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August 2, 2015 / JayMan

“Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist (Neither Does Group Selection)

Just as mainstream wisdom on human psychology and evolution is filled with heaps of rubbish (rubbish which I’ve covered here extensively – see 200 Blog Posts – Everything You Need to Know (To Start)), the space of dissenting voices on this matter is also filled with its own share of rubbish – and worse. I’ve gone over some of it here (The Problem with HBD, the Dark Enlightenment, Neoreaction, Alt-Rightism, and All That Jazz), but one pernicious piece of nonsense is the idea of “ethnic genetic interests.”

In short, this is the idea that natural selection has, through inclusive fitness, shaped humans to favor those in their own ethnic or racial group when members of other groups are present. This idea was formulated by Frank Salter and Henry Harpending, and later discussed by J. P. Rushton. Salter & Harpending (2012) review it:

While much of inclusive theory has been developed in terms of the coefficient of relationship, everything is easier when it is written in terms of the coefficient of kinship. For example the coefficient of relationship, the ‘‘fraction of shared genes’’ is unity with oneself. But what if a person is highly inbred? Then we need some-hing to recognize that such a person is ‘‘more related’’ to himself than the offspring of a random mating or an outbred mating.

Imagine for example that conditions are Malthusian and that one can share a transient surplus with a neighbor, thereby increasing the latter’s individual fitness. If a person can recognize ethnic kin using cultural or heritable markers, he can pick a neighbor with kinship of 0.06 almost every time, corresponding to kinship with a great-grandchild. If at marginal cost he confers some fitness benefit on this neighbor, this is equivalent to increasing his own fitness by 12% (0.06/0.50) of that benefit. On the other hand if he confers the same benefit to a neighbor with kinship 0.06, that decreases his own fitness by the same 12%. Discrimination can therefore cause an action or relationship to yield a 24% difference in fitness. This is an extraordinarily strong selective force, and any quantitative trait that favored ethnic kin discrimination would be rapidly selected with consequences easily visible within a few hundreds to thousands of years.

The gist of this idea is that the presence of outsiders supposedly increases the relative relatedness between unrelated co-ethnics, since (according to the theory) relationship would be judged relative to the total genetic background involved.

The problem is that this reasoning is flawed. The normal way of assessing kinship, the coefficient of relationship, is as follows (from Wikipedia):

Degree of
relationship
Relationship Coefficient ofrelationship (r)
0 identical twins; clones 100%
1 parent-offspring 50% (2−1)
2 full siblings 50% (2−2+2−2)
2 3/4 siblings or sibling-cousins 37.5% (2−2+2⋅2−4)
2 grandparent-grandchild 25% (2−2)
2 half siblings 25% (2−2)
3 aunt/uncle-nephew/niece 25% (2⋅2−3)
4 double first cousins 25% (2−3+2−3)
3 great grandparent-great grandchild 12.5% (2−3)
4 first cousins 12.5% (2⋅2−4)
6 quadruple second cousins 12.5% (8⋅2−6)
6 triple second cousins 9.38% (6⋅2−6)
4 half-first cousins 6.25% (2−4)
5 first cousins once removed 6.25% (2⋅2−5)
6 double second cousins 6.25% (4⋅2−6)
6 second cousins 3.13% (2−6+2−6)
8 third cousins 0.78% (2⋅2−8)
10 fourth cousins 0.20% (2⋅2−10)

As we can see, the coefficient of relationship drops to insignificance beyond second cousins. This is the probability that a given relative of an individual possesses a copy of an allele the individual possesses. This affects kin selection given by Hamilton’s rule (also from Wikipedia):

rB > C

where

r = the genetic relatedness of the recipient to the actor, often defined as the probability that a gene picked randomly from each at the same locus is identical by descent.
B = the additional reproductive benefit gained by the recipient of the altruistic act,
C = the reproductive cost to the individual performing the act.

When this is inequality is true, the altruistic trait is selected for.

An altruistic allele leads to behavior that makes this inequality true will tend to increase in frequency in the population. All other altruistic alleles will decrease with time. This is the basis of kin selection.

(Though note, the coefficient of relationships given above are for outbred populations. Inbred populations have higher coefficients of relationship, and this forms the basis for HBD Chick’s theory. More on that shortly.)

Salter’s/Harpending’s/Rushton’s idea for ethnic nepotism doesn’t work for this key reason: the presence of outsiders doesn’t alter the frequency of altruistic alleles. The payoff remains the same in both cases. As I said before:

The problem is that alleles for altruistic behavior itself are of interest. New alleles always originate in a single individual. Now how could said putative alleles have grown in frequency if the targets of altruism – hence selection for these alleles (distant relatives or even unrelated people) were highly unlikely to carry it? The fitness of the bearer goes down but the allele does not increase in frequency to compensate.

Also:

The reason is simple: if an altruistic act isn’t going confer a fitness benefit when outsiders are absent (thanks to Hamilton’s rule), it isn’t going to suddenly confer more fitness when outsiders are present: the degree of relationship to your co-ethnics is the same in both scenarios, and so is the fitness payoff to you.

