I’ve added a new page, which covers many of the key facts about obesity – facts which are conveniently ignored or misunderstood in the many emotionally charged discussion of the matter. See:
I’ve made this a page rather than a post because I anticipate updating it fairly frequently, as more information becomes available. I link to all the relevant papers on the matter there. From the heritability of obesity, to the ineffectiveness of all obesity treatments, to the overblown case for its inherent dangers, I cover it all.
Posting will be light around here. As I am nearing my 200th post, I intend to make infrequent but comprehensive posts in the coming weeks and months. If there’s something you think I need to address, now is the time to speak up…
Please direct all relevant comments on the topic of the page on the page, not here. Thanks.
There are many comments I get that, while not necessarily being disrespectful or mean-spirited, nonetheless add little value, are egregiously wrong and ignorant, and would waste a lot of my time and energy to address. Fortunately, many of them are by first-time commenters and get caught by the moderation filter. I have deliberately left many of those comments there. While I’m not certain whether or not that’s fair or wise, it has been expedient. For now, I will continue to do so, and institute a de facto policy of denying hopelessly stupid comments from getting through. If you have a comment that’s been sitting in moderation for a long time, that’s why.
I would like input on this. What do you think? Is this a fair practice? Suggestions?
With that, I announce that I have returned! Comment moderation has been lifted, and things are back to the previous policy of requiring approval only for brand new commenters.
I’ll be away for the next week. Have fun everyone! I’ve temporarily enabled comment moderation for all comments. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer.
I’ll be completely incommunicado, so I hope everyone out there in the world behaves. Try not to destroy too much while I’m away. :)
Post updated, 10/21/14. See below!
It’s general trope in the HBD community: people are getting dumber. The low IQ are outbreeding the high IQ, leading to a slow decline in genetic intellectual potential in the population. Indeed, my own analyses seem to have shown that there was a fair fertility advantage among the lower IQ over the higher IQ (seen most recently in my post Who’s Having the Babies?):
The key limitation is that most of these analyses left off in 1950s cohorts – the people who had their children in the 70s and 80s. This was my parents’ generation! We don’t know what people born later did. Does the apparent dysgenic pattern continue right up to the present day? I decided it was time to take a look:
These are average number of children had by White Americans aged 42 and older born during the 1960s, from the GSS (drawn from all GSS years, with those two parameters established), by WORDSUM score, a proxy for IQ. 95% confidence intervals shown, which should give an idea of sample sizes. I’ve collapsed the 0-3 score to make the distribution symmetrical on both sides in terms of number of subjects (there appears to be a significant rightward skew in the WORDSUM data).
Now this is interesting; unlike previous cohorts, fertility among the 1960s cohorts doesn’t look dysgenic for IQ. If anything, it looks slightly eugenic.
Let’s see further what’s going on, by looking at the sexes separately:
Here is fertility by WORDSUM for White males and females separately. Previously, we’ve seen that fertility is eugenic for men and dysgenic for women. For the 1960s cohorts, this appears to be case. But the eugenic fertility for men is strong enough to outweigh the dysgenic fertility for women, so the net effect is slightly eugenic (things were probably a bit more eugenic when you consider childhood mortality is more concentrated on the low end).
To confirm that net White fertility was eugenic, I ran the correlation between WORDSUM and average number of children (for all individuals 42 and older at time of survey):
|Cohorts||Total fertility-IQ correlation||Males only||Females only|
This is a fascinating finding. A big point of alarm in the HBD world (even noted by myself previously) is that people are getting slowly dumber with each generation. Aside from the fact that this process is, at best, very slow (see Greg Cochran here and here), as far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t even appear to continuing! At least for one period, it reversed somewhat. This seriously calls into question the practice of projecting fertility trends into the future on the assumptions current patterns will hold.
So why did dysgenic fertility halt for the 1960s cohort? That’s currently not clear. These were people born in the tail end of the Baby Boom, who would have been having children in the ’80s and ’90s. Economic conditions (which, as we’ve previous seen, can strongly affect fertility – see Another Tale of Two Maps and A Tale of Three Maps) – while clearly being not as good as during the Baby Boom – were not particularly bad, nor particularly good. This was during the “Rust Belt” epoch – “deindustrialization”– where many manufacturing jobs across the Midlands and Greater New England left the region for other parts of the country and overseas. The erosion of earning ability for low-ability males may have stymied their child-bearing prospects compared to earlier decades. I will return to this point shortly.
