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May 23, 2014 / JayMan

Stop Saying North and South Koreans Are Necessarily Completely Identical Populations

To the same scale…

UK-Korea to Scale-A

Let’s look at the genetic differences on that scale…

UK-Korea-Genes to ScaleAnd for that matter, to the same scale as the previous map… (from M.G., see also Oh for a new risorgimento)Golden, map of corruption by region, ItalyAnd the differences in little old Britain gave us this:

upinarms-map

(See my preceding post, More Maps of the American Nations.)

I’m just sayin’…

See also (via Peter Frost):

Japan Cline

Now, let’s be clear here: I am not saying that I know that North and South Koreans have significant differences in their genotypic characteristics. But, I am saying that you don’t know that, either!

I am also not saying that the differences in the situation between the two Koreas have nothing to do with the respective regimes each country happens to be under, or their historical circumstances. But, I am saying that we can’t use the two Koreas as some sort of pure example of a completely environmentally mediated difference in outcome, because we do not know that, and we have no way to know without at least getting some psychometric and/or genomic data from North Koreans.

Many in the space assume that if the North Korea regime were to disappear, and the Koreas were unified, the North would lift right up and in time the differences between the two countries would slowly disappear. But then, that hasn’t completely worked for Germany, as seen in 2011 unemployment rates there (via Peter Frost):

Germany unemployment rates

Also, as seen in my post Germania’s Seed? (by HBD Chick):
wvs-1999-membership-civic-organizations-germany-and-poland-by-longitude

Indeed, as recalled here:

East-West German split still lingers on 22 years after reunification

Twenty-two years after the reunification of Germany – completed on 3 October 1990, nearly 11 months after the Berlin Wall came down – the differences between the two halves of the country are still apparent.

Mindsets are slow to change. According to a survey published by the daily Bild last week, one west German in five has never set foot in the east, and one in 10 of their Ossi (“Eastie”) counterparts has never travelled west. Three-quarters of the population think there are “different mentalities” between east and west. Only two-thirds of Wessis (but nearly four-fifths in the east) would consider marrying someone from the other side.

Two-thirds of those surveyed are quite indifferent to the fact that both President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel are Ossis.

In economic terms there are still significant differences, albeit on the wane. At the time of reunification the gross domestic product per capita in the east was €9,400 ($11,800), as opposed to €22,000 in the west. Since then per capita revenue in the east has more than doubled to reach €23,700, whereas in the west it has only increased by half to €33,400 (still 30% ahead of the east). Thanks to various subsidies, the differences in purchasing power are smaller.

As seen also in my post Germania’s Seed, the differences within Germany pre-date World War II.

I’m just sayin

http://mitchjackson.com/the-devil-is-in-the-details/

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  1. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 2:01 AM

    Yes, the devil is in the details.

    IQ (Lynn)

    England & Wales 100.5
    Scotland 97

    North Italy-Friulia-Venezia : 104.5
    South Italy-Sicily : 89
    other southern Italian regions ~90

    Japan (PISA from Kura)

    highest-score prefecture (Fukui) and lowest (Okinawa) : 0.8 STD difference

    But if you remove Okinawa (a very distinct place, even a different native language, not considered “Yamato”), then basically the spread between highest & lowest amongst the remaining 99% of Japanese is 1/2 STD.

    Germany (PISA 2006)

    — all the former DDR Bundesländer scored at the mean for Germany, except Saxony which got the highest PISA average in the country.

    The PISA/IQ gradient in Germany is basically between Northwest and Southwest. SW is higher than NW.

    — the spread between highest (Saxony) and lowest (Bremen) is ~1/2 STD.

    — But Bremen is a Stadtstaat (city state), not a full sized Land, and the score is probably depressed by immigrants. The full-sized Bundesland with the lowest score is North Rhine Westpalia. Then the spread is <0.4 STD.

    In the case of the UK, the north-south divide would have been exaggerated by the southward migration of talentend northerners. The south of England is full of Scottish and Danish surnames. (Before the Norman conquest the north of England was Danish-occupied whilst the south was Anglo-Saxon.)