Misdreavus gave perhaps the most succinct treatment of the matter (emphasis in original):

1) It is impossible for such a thing as a “race altruist gene” to evolve, because sacrificing yourself on behalf of strangers does nothing to increase the frequency of the gene under any set of circumstances. It doesn’t matter if the frequency of a such a gene “magically” originated with a frequency of 4 in 10 Chinese people. The Chinese who don’t have the gene, on average, would have a higher fitness, resulting in the frequency decreasing monotonically over time.

2) On the other hand, it is entirely possible for complex social arrangements to evolve between completely unrelated people — and the more that strangers have in common culturally (e.g. speaking a common language, sharing a common religion, etc.) the stronger such ties will be. But that has absolutely nothing to do with “altruism”, in the strict evolutionary sense. All participants in the social network either have something to gain (e.g. the help of one’s neighbours during a famine), or at least something terrible to lose (e.g. being sent to a prison camp for insulting Kim Jong Un). And all societies, virtually everywhere, have social mechanisms in place that penalize shirkers, cheaters, moochers, and all other people who do not uphold their end of the social bargain.

3) Once any such social bargains erode away, there is absolutely stopping individuals from betraying their “racial interests” [sic] to enrich themselves and their close kin, or any other people with whom they have arranged better social bargains. Sincere idealists of any stripe are a relatively small minority among any population. The entire sum of human history of a testament to the fact the vast majority of people stop giving a damn about their tribe when the going gets tough — just what do their “genes” have to gain by not betraying important secrets to the enemy army, in exchange for an important official post?

3) Assortative mating is real thing, but that has nothing to do with “racial interests”, either. If you’re a pretty white women who happens to love handsome white men — that has absolutely nothing to do the degree of genetic overlap, especially not if you reject short, ugly white men who are just as related to you. (And before you retort with something like “beautiful people are more likely to have genes in common” — well ugly people don’t seem to be very keen on each other in any society. Why not, similar genes and all?)

And that also applies in the opposite direction — for some people, their best bet really is to mate with someone of a different race, “purity” be damned. Fifty percent is a lot better than zero.

4) Throughout the vast majority of human history, the vast majority of people never even saw someone of a different race. Forget about “racial genetic interests”. That’s like suggesting that human beings have evolved a congenital distaste for three-eyed creatures from the Andromeda Galaxy, during the event of an invasion of Earth by extraterrestrials — except no we haven’t. Sure, the tendency exists, and must be partly rooted in genetics, but it is virtually impossible for it to have evolved that way.

I suppose a key misunderstanding in the matter is the failure to realize that each individual gene contributes to fitness independently. Each gene is “out for itself”, so to speak. It just so happens that in any given organism, genes achieve success by working together (most of the time). As such each individual gene’s “aim” is to make more copies of itself. What’s going on in the rest of the genome is tangential to this. Each gene would be just as happy to mix with any other gene, so long as its own fitness is increased in the process.

But this doesn’t seem to stop some of the sentiments floating around the “alt-right” sphere as of late, especially with the latest “cuckservative” meme. Some of the idiocy is captured with this:

Shit Cuckservatives Say

“I would be proud to have a (half) black grandkid”

or this:

As I’ve said before:

There is no impact on one’s fitness from the race of one’s mate (or an offspring’s mate) so long as close relatives are off the table as mates (aside from the fitness impact of the particular genes such mates were bringing in the environment in question). The fitness impact to a White man’s genes if his daughter marries a Black man is the same as if she married an unrelated White man (again, fitness from gene function notwithstanding).

Just the same, the inclusive fitness impact to a White American is the same whether he focuses his altruistic act on an unrelated White American or on a Namibian; it is zero in both cases. If you adopt children rather than have your own, the fitness hit to you is the same whether your adopted children are White, Black, Chinese, or Venezuelan.

Of course, all this applies to outbred populations. In inbred populations, something akin to “ethnic genetic interests” operating via kin selection does work – but here, it’s much more proximate: it’s clan interest. In an inbreeding population, the relationship coefficients are high enough that a preference for marrying and/or associating with kin can (and does) develop. It does payoff to favor your extended family over than non-relatives. (Indeed, it does so much than it does for an outbred population. This increase in the reach of inclusive fitness forms the basis for HBD Chick’s theory: selection favors kin altruism much more over reciprocal altruism than it does in an outbred population.)

Hence, there is no human ethnic group that exhibits ethnic nepotism. This includes Ashkenazi Jews. Complex rules on who is a suitable partner for reciprocal altruism can develop, and every society has such rules (who is an acceptable partner, and under what circumstances, etc.). But these have nothing to do with ethnic nepotism, didn’t arise via kin selection, and don’t depend on genetic relatedness per se. This includes Ashkenazi Jews.

All of these brings me to another issue: group selection. Group selection is the idea that traits can arise thanks to selection operating on whole groups. More accurately, that traits can arise that are beneficial to the group despite being maladaptive to individuals and their kin. This does not happen. Greg Cochran explains the basic gist why:

 You can imagine situations in which natural selection would favor an increase in frequency for a trait that aided group survival while hurting individual reproductive success – but it’s not all that easy. Here’s the problem: imagine a situation in which some individuals in the group have an allele that causes them to fight in a way that saves the collective – the catch is that some get killed in the process. Members of the tribe that don’t have this allele are saved as well, but they don’t pay the price. At the end of this fight, the frequency of the self-sacrificing allele has gone down, not up. So how can the altruistic allele hang around? How would it ever have become common in the first place?