What about the 1970s cohorts? Well, this is a bit harder to call at the moment, because that generation is still having children (I should know). Here is a look at fertility for 1970s White Americans:
These are only individuals age 38 and over. I didn’t bother with error bars, because sample sizes are all really small here. I collapsed score 0-4 and 9-10 to make the distribution symmetrical. Sample sizes were too small for me to look at the sexes separately. But, at first look, it would seem fertility appears to have returned to a dysgenic pattern.
Though before we go too far with that conclusion, let me show you something else:
This is average age of having the first child for the marked cohorts, for White Americans, from all GSS years. To ensure every respondent had a chance to contribute their likely lifetime datum, I included only individuals age 48 and older at the time of the survey. As we see, there is a fairly consistent pattern for smarter individuals to have their first child systematically later than dumber individuals. The pattern reverses a bit at the lowest IQ levels, it appears (note: this doesn’t appear to an artifact of small sample size).
Here are males and females separately:
For the 1970s (and younger) cohorts, the smartest individuals are likely not done having children, due to the high average age of first child, which is in the 30s for these folks. Indeed, see here [Edit, 10/21/14: I’ve inserted a chart that includes all sampled individuals from the 1970s cohorts, to increase the sample size. The samples are still pretty small
(age 38 and older) –forewarned: samples are tiny, sometimes in the single digits]:
For the record, I did look at other races. Sample sizes are much smaller here, so charts would have much less value. For Blacks, fertility is generally much more strongly dysgenic throughout, increasing with time. The correlation between fertility and WORDSUM is remains in -0.19 to -0.25 range. However, the correlations are smaller in magnitude for the oldest cohorts, though it has to be expected that this is partly due to attrition through death at these ages. While samples are small, preliminarily for the 1970s cohort, the correlation is -0.30. The male-female difference was present, but small (see also Dysgenic Fertility Among Blacks? Apparently, Yes).
Samples sizes for Hispanics were too small to do anything useful.
Edit, 10/21/14: [On the advice of Greg Cochran, I also looked at whether the above pattern was just an artifact of unreliable WORDSUM scores by looking at fertility by education. Here at the results:
This is average number of children had by non-Hispanic Whites, age 44 or older, 95% confidence intervals shown. Here again we what looks like a neutral to perhaps very slightly negative relationship between education and fertility for the 1960s cohorts.
Here are males and females separately:
We see the classic pattern: fertility appears to be eugenic for men and dysgenic for women. Indeed, a look at the correlation between education and number of children shows very near neutral total fertility for the 1960s cohorts:
|Cohorts||Total fertility-Education correlation||Males only||Females only|
(Indeed, the correlation for the 1960s people becomes positive, r = 0.02, if I set the cutoff at age 48. This is driven by an increase in the correlation for men, from 0.14 to 0.20. This indicates that older fathers may be driving the relationship.)
Here are the 1970s cohorts (included only those age 40 or over) – sample sizes are very small, so I forwent the confidence intervals (0-1 = high school and below; 2 = some college; 3 = bachelors; 4 = graduate):
This suggests a return to a dysgenic pattern, as seen from the correlations. However, the as seen before, the small samples and the possible age effect makes this hard to call.