    There is no reason at all to compare the Koreas with Italy. There is zero reason a priori, to do so.

    I would argue the spread between North and South Korea would be smaller than between the regions in England, Germany or Japan.

    Why ? Because unlike Japan, especially, the population in the Korean peninsula is mostly concentrated in closely proximity.

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 8:39 AM

      @pseudoerasmus:

      Throughout this whole discussion, you keep missing the point, a point that should have been made especially salient in my previous post. So I’ll start with the bottom line: you simply cannot declare that North and South Koreans are necessarily the the same. You just don’t know. And, I am not saying that they are necessarily different, just that they could be, and I suspect, quite likely are. I would have thought that given what I actually said in this post, there wouldn’t be much to argue about.

      IQ (Lynn)

      England & Wales 100.5
      Scotland 97

      Lynn’s latest IQ figure for Scotland (2012) peggs it at 96. A minor difference, but I’m inclined to think the actual number is on the low side.

      In the case of the UK, the north-south divide would have been exaggerated by the southward migration of talentend northerners. The south of England is full of Scottish and Danish surnames. (Before the Norman conquest the north of England was Danish-occupied whilst the south was Anglo-Saxon.)

      Perhaps. But that’s hardly the only reason for the significant differences that have existed across Britain. As Albion’s Seed and HBD Chick’s subsequent work on the matter demonstrate, the population in different parts of the island evolved under a degree of relative isolation, enough so that important differences in their behavioral traits emerged, which became exaggerated when people from different parts of the island came to North America.

      As well, there is a reason I used the corruption map of Italy. The point here, a point that remains key, there is more heritable variation between people besides IQ. The biggest difference between Eastern and Western Germans may be in their behavioral traits, not so much IQ. Two groups with similar average IQs may have significant differences in their behavioral traits.

      There is no reason at all to compare the Koreas with Italy. There is zero reason a priori, to do so.

      There is a perfectly good reason, given the above. Aside from the fact that regional differences are pervasive across the globe.

      There is no reason to a priori assume that two human groups that weren’t recently (and randomly) separated from one group are exactly the same. That point should be abundantly clear.

      I would argue the spread between North and South Korea would be smaller than between the regions in England, Germany or Japan.

      Perhaps. Maybe. Who knows? Certainly not you, and that’s the point.

  2. Staffan / May 24 2014 8:33 AM

    True, it’s a frivolous assumption. And it would be equally frivolous to assume that genetic similarity with different outcomes means nurture over nature. If indeed they are made of pretty much the same stuff, they could both be prone to authoritarian regimes, indeed the whole region could, as it’s characterized by collectivistic culture. Even South Korea, Japan and the smaller elite cliques of the region that represent the pinnacle of civilization in East Asia have never reached a Western (or Norhtwestern) level of democracy and human rights.

    So maybe we should think of Korea as two alcoholics (a highly heritable condition) – one sober and one drunk? Superficially they look as each others opposites but we all know better than to offer the sober one a drink.

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 9:18 AM

      @Staffan:

      So maybe we should think of Korea as two alcoholics (a highly heritable condition) – one sober and one drunk? Superficially they look as each others opposites but we all know better than to offer the sober one a drink.

      Possibly so. South Korea was a dictatorship up until 1987, after all.

  3. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:05 AM

    No, I am not missing the point. (1) I have operated using your assumption that the two Koreas are not exactly the same, and using your comparators, I have argued that we should expect that the two Koreas probably have little variation, relative to those comparators. I have not declared the two Koreas are the same. I just believe the genetic difference probably isn’t worth talking about. (2) Yes, there is more to behavioural variation than is captured by cognitive ability metrics. Elsewhere I have argued there is indeed a sizeable variation in social competence or personality traits holding IQ constant — I even contrasted France and England politically using such an assumption. Given Staffan’s IQ breaking points blogpost, the “social” variation seems greatest at that middle range of IQ, and I’m writing something on Argentina and Chile using that idea.

    But I like data, and test scores are what we have most in abundance. PISA scores, SAT scores, etc. are close proxies for IQ. IQ is an independent explanatory variable.