Self-sacrifice can refer to any fitness-reducing behavior, since any allele that consistently reduces fitness will eventually decline to zero frequency (Keller & Miller, 2006).

“Group selection” in a sense can occur, when one group out-competes other groups because of traits the first group possess. But the key fact is that these are traits that individually advantageous within the group. That is, this sort of “group selection” acts in tandem with individual selection, not in spite of it. In that sense, such selection is really a type of individual selection. This is discussed by Bourrat, 2014 (Levels of Selection Are Artefacts of Different Fitness Temporal Measures). In short, looking at different spans of time can make one confuse individual selection for group selection.

The non-existence of group-selection means that any traits any human ethnic group possesses are the result of individual selection (and on close kin as described above).

This includes Jewish peoples. A common trope in this space is that Ashkenazi Jews have group-selected traits that as aided in their success and survival. Of course, that’s rubbish. Any traits they possess are as individually selected as they are for other groups.

The prevalence of such nonsense beliefs in this space speaks to the mindset of some in it. Most humans have some sort of agenda, and it is fairly normal behavior to selectively interpret/acknowledge fact in such a way that suits such an agenda. But no, you can’t excuse your racism by appealing to ethnic genetic interests. Nor can you excuse your misogyny and other hatred by appealing to specious claims about the sexes, children, or other classes of individuals (see “Manosphere” Community Beliefs: Truths and Nonsense, Taming the “Tiger Mom” and Tackling the Parenting Myth, and Obesity Facts).

One feature of these individuals is a visceral opposition to “race mixing” (ignoring the fact that such gave us the modern races we see today). Well to those guys, I say I’ve been busy spreading my Black (and other) genes into the White gene pool here in Maine:

Little JayMan and New Little OneLittle JayMan Number 2

…and have no intentions of slowing down.

There are of course reasons to favor certain policies – such as restricting immigration from certain parts of the world – that have nothing to do with ethnic nepotism. Indeed, such a policy can be solidly self-interested if one favors a better environment for oneself and one’s progeny and close kin.

Mainstream discourse – as well as much of the human sciences in the West – is unfortunately saddled with a belief in liberal creationism. This is an apt term, since one has to deny many facts to make it work, much as those who deny evolution outright must. Unfortunately, those who buck this trend and speak out against this belief often also harbor their own bullshit baggage. One can only hope that eventually, the most rational minds come to dominate.

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92 Comments

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  1. SimplyFred / Aug 2 2015 4:13 PM

    You missed the most important point. The most important point is people with blue eyes are being systematically exterminated by our current immigration and social welfare policies. See:
    http://www.boston.com/yourlife/articles/2006/10/17/dont_it_make_my_blue_eyes_brown/
    Blacks are ten times, browns are four times more likely to have AIDS than whites. Why are we flooding this country with moral degenerates?

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 8:48 PM

      @SimplyFred:

      I did say that are good reasons to oppose mass immigration, particularly from the developing world. Those reasons have nothing to do with ethnic nepotism, though. After all, I do live in Maine and not Detroit. Heck, I don’t even live in Lewiston, Maine (and wouldn’t even before there were Somalis there).

  2. n/a / Aug 2 2015 5:00 PM

    JayMan,

    “the probability that a given relative of an individual possesses a copy of an allele the individual possesses”

    This is what it comes down to. When you assert that a NW European is no more closely related to a “non-relative” NW European than he is to an African, you are asserting he is no more likely to share alleles with the NW European than with an African. That is, you are arguing for a more extreme form of race denialism than Richard Lewontin. This should have been your first hint you did not understand what the table of coefficients of relationship was telling you.

    On a scale where there is zero relatedness between “non-relative” NW Europeans, the relatedness of a NW European to an African will be negative. On a scale where the relatedness of a NW European to an African is zero, the relatedness of two “non-relative” NW Europeans will be much greater than zero (a NW European is about as likely to share an allele IBD with another NW European relative to an African as a grandparent is to share an allele IBD with a grandchild relative to an unrelated member of their population).

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 8:44 PM

      @n/a:

      None of that matters when it comes to kin selection for ethnic nepotism, which would have to act on novel altruism alleles that unrelated co-ethnics would not share. That’s the crux of the issue there. In-group favoritism can evolve, but it would have nothing to do with kin selection or genetic relatedness (at least not directly), so long as we’re not talking about actual clans or at least tribes.

    • n/a / Aug 2 2015 9:46 PM

      JayMan,

      Group selection and kin selection are mathematically equivalent. They work for the same reason. They’re two different ways of modeling the same thing. Either way, the question of when a gene for altruistic behavior can spread will come down to cost, benefit, and relatedness.

      You’re having trouble wrapping your head around the fact that “unrelated” members of ethnic groups (or bands or tribes) are still related relative to non-members. It doesn’t matter if the relatedness stems from a single recent family relationship or large numbers of distant relationships.

      Hamilton himself, from “Innate social aptitudes of man: an approach from evolutionary genetics”:

      At the boundary of the local group, however, there is usually a sharp drop in relatedness. If migrants (or whole groups) are very mobile, leading to an ‘island’ rather than a ‘stepping-stone’ situation, this drop may be such as to promote active hostility between neighbouring groups.(Note 3) Even though these groups have some relatedness, as practical limitations to distant migration naturally ensure, the contrast is still such that a minor benefit from taking the life of an outsider would make the act adaptive. [. . .]