Either by the IQ (as gauged by the WORDSUM) or by reported education, the GSS data shows that dysgenic breeding seems to have significantly stalled or even reversed for those born in the 1960. For what it’s worth, Audacious Epigone has noted a decreasing correlation between the WORDSUM score and reported education in the GSS:
the correlation between wordsum scores and educational attainment by decade of birth among all native-born Americans who have participated in the GSS:
Born prior to 1950: .536
Born in the 1950s: .507
Born in the 1960s: .469
Born in the 1970s: .419
Born in the 1980s: .373
One serious issue would be this: the current neutral to slightly eugenic fertility reported in the GSS stems from a serious sex difference: eugenic for men and dysgenic for women. This leads one to suspect that low-IQ men may just be systematically underreporting the number of children they have, perhaps unwittingly so. To check for this, I looked at the total average number of children for men and women separately. I did find a slight difference (1.88 for men vs 1.96 for women), however it’s not statistically significant. ***End Edit***]
Looking at total fertility rates over time and age of first child underscores a pattern I found earlier (as noted in my post Some guys get all the babes – not exactly). Specifically, the Baby Boom was a brief period (at least during the past 100 years or so) where the total fraction of individuals who contributed to the gene pool increased:
In the era before the Baby Boom (the people who gave birth during the Great Depression), ~20% of individuals, male and female, had no children. That fraction fell to less than 10% during the Boom. It has since returned to its pre-Baby Boom size of ~20-25% (higher for males). During the Baby Boom, all sorts of individuals (about 10% more of the population) were having children who previously wouldn’t have. Since we see that in the pre-1900 cohorts, the fraction of the childless was about the same as it was for the people born at the start of the 20th century (~20%), this doesn’t appear to be solely a product of the generation trough during the Great Depression.
This may explain something noticed by blogger “Agnostic“: homeless individuals, who are very often mentally ill (especially schizophrenic) appear to be disproportionately Baby Boomers. If a certain segment of the population who, in earlier epochs, normally didn’t reproduce as much, suddenly increased their fertility due to a time of easy living, then you would expect an uptick of those sort of individuals in the following generation. If that 10% of people who bred more during the Boom were in the top 10% of those with genetic load, say, then the following era would witness a significant increase, at especially at the extreme ends of the distribution – which schizophrenia, for example, may represent.
These generational effects in fertility, with boom and bust cycles, represent the effects of the population cycle as described by Peter Turchin (see here for a good description of the process). Population growth sows the seeds of its undoing, by decreasing the share of resources (be it food, land, or these days, well-paying jobs) available to the up-and-coming generation. In short, the more people, the smaller slice of the pie each individual gets. The fewer people, the larger piece of the resource pie each family can acquire, typically boosting fertility. Immigration exacerbates these trends (see Turchin on it here). The whole process represents one of the most reliable “environmental” effects I have examined.
Coupled with the good times during the Baby Boom, we see that age of first child fell a bit (though it was fairly low before), as you’d expect. Afterwards, it rose significantly, especially for smarter women. The smartest individuals (WORDSUM 10 – roughly IQ 120+) now typically have their first child after their 30th birthday.
These and other factors makes many individuals (you know who you are) want to return us to the Baby Boom-like era, where labor was scare, and anyone who wanted a well-paying (though often gungy) job could have one. Restricting immigration, as Turchin discusses, is most likely to trend things in that direction. But it’s starting to look more and more questionable that the Baby Boom was an unadulterated good. Sure, the living was easy for those during the Boom, but its products haven’t necessarily been the best.
Fertility rose among everybody, even the smartest were breeding well over replacement then. However, the dumbest were breeding much more, more than they otherwise would, apparently. Perhaps excessive good times aren’t really all that great in the long run.
But, the following period appears to have given us an epoch of eugenic breeding, if ever slightly. Regardless, the important thing this demonstrates is that, at least in the U.S. anyway, we can forestall the coming of the supposedly inevitable idiocracy. We had a long way to go to get there anyway, but even that required a sustained dysgenic trend, and it’s unclear if that can be taken as a given. Razib Khan was right; population projections 50 years into the future are fantasy. Demographic trends have a nasty habit of changing quite a bit over time, enough to mess with the predictions of the most enlightened prophet.
Can be quite substantial. Jump off the Empire State Building and see for yourself. But, beyond that, the question remains how much of the variation in health outcomes and longevity can be explained by behavioral variation? Well, we don’t quite know. But we do have evidence which indicates that – at least in the developed world – that fraction is quite small.