    But that’s hardly the only reason for the significant differences that have existed across Britain. As Albion’s Seed and HBD Chick’s subsequent work on the matter demonstrate, the population in different parts of the island evolved under a degree of relative isolation, enough so that important differences in their behavioral traits emerged, which became exaggerated when people from different parts of the island came to North America. As well, there is a reason I used the corruption map of Italy. The point here, a point that remains key, there is more heritable variation between people besides IQ.

    But there’s no data on these behavioural traits for regions within Europe, by which I mean, you have no non-IQ independent variables. You only have the single dependent variable — corruption, but only for Italy. One might of course build an index of several social indicators — as Staffan did in his IQ Breaking points blogpost — and treat THAT as a proxy explanatory variable. But for that you probably need more than 5 variables. Chuck used a social progress index of 52 components and got a correlation with IQ of 0.82. But you produced regional corruption data only for Italy.

    I know you are pushing the principle, rather than the fact. So you stress a lot of qualitative factors. But the size of coefficients matters. I have no idea how much of the regional variation in social indicators within England or Germany is explained by non-IQ independent variables like personality traits because we have no regional non-IQ data. For all you know IQ can account for most of the similarities between regions in England & Germany and settler regions in the United States.

    I believe that’s an implication of Staffan’s IQ breaking points. If your IQ is 105 the variance in social traits is smaller than if your IQ is 95.

    • pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:10 AM

      of course if you do have regional personality data for the UK and Germany I stand corrected but can you then produce them

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 10:28 AM

      @pseudoerasmus:

      No, I am not missing the point. (1) I have operated using your assumption that the two Koreas are not exactly the same, and using your comparators, I have argued that we should expect that the two Koreas probably have little variation, relative to those comparators. I have not declared the two Koreas are the same. I just believe the genetic difference probably isn’t worth talking about.

      Yes you are missing the point. Because that’s just your belief, a belief which is impossible to test further at this point.

      But there’s no data on these behavioural traits for regions within Europe, by which I mean, you have no non-IQ independent variables. You only have the single dependent variable — corruption, but only for Italy.

      Wrong:

      The entire previous post

      Or the whole category posts of mine under Ideology and Worldview

      Or for that matter, everything that HBD Chick has been talking about.

      You only have the single dependent variable — corruption, but only for Italy. One might of course build an index of several social indicators — as Staffan did in his IQ Breaking points blogpost — and treat THAT as a proxy explanatory variable.

      While IQ is likely involved, I wouldn’t declare at the moment that it is THE thing. Perhaps you missed HBD Chick’s work?

      I know you are pushing the principle, rather than the fact. So you stress a lot of qualitative factors. But the size of coefficients matters. I have no idea how much of the regional variation in social indicators within England or Germany is explained by non-IQ independent variables like personality traits because we have no regional non-IQ data. For all you know IQ can account for most of the similarities between regions in England & Germany and settler regions in the United States.

      Actually no. We apply what we know and simple logic. Number one, we know that all human behavioral traits are heritable. We know that regional groups within nations exist which are discernible genetically. We have historical information that tell us that the selective pressures across these regions were different, if only even slightly. We have a ton of social characteristics that are correlated with known historical factors (e.g., mating patterns, settlement and migration patterns, etc.). We know that these societal characteristics are highly persistent and resistant to change, even under deliberate attempts to do so. And we have Occam’s Razor tying all these together that indicates that the genes that differ between these regional groups is likely largely or entirely behind these differences.

    • M.G. / Jun 18 2014 4:43 PM

      I have no idea how much of the regional variation in social indicators within England or Germany is explained by non-IQ independent variables like personality traits because we have no regional non-IQ data.

      I agree this is one of the weak points in international values studies. I look at mainly non-IQ traits, and while there is some excellent data at the national level (GLOBE study is my favorite, World Values Survey, Pew and Gallup are very good too), sub-national data is rarer than hen’s teeth. It really is a shame.

      I will say the E.U. is quite good about gathering sub-national data (at Eurostat), but it tends to be more economics- than personality-focused. Stuff like that Italy corruption map is out there, but you have to search long and hard to find it, and it tends to be single-country focused studies. This is really an area I wish cross-national personality researchers would look more deeply into.