      The rewards of the victors in warfare obviously increase for peoples past the neolithic revolution. There are tools, livestock, stores of food, luxury goods to be seized, and even a possibility for the victors to impose themselves for a long period as a parasitical upper class. Hunter-gatherers, on the other hand, at most win only mates and land. It might seem that these things would not repay the expected cost of the fighting, but it has to be remembered that to raise mean fitness in a group either new territory or outside mates have to be obtained somehow. The occurrence of quasi-warlike group interactions in various higher primates(Kummer 1968; Sugiyama & Parthasanathy 1969; and references in Bigelow 1969) strongly suggests that something like warfare may have become adaptive far down in the hominid stock. These primate examples suggest the prototype war party as an all-male group, brothers and kin, practised as a team in successful hunting and at last redirecting its skill towards usurping the females or territory of another group. Out of such cells can be built the somewhat less stable organism of the post-neolithic army. The Homeric Illiad gives a vivid inside view of the process of coalition, while the siege it describes emphasizes the existence of economic surpluses supporting the warriors on both sides (something hunter-gatherer warriors would never have). If the male war party has been adaptive for as long as is surmised here, it is hardly surprising that a similar grouping often reappears spontaneously even in circumstances where its present adaptive value is low or negative, as in modern teenage gangs (Patrick 1973).

      http://racehist.blogspot.com/2015/03/hamilton-on-inclusive-fitness-and.html

    • n/a / Aug 2 2015 9:46 PM

      From “Selection of selfish and altruistic behavior in some extreme models”:

      The phenomenon of visual imprinting suggests how an individual could discriminate on a basis which would be largely genetic. Auditory imprinting could work the same way, but aptitude for vocal mimicry, such as exists in birds, would lessen the reliability of this method. [. . .]

      2. Within species, fights will be most damaging when combatants: (a) differ most in heritable characteristics perceptible to the opponent, and (b) derive from distant regions or from different subpopulations. [. . .]

      4. Co-operative relations and weak social hierarchy within groups will corre- late with the following interrelated factors: (a) small group size, (b) hostility to strangers, (c) endogamy, and (d) high F ST ‘

      5. Conservation of local resources by populations will correlate with the fac- tors cited in prediction 4, subject to the requirement that a population remains in and defends a group territory for many generations.

      6. The general level of aggressiveness in a population will rise during periods of increased dispersal and will remain raised until a higher average relation- ship between neighbours has been re-established. The persistence of aggres- siveness after a population crash may be relevant here, but study of FIS and FST over the whole period of a population cycle would be necessary to confirm this.

      INTERGROUP HOSTILITY, WARS, AND CRUELTY

      In a recent study of biochemical polymorphism in farm populations of the house mouse, Petras 48 found no evidence of other than random mating within local groups, but on the basis of gene-frequency differences between groups he estimated FST = 0.18. Substituting in the formula explained in Appendix B (page 221) this gives b = 0.305, which shows that within groups mice should treat the average individual encountered as a relative closer than a grandchild (or half sib) but more distant than an offspring (or full sib), referring to an outbred population. [. . .]

      In all these cases group territories are defended. From what has been said it would not be surprising to find the demographically stronger groups pushing into the territories of their weaker neighbours. Fission could either precede or follow the taking over of territory. No doubt strong groups would also have higher rates of emission of long-range migrants looking for fresh land to colo- nize or seeking assimilation into other groups, but for the reasons already given I suspect that production of new colonies by budding is relatively more impor- tant in the most mutualistic species.

      Similar rather closed and highly co-operative societies appear in primates. As would be expected, with increased intelligence, they are much more com- plex, but intergroup hostility in varying degrees still occurs. 53

      With still further increase in intelligence, with increase in ability to commu- nicate (and hence also to organize), with invention of new weapons (primarily for hunting) and ability to transmit culturally the techniques acquired, and with increase in possessions that could be carried off or usurped and used in situ, I find no difficulty in imagining that it could become advantageous for groups to make organized forcible incursions into the territory of their weaker neighbours. In other words, I suggest that warfare was a natural development from the evolutionary trends taking place in the hominid stock. [. . .]

      If we accept that the elaborate instinctive patterns involved in the ‘war’, ‘slavery’, and ‘robbery’ of the social insects are evolved by natural selection, can we consider it unlikely that in humans also the corresponding phenomena have a natural basis? In humans certainly we are concerned with amorphous and variable inclinations rather than instincts; but, of course, considering what a newcomer our species is to our present ecological situation, compared with any of the highly social ants, bees, or wasps, and how differently the ontogeny of human behaviour is planned, this is what we expect.

      I hope that by now the relevance to my theme of the quotation from Nietzsche will have become apparent. Populations are usually viscous and subdivided. On considerations of inclusive fitness we do not expect to find everywhere a Hobbesian war of all against all for the necessities of life- the ‘Malthus’ of Nietzsche’s phrase. There should be restraint in the struggle within groups and within local areas in the interest of maintaining strength for the intergroup struggle or for the united repression of outsiders. [. . .]