On the matter of the attenuation of the association of IQ/simple reaction time with health/longevity, I’ll quote a few passages on that from relevant papers:
From Ian J. Deary & Geoff Der (2005) Reaction Time Explains IQ’s Association With Death:
After AH4 scores and each of the reaction time measures were adjusted for sex, smoking status, social class, and years of education, all effects remained significant, and the hazard ratios were only slightly attenuated (Table 1). Thus, the relation between IQ and mortality in this sample was not substantially mediated by social class, education, or smoking. Nor was the relation between reaction times and mortality substantially mediated by these variables.
we adjusted for a range of physiological, behavioural, psychological and social risk factors that can be considered as mediating variables in the IQ–mortality relation. The influence of controlling for these factors can be broadly divided into three strata. In the first, despite being associated with both IQ and mortality, adjusting individually for marital status, alcohol consumption, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, blood glucose, body mass index and psychiatric and somatic illness at medical examination had very little, if any, impact on the age-adjusted IQ–death relation (<10% attenuation in risk)
From Hagger-Johnson, Deary, Batty, et al (2014) Reaction Time and Mortality from the Major Causes of Death: The NHANES-III Study:
In fully adjusted models which also adjusted for educational attainment, occupational grade, poverty/income ratio, health behaviors and CVD risk factors, the association was attenuated but remained statistically significant for all-cause mortality (HR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.02,1.29; 37% attenuation), and CVD mortality (HR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.15,1.29; 36% attenuation).
The 2014 study found some attenuation when “health behaviors,” among other things, were factored in. Nonetheless, the association remained. A key problem, however, is that “health behaviors” were gauged via self-report. This has been demonstrated to be highly (though by no means completely) inaccurate. The effect of the measurement error in assessing behaviors in the study is unknown; it could bias the attenuation either upwards or downwards. Another similar study by Deary et al (2008) found that the association between simple reaction time and deaths from cardiovascular disease (and stroke in particular) unaffected by adjusting for covariants (they did however find that the association between reaction time and IQ and deaths from coronary artery disease in particular become non-significant when “health behaviors” were factored in). However, these health behaviors were also assessed by self-report. Yet another study by Shipley, Der, & Deary et al (2006) looked at a British sample (N ~7,400) found the association with simple reaction time and all cause mortality. The effect was also mediated by variables. These results call for a meta-analysis.
I also threw out this idea today:
The idea is that some ailments do appear to be heritable (e.g., heart disease), however, may have pathogenic involvement. A (heritable) weaker immune response or otherwise compromised defensive capacity might then at least partly explain observed heritability of these diseases.
So the time has come for your gracious blogging host to request your assistance in helping my family meet our daily necessities.
When my computer broke down, prompting my previous funding drive, you guys and girls literally came to the rescue, and allowed me to fix it right up. A deep debt of gratitude to all that came to help, and to all that have responded to my call in my preceding post. Thank you!
Now again I ask for your help in contributing to the JayMan family and supporting my tireless blogging efforts, as we saw again highlighted in my previous post. I have a few good things in store for you guys that I will unveil over the summer ;). As I said, I appreciate anything you can give.
There are many ways for you to donate. At right (and below image is clickable too), you will find the “Donate” button that will take you to PayPal.
Also at the bottom of the page, I have a Flattr button for those of you who prefer to give that way.
Bitcoin is still out of commission at the moment, but I may be able to get that back up soon.
As well, Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends!
(Flag photos by me.) I hope you all enjoy a great holiday!
In his latest VDARE column, John Derbyshire has written a glowing discussion of yours truly:
Bloggers come and go. They say all they have to say; or they take a more demanding day job; or start a new hobby; or fall in love; or, I suppose (gulp), are gathered unto their fathers. As VDARE.com always says in its fundraisers, in the long run it’s very hard to write unless you’re paid for it.
New ones come up, though; so from time to time I’ll give you an update.
Of bloggers unmentioned in that November 2012 column, the most interesting one is JayMan. I don’t think I knew his blog at the time. At any rate, I feel sure that if I had known it, I would have included it.
Well… more on that shortly.
JayMan writes about human nature, with particular attention to human differences. As such he has particular appeal to Us of the Cold Eye. That is to say, he’s a stone empiricist who scoffs at happy talk and wishful thinking about human nature, and goes to the research studies.