  4. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:27 AM

    I like Staffan’s analogy of authoritarian culture with alcoholism.

    A cruel but convenient natural experiment performed by history is that there is a continuous geographical space of former communist states from the Oder-Neisse line to the Gulf of China ! The “democratic gradient” is a relatively straightforward matter over this space but there is also a separate “transition to markets” gradient over the same space. There are some transition indices but there’s a gradient by region as well for which there aren’t data unfortunately but it’s theoretically easy to construct.

    • pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:28 AM

      actually, not the Oder-Neisse line but the Stettin-Trieste line of Churchill down to the Gulf of Thailand.

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 10:32 AM

      @pseudoerasmus:

      A cruel but convenient natural experiment performed by history is that there is a continuous geographical space of former communist states from the Oder-Neisse line to the Gulf of China ! The “democratic gradient” is a relatively straightforward matter over this space but there is also a separate “transition to markets” gradient over the same space.

      Not as clean as you think. See “l’explication de l’idéologie” | hbd* chick

  5. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:37 AM

    No, regional data for within European countries, other than Italy on corruption. Where are those ?

    Perhaps you missed HBD Chick’s work?

    I wish they were quantified.

    We apply what we know and simple logic. Number one, we know that all human behavioral traits are heritable.

    Doesn’t tell us whether the heritability of these traits is best predicted by IQ or “other factors”.

    We know that regional groups within nations exist which are discernible genetically. We have historical information that tell us that the selective pressures across these regions were different, if only even slightly. We have a ton of social characteristics that are correlated with know historical factors (e.g., mating patterns, settlement and migration patterns, etc.). We know that these societal characteristics are highly persistent and resistant to change, even under deliberate attempts to do so. And we have Occam’s Razor tying all these together that indicates that the genes that differ between these regional groups is likely largely or entirely behind these differences.

    Non sequitur. Heritability is not the issue.

    (1) You still can’t tell whether the persistence of the social characteristics is mediated by IQ or something else.

    (2) You don’t know the degree of social characteristics between Europe and the USA, because you don’t have the European regional data other than IQ. Or do you ?

    • pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:42 AM

      that should be the degree of PERSISTENCE between social characteristics….

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 10:48 AM

      @pseudoerasmus:

      No, regional data for within European countries, other than Italy on corruption. Where are those ?

      The post contained variation within Germany….

      Doesn’t tell us whether the heritability of these traits is best predicted by IQ or “other factors”.

      Yes it does, for both nations and individuals. Are people with the same IQ the same on all the behavioral traits? Nope. Are nations with the same average IQ the same on their societal characteristics? Nope. See also:

      intelligence and corruption | hbd* chick

      Simple evolutionary theory helps us get around the oversimplification you’re making. Each behavioral trait evolves as a response to specific evolutionary problem. These aren’t even easily assessed by broad personality dimensions. The same selective pressures that select for these also often select for IQ, but each is independent.

      Want proof? Go along northern Europe, even northern Eurasia. Average IQ stays roughly constant (~100). Behavioral traits, not so much.

      We know that regional groups within nations exist which are discernible genetically. We have historical information that tell us that the selective pressures across these regions were different, if only even slightly. We have a ton of social characteristics that are correlated with know historical factors (e.g., mating patterns, settlement and migration patterns, etc.). We know that these societal characteristics are highly persistent and resistant to change, even under deliberate attempts to do so. And we have Occam’s Razor tying all these together that indicates that the genes that differ between these regional groups is likely largely or entirely behind these differences.

      Non sequitur. Heritability is not the issue.

      Seriously? Simple logic…. I’m disappointed…

      (1) You still can’t tell whether the persistence of the social characteristics is mediated by IQ or something else.

      See above.

      (2) You don’t know the degree of social characteristics between Europe and the USA, because you don’t have the European regional data other than IQ. Or do you ?

      Umm, previous post? World Values Survey? Cross national personality data are not very useful because of contrast effects.