      With pleasure in cruelty as the motivation to punishment,62 and with cruelty to create terror, an individualistic argument sounds less plausible; but considering inclusive fitness, or group selection (which may be a really appropriate term for many human situations), there is no theoretical difficulty. For example, a priori, terror seems as good a weapon as false promises in bringing about the early submission or removal of a threatened tribe.

      http://racehist.blogspot.com/2015/03/more-from-hamilton-on-kin-recognition.html

    • SimplyFred / Aug 3 2015 6:39 AM

      Sounds like a chat room filled with social sciences majors. So, let me share with you the second most important point. While you scholars are hammering away at building charts and graphs. It remains impossible for a young man and a young woman to fall in love in college, get married, move into married dorm housing and start their family. Why are we paying inner city crack addicted prostitutes to squirt their bastards onto the sidewalk? Why shouldn’t ADC payments have prerequisites, like a marriage license, college enrollment, and an ACT score of 20 or better?

    • redzengenoist / Aug 3 2015 8:41 AM

      Sorry to say, but I must agree with n/a, this is easily my least-favourite jayman post. Mostly because of what n/a just wrote (even ignoring direct kinship and cousinhoods going to fractions of a percent, you’re still overwhelmingly more related to a person of your own ethnic group than one of another. But n/a’s correction is utterly dwarfed by this horror which somehow escaped your fingers onto the keyboard, jayman:

      “Hence, there is no human ethnic group that exhibits ethnic nepotism. This includes Ashkenazi Jews. Complex rules on who is a suitable partner for reciprocal altruism can develop, and every society has such rules (who is an acceptable partner, and under what circumstances, etc.). But these have nothing to do with ethnic nepotism, didn’t arise via kin selection, and don’t depend on genetic relatedness per se. This includes Ashkenazi Jews.”

      Every ethnic group exhibits varying degrees of ethnic nepotism. At most, you can say that your model does not predict ethnic nepotism. But the implication is not that ethnic nepotism does not exist. The implication is that your model is incomplete. In this case, obviously, your model doesn’t take into consideration all the reasons why ethnic nepotists would have a selective advantage (hint: same reason why people inclined to join a mafia or an army might have a selective advantage… this stuff isn’t complicated…).

    • JayMan / Aug 3 2015 8:50 AM

      @redzengenoist:

      you’re still overwhelmingly more related to a person of your own ethnic group than one of another.

      But the key issue is this: how is helping an unrelated co-ethnic going to translate into improved fitness for you because of your distant relatedness? More specifically, for the genes that incline you to such, behavior, which is all that matters? All that stuff about genetic background is immaterial.

      Every ethnic group exhibits varying degrees of ethnic nepotism. At most, you can say that your model does not predict ethnic nepotism. But the implication is not that ethnic nepotism does not exist.

      I used my words very carefully. There can be no such thing as ethnic nepotism (which means kin favoritism). Such a behavior could have nothing to do with inclusive fitness.

      Like I said, in-group favoritism does exist, but it had nothing to do with kin selection (inclusive fitness). However such behaviors arose, it was through some other mechanism, and the target is to some degree fungible.

      Also, see Misdreavus’s words on how ethnically favoring people actually are (answer: not a whole lot).

    • Anbuis / Aug 3 2015 10:30 AM

      The UK police admitting that they ignored the gang rapes of over 1400 little white girls by 3rd world muslims in Rotherham UK because they where afraid of being called racist is the true definition of #cuckservative. Had the beheading of UK soldier Lee Rigby in broad daylight on the streets of London not been video taped with the bloody handed black moslems yelling “Alli Akbut”, the #cuckservative lie that had been initially told would have been the official version. All of the rapes in Oslo for the last 5 years have been committed by non Europeans, even if criminality is only a cultural influence the productive people of 1st world nations shouldn’t be paying taxes so 3rd world savages can live on welfare/dole.

      Unless you believe that DNA has absolutely no possible influence on IQ, you would have to oppose those who have made almost all the achievements of civilization after Asians invented gunpowder being an ever smaller portion of the human population, along with being minorities in their own homeland if trends continue. Even if you thought that was ok, they are being taxed to support their own replacement, the Labour party in the UK admitted to purposely importing the stupidest people they could, in order to rub diversity in peoples noses and bet that their decedents would be so stupid they would have no choice but to vote for the party of more free stuff.

      It is insane to be using taxpayer money to be importing people from the highest crime, R style evolution areas, who we have black and white (as in before color film) video of them not knowing of the invention of the wheel & video of kuru, caused by cannibalism, that had another outbreak in Africa during the last decade r/t people eating albino humans for magic powers.

      Even those that push culture instead of DNA come up with questions that can only be answered by DNA.
      “How can we explain the fact that 95% of the students in Taiwan answered correctly, versus 12% in Kuwait and 9% in Qatar? … What stops the fabulously rich countries in the Gulf from providing high-quality instruction to their children?” ~ Michael Minkov Cultural Differences in a Globalizing World

  3. Izak / Aug 2 2015 5:21 PM

    I suppose I can understand the need for these sorts of blog posts to come up periodically. It’s a nice way to demonstrate that what you’re attempting to do is completely apolitical and everything, I get it. But in this particular post, you’re responding to the whole “cuckservative” deal on twitter, and I’m not seeing any instance in which people have cited the genetic concept of group interests, nor did you demonstrate anything like that in your post. You just reposted a picture with a caption that tries to be funny.