That is my thing. A couple of my tweets on the matter should sum it up:
Biologists estimate heritability by studying different degrees of relatedness: identical twins, siblings, cousins, adoptees, unrelated individuals. Rigorous studies of this kind have been going on for decades. We have a vast mountain of data on human variability. They all agree on the essentials.
Here, for example, is a short piece on the heritability of adult height, which in well-nourished populations is about 80 percent.[ How much of human height is genetic and how much is due to nutrition? , Scientific American, December 11, 2006]
JayMan seems to know all the studies, and does not suffer gladly people who think that waving their arms and crying “epigenetics!” or “Pioneer Fund!” makes a contribution to any discussion of human nature. His question: What does the data say?
Here he is, for example, in the comment thread to one of hbd*chick’s posts (JayMan is an indefatigable commenter). The point at issue is whether one’s happiness as an adult depends to any degree on the style of parenting you were subjected to in childhood.
JayMan cites, with links, two different studies from two different countries showing that it doesn’t.
The transmission of misery or bliss in a family is entirely due to shared genes, just like most everything else.
The fact that parenting style makes no measurable contribution to the finished adult personality is perhaps the most counterintuitive result in the human sciences. There is nothing more certain, yet there is nothing harder to get across to people—even well-educated people—who are unacquainted with the literature.
The case for behavioral genetics is as solid as a rock. Yet certain people like to pretend as if this is a “speculative” affair, or deny that we have such evidence entirely. A key reason for that is as Misdreavus once put it:
Well, there are certain people I can’t fully convince of a lot of things. Smart people have a hard time with heredity, which is why there is big opposition to HBD. But I have a particularly hard time with the non-effect of parenting.
Conservatives are even more clueless about the human sciences than liberals. It is for example a perennial theme in conservative social commentary that fatherlessness is the cause of much social dysfunction and many poor life outcomes. If only poor people could be persuaded to get married and stay married!
Sounds nice, and gets your timid conservative commentator off the “racist” hook, since ceteris paribus fatherlessness is much more common among blacks than nonblacks.
But … “Happy talk!” scoffs JayMan.
Even if there was more marriage among those in the lower class, the next generation, having inherited all the same traits, would be no different. The poor outcomes of children who were raised in fatherless homes stem not from the much maligned single motherhood—in and of itself—but rather from the traits these children inherited from their parents, who were the type of individuals likely to have their children end up being raised by single mothers. [Liberalism, HBD, Population, and Solutions for the Future, June 1, 2012]
So the arrow of causation is not from fatherlessness to poor life outcomes: It is from certain features of the parental genomes inclining to single motherhood and pump’n’dump fatherhood, and thence, by genetic transmission, to similarly feckless offspring.
This latter picture makes much more sense given what we know about the heritability of behavioral and personality characteristics. Which is a lot: JayMan has put together an excellent reference post, spelling it all out, with numerous links.
Resistance to belief that parenting has little lasting effect (beyond the primary goal of ensuring your children’s survival and safety) is so fierce – and so irrational – that I’d say it has a religious nature to it, like political beliefs. That too demands explanation. And don’t worry, I have something on that in the works. ;)
Indeed, knowledge of heritability (and by extension, the general non-effect of parenting) is on firm ground, as firm as evolution itself. To deny it is tantamount to creationism at this point. So for that reason, I say this:
In fact, I’ll go a step further, and say to these people – you know who you are – it’s like this:
The jury is in; and your team did lose. Contra the blank slatists, developmental psychologists, and all those people who claim that human differences result entirely or primarily from our experiences, you’re wrong. “Nature” is powerful and pervasive; nurture is weak; what effect the “environment” does have doesn’t work like you think.
Indeed, I’d say that the true reality of the matter – beyond what people discuss as being potentially acceptable and whatnot with the current (largely nonsensical) discussion revolving around Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance – goes far deeper than this. On this point, I will note that Derbyshire referenced me before, in a radio interview about Wade’s book (see here, Recent, Copious, and Regional), at time point 15:00.