      I think enough has been said on this topic, because you’re not making much sense here, and we’re not getting anywhere. This is the final comment on this point. Please do not respond further or I will have to start moderating, and I really (much more so than anyone else I’ve said this to) don’t want to do that to you.

  6. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:41 AM

    “Not as clean as you think. See “l’explication de l’idéologie” | hbd* chick

    Clean not in the explanatory part, but in the output part (degree of democracy).

  7. pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 10:52 AM

    I have zero doubt that mating patterns have something to do with intelligence, trust, libertarian/authoritarian/egalitarian, etc.

    But so far that does not help us with knowing (1) the size of the correlation between traits in European regions and traits in US regions ; and (2) whether the persistent social traits are best predicted by IQ or some other metric.

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 10:57 AM

      @pseudoerasmus:

      That’s your last word on the topic. Getting better data would always be helpful, but getting clean interpretations from that data will be difficult for a variety of reasons (e.g., sorting, intermixing, subsequent evolution, contrast effects/measurement error, etc.). The conclusions in question don’t depend on having these data though, because what we have is more than enough to indicate the ultimately heritable source of much of the variance.

    • Anthony / May 25 2014 12:55 PM

      There’s plenty of “behavioral” data available at subnational granularity: crime, alcohol consumption, religious variation (both denominational and things like church attendance), hell, even education. There hasn’t, to my knowledge, been a lot of work done correlating those things to IQ, but the data is there.

  8. Jon Winsor / May 24 2014 11:54 AM
    • Patrick C. Wentz / May 25 2014 2:48 PM

      very nice! carry on.

    • Jon Winsor / May 25 2014 3:22 PM

      When I visited South Korea, my hosts specifically mention the northernmost of the three kingdoms as a kind of precursor to North Korea, saying they were more of a horse-riding, warrior culture…

  9. Max / May 24 2014 12:08 PM

    pseudoerasmus coming off as bizarrely unhinged here. How can someone who accepts the fact of human microevolution deny that North/South Korea’s populations are genetically distinct? The only question we can’t answer (yet) is the extent of the differentiation. To deny that there must be SOME is to be a flat-earther.

    • pseudoerasmus / May 24 2014 12:16 PM

      hopefully jayman will allow me this clarification to Max : I had said, “I have not declared the two Koreas are the same. I just believe the genetic difference probably isn’t worth talking about.”

    • Pincher Martin / May 24 2014 2:08 PM

      Max,

      PE’s point is simple and uncontroversial. He never claimed the Koreas are identical populations. What he claimed is that there’s enough circumstantial evidence to suggest the differences are probably small.

      Since JayMan and many others in the HBD community infer things like this all the time from limited data sets, what’s the problem?

    • JayMan / May 24 2014 2:32 PM

      @Pincher Martin:

      I would say that there’s not enough information to make that claim. Pseudoramus may indeed be correct, but this is one of those things where we really do need more data, especially going forward since people love to use Korea as an example of the effects of environment. That’s not totally justified, I say. Unfortunately, such data are not forthcoming. But sometimes in science you are just stuck.

    • Anthony / May 25 2014 1:03 PM

      Is there data on the outcomes of Koreans who fled the North during the war? That would tell you something. Also, while Seoul has drawn people from all over Korea, how much regional variation is there between the non-metropolitan provinces?

    • JayMan / May 25 2014 1:09 PM

      @Anthony:

      Umm, sorting? That wouldn’t tell us too much…

    • JayMan / May 25 2014 1:10 PM

      @Anthony:

      Although regional variation within South Korea would be a start.

    • Anthony / May 25 2014 2:15 PM

      How much sorting was there among North Korean refugees to the south? Escaping North Korea after 1953 was hard enough that most of the movement would have happened during wartime, which I would think would be much more random than at other times.

      There may be Japanese data from between 1910 and 1937 which could tell you things about variations across Korea; certainly something a little more detailed than the 1911 Britannica’s statement that “The native population is absolutely homogeneous”. (Which is evidence that the differences were small enough to have not been noticed by people studying Korea, but Korea’s contacts with potential Britannica authors and correspondents was pretty limited even as late as 1910.) Unfortunately, whatever data there is would probably be either in Japanese or Korean, leaving most HBD bloggers and commenters out. Perhaps “Spandrell” might be able to find something?