    What I’m getting from these posts, although you don’t explicitly say it, is that the debunking of group selection should function as a de facto argument against any kind of ethno-nationalism. But how exactly is that so? One can easily be an ethno-nationalist and justify it on the basis of similar genes creating better cooperation, or maybe the idea that conceiving of race as the basis for a civilization — regardless of how abstract or arbitrary such a source of identity might be — can give that civilization a sense of meaning and purpose that allows it to work well. The question of group selection is definitely interesting, but if you think it has any bearing on these kinds of political questions, either as an affirmation or contradiction, I can’t really agree.

    I mean, let me put it this way. Your whole enterprise is in understanding human behavior. You’re trying to figure out the reasons people do things, and so every instance of human behavior should be understood as “natural” and thus up for analysis. But here, you’re taking a model of selection — kin-selection rather than group selection — you’re citing it as the epitome of natural behavior, and then attacking ethno-nationalists for basically not being “natural” enough. Do you not see at least a little bit of humor in this?

    Also, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but no one cares about Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique for its scientific claims. I do occasionally, *occasionally* see people taking MacDonald seriously as an evolutionary theorist and buying his argument that Jews are acting due to genetically imbued interests, but it’s rare. Most of the time, people laud MacDonald because his book functions as a nice, breezy catalogue of things the Jews have done to undermine the intellectual pillars of Western civilization. I have my disagreements with MacDonald, but I don’t really think WNs care much about the motivations behind the Jews nearly as much as the outcome of their behavior. I can definitely see the need to set the record straight on MacDonald, but if you’re attacking the work’s political implications, it would be best to focus exclusively on the people who are really trying to engage with the scientific hypothesis he puts forth. That number seems sparse.

    And again, I get the need for these posts, and I’m not trying to contradict your politics or anything like that, whatever they might be. But in the past, you seemed to be making these posts as a defense against people abusing your science. In this post, you’ve done no such thing — you’ve gone on the attack, and you have failed to cite any instance of people using group selection to prove their claims. If anyone is politicizing HBD here, it seems to be you.

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 9:06 PM

      @Izak:

      in this particular post, you’re responding to the whole “cuckservative” deal on twitter, and I’m not seeing any instance in which people have cited the genetic concept of group interests

      “Race-cuck.” ‘Nuff said (or should be).

      Spend some time reading around. You’ll find more.

      You’re trying to figure out the reasons people do things, and so every instance of human behavior should be understood as “natural” and thus up for analysis. But here, you’re taking a model of selection – kin-selection rather than group selection — you’re citing it as the epitome of natural behavior, and then attacking ethno-nationalists for basically not being “natural” enough.

      No, you’ve misunderstood me then.

      In-group favoritism can evolve. But any such favoritism directed at non-relatives cannot evolve through kin selection, and that’s the main point of this post.

      That does not mean that some people can’t have any sense of in-group favoritism, since they clearly do. To an extent, the targeted groups are somewhat arbitrary and subject to change (see The Rise of Universalism).

    • n/a / Aug 2 2015 9:53 PM

      JayMan,

      “But any such favoritism directed at non-relatives cannot evolve through kin selection, and that’s the main point of this post. [. . .] To an extent, the targeted groups are somewhat arbitrary and subject to change”

      You’re getting this exactly backwards. The only way group altruistic behaviors could have evolved is through satisfying Hamilton’s rule. That some evolved groupish behavioral modules are general enough that in the modern world they can be perverted to anti-tribal or anti-ethnic ends does not alter this fact.

      Did Warfare Among Ancestral Hunter-Gatherers Affect the Evolution of Human Social Behaviors?

      Samuel Bowles

      Since Darwin, intergroup hostilities have figured prominently in explanations of the evolution of human social behavior. Yet whether ancestral humans were largely “peaceful” or “warlike” remains controversial. I ask a more precise question: If more cooperative groups were more likely to prevail in conflicts with other groups, was the level of intergroup violence sufficient to influence the evolution of human social behavior? Using a model of the evolutionary impact of between-group competition and a new data set that combines archaeological evidence on causes of death during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene with ethnographic and historical reports on hunter-gatherer populations, I find that the estimated level of mortality in intergroup conflicts would have had substantial effects, allowing the proliferation of group-beneficial behaviors that were quite costly to the individual altruist.

    • Izak / Aug 4 2015 2:49 PM

      Jayman: Thank you for your reply and the clarification. It sounds like you aren’t making as sweeping of a criticism as I thought.

      I guess on the question of whether “race-cuck” or “cuckservative” or anything like that depends on the belief in group selection, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I can see your logic, here: since a married man has genetic interests for his own seed, the “cuckservative” meme seems to imply that the white race also has such interests for itself as a race. But here’s the thing: metaphors don’t have to be 100% logically transferable. They aren’t like blankets that tarp over a mess of objects and cover everything down to the last edge and contour. I’m familiar with group selection, but I never thought “cuckservative” had anything to do with that, not even for a second. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind until I saw this blog post.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 2:57 PM

      @Izak:

      Not just group selection, but even selection through inclusive fitness. Just doesn’t work on non-relatives, even if they’re co-ethnics.