Derbyshire notes there that “if dimensions of the individual human personality are heritable [and they are], then society is just a vector sum of a lot of individual personalities.“
And hence, not to add insult to injury upon the various strands of blank slatists and other “environmentalists”, but the fact of the matter, as established by the evidence, is even more far removed from what that might hope, and cling to. As accounted in my earlier post “Squid Ink”:
the advice is that if we want HBD to gain widespread acceptance, we can’t be too “hard” with our claims, regardless of how true they actually are. How would these people then receive the true realities of the situation then? Like:
- Every single human behavioral trait is impacted by genes, usually considerably so.
- How you raise your kids has virtually no impact on how they turn out. That is, nurture appears to matter little in the end.
- For that matter, contrary to what we’ve been told, it doesn’t look like peers matter too much, either.
- We have been so far unable to find much of anything in the environment that leaves a lasting impact on intelligence or behavioral traits.
- Indeed, this is largely true of health outcomes. “Lifestyle” (say diet and exercise) doesn’t appear to be primarily responsible for differences in illness or lifespan.
- One class of agents in the environment that the evidence does seem to be pointing to that can impact health and behavior are pathogens, and many, if not most, have yet to be discovered. These infections can cause chronic disease, like cancer and perhaps heart disease, and can even alter behavior, most poignantly in the case male homosexuality.
- While we know the grand-scale environment can make a difference, as seen with rapid secular changes, this seems to primarily occur because of alterations in the incentive structure or through hitherto unavailable possibilities (e.g., cars, internet, oral birth control). Changes here quite likely aren’t easy to execute in a way that achieves controlled outcomes.
- Given the high heritabilities of behavioral traits and the lack of clear environmental mediators, differences in “culture” (especially within a given time period) are largely due to genetic differences between people. That is, differences between all human groups (races, ethnicities, social classes, or whatever) are all to some degree due to genetics, and perhaps mostly or almost entirely so. [Emphasis not in original.]
- Your birth family/clan heavily determines your eventual social status. Social status is in fact as heritable as height, and decays very slowly generation after generation in all different social systems across different countries. Social mobility, by in large, doesn’t exist.
- This scales up to larger groups: the average intelligence and distribution of behavioral traits of a nation or a race/ethnicity within a nation are overwhelmingly the primary determinants of its outcome and social structure, and not its resource wealth or historical circumstances (generally).
- Indeed, these imply that all of human history is largely the result of the churning of these behavioral and intellectual differences, enabled by technology (which itself is a function of the people).
Would a speaker that said all these things get a lot of play? Would a book that laid bare the case for these rather than took the more muted tack that Wade’s did be well received? What do you think?
I will say one thing: with all these considered, it’s hard to escape the seeming importance of eugenics, if crafting a better society is what you’re after. Indeed, if that’s your goal, eugenics – in one form or another – does appear to be your only avenue.
I know others might not share the idea that such frankness is best, but, as I said at that post:
Derbyshire continues to my, frankly, unusual background:
As his affection for Bill Maher shows, JayMan is refreshingly eclectic in his opinions—the opposite of a straight-ticket liberal or conservative. He is an atheist, but a nationalist; a social libertarian who favors the “gay germ” theory of homosexuality.
He describes himself in fact as “very liberal … both socially and economically,” and fleshes that out by posting his scores on a standard multi-factor test of political alignment.
A black, or part-black, HBD maven? I don’t see why not. There are forty million self-identifying blacks in the U.S.A., plenty of room for every conceivable personality type.
My son will have his own rather interesting lineage to trace; for he is a part West African, part British (presumably English, and possibly Irish), part Chinese, and part Indian (subcontinent), part Yankee, part Quaker, part German, part Latvian tanned-skin blue-eyed male born in Maine. Oh the fun you’ll have. Do these interesting combinations contribute to our unique insights? Well, more on that in the future too.
Derbyshire also talks about some of my impactful posts:
Some of JayMan’s pieces are masterpieces of blogging, if there can be such a thing. Look at his “Maps of the American Nations” post, for example: two thousand words, twenty maps, two video clips, and full engagement with his comment thread.