    • pseudoerasmus / May 25 2014 2:50 PM

      The Japanese did conduct at least 5 censuses in occupied Korea. The poorest areas were on the southern coast. Also at least 1 million people were forcibly located from south to north because Japanese industry was located in Manchuria and that’s where the labour shortages were.

      (Hopefully Jayman will not interpet this as further arguing with him…)

    • Anthony / May 25 2014 3:04 PM

      Poverty, especially regional poverty, isn’t necessarily a good correlation for either IQ or social traits. Did the Japanese do any psychometric studies, or even halfway decent ethnographic ones?

      After the collapse of North Korea, it will be impossible to determine for a while how much of the difference is because of genetic/heritable variation among Koreans, because so many Northerners have been starved, and have adapted their behaviors to their environment, that their behavior patterns will reflect environment much more strongly than in most industrialized countries.

    • Max / May 25 2014 4:46 PM

      “I have not declared the two Koreas are the same. I just believe the genetic difference probably isn’t worth talking about.”

      “I have not declared that all human races (as if “race” were even a real/legitimate concept, lol) are the same. I just believe the genetic difference probably isn’t worth talking about.”

  10. Patrick C. Wentz / May 25 2014 2:45 PM

    The Korean Peninsula has historically been split on an east west axis because of the mountain range going down the length of the peninsula. People from the east west coasts of S. Korea still do not necessarily like each other to this day.
    North Korea has been splitting itself for generations with those most loyal to the regime the closest to the capital who receive greater benefits. Those not seen as loyal are moved further away from the capital. It will be interesting to see that house of horrors when the Norths cult of personality finally crumbles. So bottom line South Korea Good. North Korea Bad. Cultural differences have historically been east west not north south.

    • pseudoerasmus / May 25 2014 2:47 PM

      Yes I had just posted a topographical map of the Korean peninsula at my site.

  11. ckp / May 25 2014 5:33 PM

    The intra-country differences in Europe are mostly due to historical migration patterns and, and different marriage patterns. As far as I can tell, the Korean peninsula wasn’t that interesting w.r.t. migrations – the Koreans came and stayed put, and nobody else wanted the place. The Mongols raped and pillaged and killed but didn’t migrate. The Ming and Qing left them alone (mostly). The Japanese came and occupied the peninsula, and according to wiki, over 170k came, many of them interested in farmland. 7-8% of all arable land was Japanese-owned in 1910, rising to over 50% in 1932. Wasn’t the Southern end of the peninsula more farmland and the north more industrial? Then again, the population of the whole peninsula was on the order of tens of millions, so it’s not that big of a dent just looking at pure numbers, unless they formed some kind of endogamous minority (unlikely, since the Japanese state encouraged intermarriage).

    We just have to go with absence of evidence. There’s no “smoking-gun” that would point to any kind of significant north/south genetic difference apart from drift. As other commentors have pointed out, it’s more likely to be an east-west axis anyway. You shouldn’t be privileging this hypothesis.

    Genetic changes SINCE partition though, is the more interesting question …

    • JayMan / May 25 2014 5:42 PM

      @ckp:

      “We just have to go with absence of evidence.”

      I wouldn’t say a total absence.

      The bottom line: we can’t call this one, yay or nay. Cannot confirm or deny. That’s my position, and I want to be sure everyone else is clear on that, as it should be theirs as well.

  12. chrisdavies09 / May 26 2014 5:10 PM

    Got no genetic data from North Korea.

    However have HLA data for 20,465 Han from Liaoning Province, China, approx. 200 miles north of Pyongyang in North Korea.

    Also have considerable data for South Korea [large samples, mainly from Seoul region].

    If the Liaoning data is similar to North Koreans, I see a number of alleles/haplotypes indicative of migrations from Central Asia, some with probable origins as far west as NE Africa/Middle East/Persia/Punjab regions. These alleles/haplotypes are at notably lower frequencies in South Korea. While South Korea has higher frequencies of certain other haplotypes.