      Instead of trying to think about how discriminatory feelings could have actually evolved, these guys are stuck trying to defend the idea of “ethnic genetic interests”.

    • Izak / Aug 4 2015 5:15 PM

      But there’s nothing rhetorically powerful about saying, “Defend an abstraction for its own sake! Defend an arbitrary hinge of civilization because we need some sort of hinge, and the others have failed!” I get that saying, “Our race wants to survive, and we ought to help it do that” is basically mythological, but I don’t think anyone takes it as literally as you might think. When people participate in mythology, it’s like empathizing with a character in a film. If you can reduce your ideology or race to an individual, then you want to work harder to help it, since it’s like a friend. But there’s always some distance in doing this sort of thing.

      At any rate, political discourse and scientific discourse will probably always be doomed to speak past each other. I think I see this as a good thing.

  4. Lion of the Judah-sphere / Aug 2 2015 5:23 PM

    Okay just a thought experiment to make sure I understand:

    Suppose I’m a 100% white guy from England. I won a prize at a fair, and the prize is a follows:
    I get to go into a fancy underground facility for nuclear warheads and other military arsenal. In this underground lair there’s two rooms: one filled with 1000 unrelated Englishmen, and another filled with 1000 unrelated black Zimbabweans. I am given a choice to press a button that blows up all the people in either room as my prize.

    So the non-existence of EGI means that if I blow up everyone in room 1, it makes no difference to my overall genetic success, even though the guys in room 1 are microscopically more related to me? Like, they’re all Englishmen, so even though they’re not my cousins and have relatedness coefficients of less than .2%, they still share some alleles in common with me that the Zimbabweans wouldn’t have. In neither case is there any reproductive cost to me. So it doesn’t matter that the Englishmen are even .0000001% more closely related to me?

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 8:26 PM

      @Lion:

      If you wiped out all Englishmen, or at least all your distant extended family, it might matter then.

      But how often has that happened in the evolutionary past?

  5. jasonbayz / Aug 2 2015 8:21 PM

    You can imagine situations in which natural selection would favor an increase in frequency for a trait that aided group survival while hurting individual reproductive success – but it’s not all that easy. Here’s the problem: imagine a situation in which some individuals in the group have an allele that causes them to fight in a way that saves the collective – the catch is that some get killed in the process. Members of the tribe that don’t have this allele are saved as well, but they don’t pay the price. At the end of this fight, the frequency of the self-sacrificing allele has gone down, not up. So how can the altruistic allele hang around? How would it ever have become common in the first place?

    This is based on the assumption that the free riders are not punished and the self sacrificing people are not rewarded. That’s not how it would work in the real world. Altruism would have been selected for, and not just “reciprocal altruism.” Humans are smart and can tell the difference between the guy who is “selfish” and the guy who is genuinely altruistic. The idea that it would be “impossible” for group altruism to evolve is simply wrong. And considering how common group altruism is(whether that group is an ethny, race or religion), I find it hard to believe that it hasn’t.

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 8:24 PM

      What you’re talking about is reciprocal altruism, which has no trouble evolving when two actors interact repeatedly.

    • jasonbayz / Aug 2 2015 8:55 PM

      What I’m describing is group altruism. It is distinguished from “reciprocal altruism” the same way the “patriot” can be distinguished from the “mercenary.” The “group altruist” is inherently altruistic towards his group, not just because he expects something in return.

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 8:59 PM

      @jasonbayz:

      Reciprocal altruism can act towards certain “approved” targets. It’s still reciprocal altruism.

      (Note that I’m using “reciprocal altruism” in the broad sense; this includes generosity.)

    • jasonbayz / Aug 2 2015 9:10 PM

      Reciprocal altruism is “a behavior whereby an organism acts in a manner that temporarily reduces its fitness while increasing another organism’s fitness, with the expectation that the other organism will act in a similar manner at a later time.”(Wikipedia, emphasis added) The type of altruism I’m describing needn’t involve the element of “reciprocity.” It’s an inherent tendency towards loyalty and altruism toward your group regardless of whether it is good for you.

    • JayMan / Aug 2 2015 9:22 PM

      @jasonbayz:

      1. We’ve been through this matter before here. (Of course, I don’t mean NW Euro universalistic “reciprocal altruism” here.)

      2. See Misdreavus above on punishing shirkers.

  6. Polynices / Aug 3 2015 2:23 AM

    Two thoughts: 1. That’s an adorable kid. 2. Your next one is going to age at one-quarter speed (Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirates_of_Penzance).

    • JayMan / Aug 3 2015 9:01 AM

      @Polynices:

      Thank you!

      We’ll see if the next one actually comes on the 29th. We’ve joked about whether he/she will be happy with that birthday or not for the reason you mention. 🙂

  7. Anbuis / Aug 3 2015 11:52 AM

    “But the key issue is this: how is helping an unrelated co-ethnic going to translate into improved fitness for you because of your distant relatedness? More specifically, for the genes that incline you to such, behavior, which is all that matters? All that stuff about genetic background is immaterial”

    The easiest argument to make would be in an environment where the EBT / Food stamp card didn’t exist. Fortunately we can look at 10-12-2013 when the food stamp system went down for 8 hours in 16 states ,with govt benefits renewing at the beginning of the month it would have been orders of magnitude worse if during the 1st week of the month ,the viral videos of chimp outs where enough to scare people to move, if you didn’t see them at the time just go to you tube and search (ebt food stamp fail) as youtube removes them and they get put back up. The other instance of food stamp failure would be hurricane Katrina and the group of Australian tourists trapped in the superdome in a sea of black and the hero National Guardsman who saved them. They instinctively knew their lower crime phenotype even before blacks started grabbing them, despite not having enough experience with blacks to leave the situation as soon as they entered.