Indeed, here, I’d like to call attention to some of my posts that, if you didn’t already read, you best do so forthwith. These include:
My two definitive treatments on what we know from behavioral genetics:
The Son Becomes The Father – Here I discuss the recent findings of Gregory Clark (as told in his book The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility), finding a high heritability of social status across time and across space. I square this with what is known from behavioral genetics from the 20th century, noting that evidence for a high genetic effect on all behaviors and all major life outcomes, like the aforementioned life satisfaction, income, criminality, marital stability, etc. I also note that the transmission must be genetic, as evidence shows no parental effect on any of these things.
More Behavioral Genetic Facts – The sequel to the previous post, I continue to tie up additional dangling points and affirm the high heritability and lack of “shared environment” impact on traits such as IQ, criminality, emotional/mental problems. I talk about the extended twin design and how it can clear up some dangling questions, like who do we choose our mates? Do spouses influence each other? I mention the key findings of behavioral genetics, namely:
…and that if anything deviates from that rule, it can be taken to mean something is up.
The preceding post to “Maps of the American Nations”:
Flags of the American Nations – Here I discuss each of Colin Woodard’s American Nations, talking about the characteristics of each as well as a bit about each nation’s origins. The enduring features that make up Greater Appalachia, The Left Coast, the Deep South, etc. that live on in today’s America (and Canada and Mexico) can be traced to these ethnic differences in each region’s settling and subsequent immigration.
The sequel post to “Maps of the American Nations”,
More Maps of the American Nations – Bigger and badder than the original, with more maps solidifying the distinction between the different American nations, with genetic evidence of these differences to boot. Also some discussion of the history of each, and the founding of certain areas. I also include personality data showing that the American nations don’t just exist on paper or in the voting booth. I use these to talk about the importance of self-sorting, founder effects, and Cochran’s & Harpending’s “boiling off” model to explain some of the differences we see. I also touch on immigration and the canard that immigrants “assimilate,” showing that that is pretty much a myth. A must see if you have not.
Why HBD – Mostly quoting Misdreavus, but together with some additional commentary by me, the definitive introduction to human biodiversity, even for people with zero familiarity with the topic. On my About Me page, I direct new readers to start here.
No, You Don’t Have Free Will, and This is Why – I make a detailed case against the existence of free will, which is a nonsensical concept in any rational analysis. I denounce even the latest and best attempts to restore some watered-down version of it. I note that since all actions have causes, human behavior is no less the result of physical processes than any other event in the universe – physical processes which include genes, environmental impacts, and random chance. Behavior is always the result of these forces, and arguments otherwise are merely obsfuctionary quasi-to-fully religious attempts to confuse the matter. I note the irony in the fact that inability of some to let go of the idea of free will is itself explained by its nonexistence (i.e., we can’t escape the physical reality laid out by the structure of our brains, regardless of exactly how our brains got that way).
Where HBD Chick’s Hypothesis Works - Here I take a critical look at the work of the venerable HBD Chick, looking at how the attributes of the world’s populations fit into her theory. Many fit well (especially across Europe, the Middle East, and the Maghreb), but there are some interesting outliers that might provide some key insight.
Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality – There is more to HBD than IQ. And as we see all human behavioral traits are heritable. There are significant differences between different human groups, and this is my post on how some of the basic personality differences (as measured by the six-factor HEXACO model) might vary across the world, and, perhaps just as importantly, why they came to be so. What selective pressures led to these differences? I discuss here.
Finally, as Derbyshire noted, “As VDARE.com always says in its fundraisers, in the long run it’s very hard to write unless you’re paid for it.” And this is where Mrs. JayMan has urged me to include a message requesting your generous support. I must say, putting this blog together is not easy – sourcing out the research for my posts, for one, is far from a trivial task. It’s rendered additionally more challenging with a little one who insists on demanding much of my time, a demand which I more than happily obliged. I think the quality of my work speaks for itself, and I hope you find it incredibly useful. So if you would like keep it going, please donate. Currently, the two best ways are PayPal, see button at right. All major credit and debit cards are accepted. Also there is Flattr (see button at bottom) for those who prefer.
A satellite image of my ancestral home, Jamaica, courtesy HBD Chick.