    So in my opinion there almost certainly will be significant genetic differences between North and South Korea.

    • JayMan / May 26 2014 6:11 PM

      @chrisdavies09:

      Thank you! Far from perfect (you have the Manchus in that area, for one), but definitely a start.

    • Anthony / May 27 2014 6:36 PM

      Chris Davies – There is a small Korean minority north of the Yalu, that apparently resulted from the conquest of that part of “Korea” by other groups, resulting in their incorporation into China. Such a group would likely be somewhat mixed with Manchu or Han or other groups from the vicinity, but there may be more and less “pure Korean” members of that group. Is there any DNA data from the Korean minority in China?

    • Tarvo / Jun 26 2014 11:41 AM

      You’re essentially extrapolating data from Han chinese to Koreans. There is likely overlap between them, but regardless, Han are generally distinct from Koreans, unless there’s historical/archaeological evidence to indicate otherwise. And this analysis is likely not considering how chinese have migrated all over within their country quite recently. I’m sure there’s some kind of historical/anthropological data on the differences between SK and NK before the war. Another more informative approach might be on the genetics or outcomes of north koreans outside of NK, but they’re probably very few in number, especially those who are free of control of the NK regime.

      Going back to the original post, it’s technically true, but I think it really misses the forest for the trees, in that the original point of comparison between North and South Korea is that the differences between both countries are so incredibly vast that it’s astoundingly unlikely that genetics could account for what we see. You know, the fact SK is a prosperous, safe, technological society and NK is an otherwordly, nightmarish despot. There are of course similarities, such as NK having relatively, stable infrastructure and being able to keep afloat all this time, being able to field a massive army and having it’s own nuclear program, which not all people under similar circumstances would be able to manage, and that *maybe*, on some level, both kores might be disposed towards such an arrangement, but the differences are vast enough.

      Also, the division between the two countries is largely circumstantial, in that it was a division that didn’t really exist prior to the war and could have easily ended up farther south or farther north. I have this feeling that if the division ended up a good deal farther north, the areas that would now be under SK control would be little from the rest of SK in terms culture, productivity etc. You could probably pinpoint some kind of cultural/behavioral differences that could have contributed to the outcome of the war, but that would be very hard to properly parse from so many other factors and there’d be essentially a large element of chance of no matter what.

      So honestly, this post is a little over the top with the point it’s trying to make. Yes, with what we know of the differences in nations, we can’t say it affirmatively that they’re the same, but with the yawning gap we see, it’s a little unlikely genetics could account for much of it as it might elsewhere.

    • JayMan / Jun 26 2014 12:43 PM

      @Tarvo:

      It is you who is missing the point. I never claimed that the differences between the Koreas all stem from genetic differences, or even mostly. But the fact there could be genetic differences means we don’t know. Nothing anyone says will change that.

    • Anonymous / Dec 6 2015 2:04 PM

      Virtually none of the examples you bring forth really support your idea. The cultural/behavioral differences in the various parts of Britain are small, and you’ve gone on about how the diversity we see in the US is heavily due to founder effects. The cultural/behavioral gulf between northern and southern whites is unique among western europeans. The case of the differences in Britain holds true for Japan (and I question how reliable those stats are) and Germany. Northern Japan was also largely uninhabited by the Japanese until the past few centuries, and are mixed to some degree with the Ainu (a people they always thought were inferior and less attractive). The only example that supports this is northern vs. southern italy, but the differences between the two are nowhere near on part with North and South Korea. Korea is a very homogenous country, it’s pretty doubtful there’s going to be much variation.

      Why go to this length over something that’s largely an argument of HBD deniers, and that has next to no evidence to support the most extreme scenario- South Koreans being genetically inclined towards democracy and a modern society, and North Koreans absurd totalitarianism, all of which is remarkably well divided by the 38th parallel?

    • JayMan / Dec 6 2015 2:46 PM

      @Anonymous:

      a. The cultural/behavioral differences in the various parts of Britain are small, and you’ve gone on about how the diversity we see in the US is heavily due to founder effects. The cultural/behavioral gulf between northern and southern whites is unique among western europeans.

