsewhere (and why it may have been a good place to escape if you’d been bounced off the steppe).

    I think that giant forest and the related late arrival of high density agriculture to northern Europe will turn out to be a big factor in a lot of ways.

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    threads close automatically after 1 week.

  • Onur

    == quote from the “Sea of Grass” thread ==

    102. Maju Says:

    September 14th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    #97 Ancient DNA studies are in their infancy, except arguably for some very specific subregions of Europe where they may be in their puberty, not more. Furthermore there’s some people who think in your line who are selectively “approving” or “rejecting” various studies depending on their whim. Very specially they are dedicated to deny, against mounting very serious evidence, the presence of mtDNA H in Paleolithic Europe (specifically in the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco), a key element to understand past and peresent. With falsification of data we cannot reconstruct anything.

    In brief, I think that, even if there were some localized or even more generalized population replacements, those are still ill understood and in any case happened mostly within continental regions such as West Eurasia, East Asia, etc. And those large continental regions are what I mostly use as divisions in my analysis of likely past migrations: in that context is not important if H is Iberian, Anatolian or Danubian by origin, what matters is that it is West Eurasian – and that’s unquestionable.

    The finer the detail you pretend, the more likely to err. But I never pretended such a high resolution, just a very rough, yet clear, general description of the most likely flows.

    “What is wrong with your real name?”

    Just that you are taking liberties that have not been granted, what is rude, violent.

    Also which name is more “real”? Is “Onur” your real name? Not that I care, I’m not enquiring. It is the name I know you by and that should be enough.

    == my reply to the quote ==

    First of all, I currently do not have a clear opinion about the mitochondrial landscape of West Eurasia and North Africa during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic times due to the paucity of data.

    Second, I do not have problems with you – or anyone else – making speculations about the past (you are of course free to do so) as long as you are open to criticism (that is what I am doing: criticizing you).

    Lastly, yes, Onur is my real name. That is not a very common Turkish name, so it is very normal if you have never heard of such a Turkish name in your life except as my name. I call you with your real name because I dislike nicknames and regard real names as more authentic, so no offence meant on my side. Also I like your real name (also your surname).

  • Marlo

    Razib, what are your thoughts on race realism/hbd? More specifically, do you accept the idea that the IQ gap between blacks, whites and asians is mostly due to genetic differences?

    In the “HBDsphere” it is often said that people of sub-Saharan African descent are dumber than other races because they don’t have neanderthal genes. True or not?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    do you accept the idea that the IQ gap between blacks, whites and asians is mostly due to genetic differences?

    mostly? i don’t know really. i wouldn’t say mostly i guess. i don’t have super-confident opinions, but i think the null hypothesis of everything being non-genetic isn’t proved. that’s a pretty radical position in modern american society.

    In the “HBDsphere” it is often said that people of sub-Saharan African descent are dumber than other races because they don’t have neanderthal genes. True or not? but which stupid people actually espouse this? i’d like some links.

    lol. ‘true or not?’ are you 8 years old? most people in the HBDsphere are stupid, like most people in general (that’s an HBD truth :-). i think this is probably a pretty stupid idea.

  • Marlo

    I don’t believe that “everything” is non-genetic either. However, I’ve read that intelligence might be controlled by numerous genes of “small effect”, and that such genes probably control multiple human traits:
    http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/XT0UW7SVHY.pdf
    I suppose that makes substantial differences in intelligence unlikely between racial groups. But I don’t claim to know much about the topic.

    I don’t find biology and genetics particularly interesting, so forgive me if my question sounded so stupid that it prompted you to ask about my age. It’s mostly commenters on HBD blogs who espouse the neanderthal idea, but there might be some bloggers who do. Why do you think the idea is stupid?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    I suppose that makes substantial differences in intelligence unlikely between racial groups.

    no, that’s not the issue. you can have big differences on quantitative traits through selection. that’s how you get agricultural genetics.

    I don’t find biology and genetics particularly interesting

    then why are you reading a genetics weblog?

    Why do you think the idea is stupid?

    everyone outside of africa has neanderthal genes.

  • S.J. Esposito

    Razib (and others), do you use software to catalog, read and annotate papers? If so which one?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    #48, i should. i’ve had accounts on multiple platforms, but i am always behind on papers anyway ;-) i would recommend mendeley though. a friend though is releasing a new platform, it’s in alpha so i can’t publicize it.

  • Marlo

    “no, that’s not the issue. you can have big differences on quantitative traits through selection. that’s how you get agricultural genetics.”

    I thought selection is a process in which organisms with an advantageous trait reproduce more than others. In order to have big differences in intelligence through selection, this trait would have to be more advantageous in Europe and Asia than in Africa. How could
    this trait be more advantageous in Europe and Asia than in Africa?

    “Then why are you reading a genetics weblog?”

    I’ll rephrase that comment by writing I don’t find biology and genetics as interesting as some other things. It’s interesting enough that I read this blog occasionally.

    “everyone outside of africa has neanderthal genes.”

    Most people outside of Africa also have higher IQs than Africans, so there could be a connection. Or perhaps Africans have lower Iqs because they reproduced with Heidelbergensis.

    Anyway, do you think the issue of race and intelligence is shunned by scientists? If so, is it for political reasons?

  • https://plus.google.com/109962494182694679780/posts Razib Khan

    How could this trait be more advantageous in Europe and Asia than in Africa?

    if you read HBD blogs you know there are a shit load of explanations. are you trolling me? i don’t personally accept any of the explanations as highly likely, but then we don’t understand adaptation of many traits, even if there is a suspicion that selection is working on it.

    Most people outside of Africa also have higher IQs than Africans, so there could be a connection. Or perhaps Africans have lower Iqs because they reproduced with Heidelbergensis.

    there could be a lot of connections. you asked me if i thought X was true. no. that’s all.

    Anyway, do you think the issue of race and intelligence is shunned by scientists? If so, is it for political reasons?

    i don’t think most scientists are really that interested in it. but there are political reasons to avoid it too.

    is english your second language? though your IP traces to colorado.

  • Marlo

    Why are you agitated by my questions?

    English is not my second language. Nor am I a troll.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doclonglegs Andrew Selvarasa

    “most people in the HBDsphere are stupid”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this! No need to publicize this comment (as it contributes nothing of substance); as long as you see my gratitude, then it’s aaaaallll gooooooood. :)

  • pconroy

    Hope this comment doesn’t get buried, but the MDLP Project has just released an AWESOME calculator – dare I say it, but it’s the best so far of any project!!!

    MDLP World 22:
    http://magnusducatus.blogspot.com/2012/09/behind-curtains-mdlp-world-22-showcase.html

  • pconroy

    Also check out their post on MDLP, where they use TREEMIX on their 22 inferred components:

    http://magnusducatus.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-reliability-of-ancestral-components.html

    And especially this graph of admixture and analysis – look at the North-European-Mesolithic:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qzOo1OInoBE/UFTSbwprl3I/AAAAAAAADzM/EQQN9ojGN_U/s1600/MDLD22world-migs.png


    Nevertheless, we may, though with all due caution, speculate about the hypothetical gene flow directions:

    a) from East-South-Asian ancestral component -> to Tibetan ancestral component
    b) from the split_point between Austronesian and Melanesian ancestral components -> to East-South-Asian ancestral component
    c) from the split_point between East-Siberian and East-South-Asian -> to the split_point between Indian and ((Austronesian;Melanesian) Tibetian)* ancestral component
    d) and finally, from North-European-Mesolithic component to the split_point between West-Asian and (North-East-European; Atlantic-Mediterranean-Neolithic)* component.

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Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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