      Apparently you haven’t been following along on this blog, because otherwise you would know that that is complete bullshit.

      Even if it was true, the magnitude has nothing to do with how “genetic” it is. A small difference is still a difference.

    • Anonymous / Dec 6 2015 8:08 PM

      This is basically what was I referring to:

      “As Albion’s Seed and HBD Chick’s subsequent work on the matter demonstrate, the population in different parts of the island evolved under a degree of relative isolation, enough so that important differences in their behavioral traits emerged, which became exaggerated when people from different parts of the island came to North America.”

      I guess we’re in disagreement about the significance of these “important” differences in Britain alone, but I wasn’t arguing anything that different from what you’ve written about the modern peopling of the United States (that still triggered you into waving me off as spouting “complete bullshit”). My point more than anything was that it isn’t accurate to compare the differences in american whites to what we could possibly see in Korea, because there has been very little room for “founder effects” to exaggerate things, and Korea is a country similar in size to Britain and yet even more homogenous. What other group of modern western europeans is as different from eachother as southern and northern whites?

    • JayMan / Jan 19 2016 11:02 AM

      My point more than anything was that it isn’t accurate to compare the differences in american whites to what we could possibly see in Korea, because there has been very little room for “founder effects” to exaggerate things, and Korea is a country similar in size to Britain and yet even more homogenous. What other group of modern western europeans is as different from eachother as southern and northern whites?

      Except it sounds like you’re just making that up, yes? My point is we (still) don’t know. I haven’t seen anything that altered that assessment, yet.

  13. chrisdavies09 / May 28 2014 7:24 AM

    @ Jayman & @ Anthony – the PLOS One paper had data for the Han majority (93.37% of the 21918 total people sampled); Manchu minority (5.1% of total sample); Mongol minority (0.57% of total sample); Hui minority (0.46% of total); Korean minority (0.29% of total); and Xibe minority (0.14% of total).

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0093082

  14. Steve Sailer / Jun 11 2014 10:37 PM

    North Korea was much more industrialized in 1950 than South Korea. It could mount an armored assault that ripped through South Korea. The U.S. then bombed flat practically every factory, hydroelectric dam, and railroad bridge in North Korea.

    • Patrick C. Wentz / Jun 12 2014 1:04 PM

      The North Korean Army was equipped by the Russians and trained by the Chinese. Many of the NK Divisions in 1950 had faught in China during WW II. North Korea had a ready made offensively armed military as opposed to poor South Korea which had a defensive military with very little Field Artillery and NO tanks and NO fighter planes….. Was not much of a fight until the intervention.

  15. Ryan / Jul 2 2014 6:13 PM

    Just in terms of future expectations, I look at North Korea and see a country which was more or less destroyed in a devastating war, a country which has spent almost 70 years living under the most oppressive Stalinist dictatorship since Stalin’s dictatorship, one wrought by famine, drug addiction, ills beyond counting, and this country still manages to produce some very high quality intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads to boot. Foreign countries even pay them to send experts in rocketry and nuclear research to help them develop their own weapons programs.

    In terms of heritage of genetic advantages for a nation in the modern world, I suspect they’re sitting pretty. Their problems really seem to stem from their civil institutions.

  16. Peter Akuleyev / Jul 3 2014 8:47 AM

    If you look at the history of East Asia, isn’t it likely that these populations simply have a dangerous tendency towards authoritarian/totalitarian government? It is the flipside of having a fairly obedient, conformist population. The wrong circumstances can send the society down a dangerous track. Mao’s China was not that long ago, big picture, neither was the Japanese military regime of the 1930s-40s (which BR Myers claims is the true ideological father of the Kim dynasty). Over the long run it is not really clear that North Korea and South Korea have “different outcomes”, they could be in different points on a historical cycle. Certainly North Korea is very much unlike every other poor country on earth, in terms of literacy, education, organization, but it is very similar to China in the 1960s. In many ways North Korea is already far ahead of Mao’s China in terms of standard of living. People seem unaware how much progress North Korea has actually made in the last 10 years in terms of food security, availability of consumer goods, etc.

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