    Here is some of the account of the whites in the Katrina superdome.
    http://www.news.com.au/national/aussie-tourist-saved-from-the-nightmare-of-hurricane-katrina-looks-to-return-the-favour/story-fncynjr2-1226707855429
    “What could only be described as a ‘gang element’ was among those taking refuge and thefts and sexual assaults were rampant. Violence broke out over food, water, power outlets. One National Guardsman was shot after his gun was wrestled away from him.”

    “There was this disappointment in us as a species that’s been the big thing to get over – how quickly we fold and turn on each other.”
    They said that but look at the ingrouping and order of people who didn’t know to avoid blacks before they got to the US

    “Several of the female tourists had been threatened with rape including a Brazilian who managed to escape four men who tried to drag her into an empty room.”

    “When Bud found out what happened with the girls we just locked down and didn’t let anyone go anywhere without an escort,” said McNeil. The men in the group took positions around the women in the stadium seating, so no one would be hassled.”____

    In a world where the redistribution of food stamps / EBT works those who evolved in situations where they had to plan/store/build in order to survive winters without food growing are still better off being surrounded by others who plan/store build. The rooftop Asian shopkeepers with rifles during the crack addict Rodney King riots exemplify why those who evolved in K style environments are better off helping each other. If you want to see instinctual movement patterns there are hundreds of videos of black packs attacking Asians & whites on the site WHITE GIRL BLEED A LOT. Pretty much every black pack attack flows the same way.

    The world could very well devolve into the movie Elysium with Asians and whites fleeing for space. If someone believes that a black boy born in a rice paddy would have the same 1 out of 50 chance to get a perfect math SAT(better than whites) there is no amount of proof that could sway them. If I was in a strange city that had non Asian minorities rioting, if I couldn’t get out I would head to Chinatown. Many on ebt/ food stamps are no farther advanced than cargo cultists that see Asians/whites as piggy banks.

  8. johan stavers / Aug 3 2015 6:46 PM

    Now lets say in the ancient days there were 2 genetically different tribes of about 50 people each.in a certain fruitful valley. The valley is however only giving enough food for about a 100 people. If one of those groups one day decides to kill of the other then a few years later they will have doubled the number of individuals in their group. Their distinct genetic lineage has taken over and the other has disappeared. The only genetic interest that doesn’t exist (anymore) is then that of the vanished tribe…because their dead and for sure those of the surviving tribe who were killed in action have seen most of their genes multiplied beyond what would have been possible had they not sacrificed.

    You know the only reason multi cell organisms are even viable is because all their cells contain the same DNA. So for the cell line to continue it doesn’t matter if the overwhelming majority doesn’t procreate, every cell in your body is altruistic and will kill itself if this serves the good of the body. This observation can be extended to sterile ants who are clones that readily sacrifice their lives for the hive. In a sense ants are ‘one organism’ – ‘multiple body’. It only makes sense that the diluted similarity resulting from sexual reproduction selects for a similar diluted instinct for in-group altruism and out-group hostility.

    I’m surprised that history with his multitude of examples of ethnic violence which clearly would have been weeded out by natural selection if it hadn’t been adaptive hasn’t make you at least suspect the existence of an inborn human tribal instinct that evolved specifically to favor those genetically most similar to you. I mean, more specifically, were do you think the love of your child comes from?, your brain, your instincts, because it carries your genes! (but that’s the ration part, the emotion, that’s the instinct).

    • JayMan / Aug 3 2015 6:52 PM

      @johan stavers:

      I’m surprised that history with his multitude of examples of ethnic violence which clearly would have been weeded out by natural selection if it hadn’t been adaptive hasn’t make you at least suspect the existence of an inborn human tribal instinct that evolved specifically to favor those genetically most similar to you. I mean, more specifically, were do you think the love of your child comes from

      Kin altruism clearly exists. This post doesn’t claim otherwise. But look at the relationship coefficients. Your unrelated co-ethnics aren’t your kin.

      Now lets say in the ancient days there were 2 genetically different tribes of about 50 people each.in a certain fruitful valley. The valley is however only giving enough food for about a 100 people. If one of those groups one day decides to kill of the other then a few years later they will have doubled the number of individuals in their group. Their distinct genetic lineage has taken over and the other has disappeared. The only genetic interest that doesn’t exist (anymore) is then that of the vanished tribe

      Individuals in such small tribes are often close kin. Kin altruism is enough to explain such conflicts.

      But, seriously, in the past, people didn’t encounter people that are from different races very much. Certainly not enough to select for special ethnic nepotism. It just don’t fly.

    • Abraham Lincoln / Aug 3 2015 7:57 PM

      @JayMan,

      I find it difficult to believe that preferring to hang out with people more like oneself (even beyond the supposedly minuscule interrelatedness of the fourth-cousin relationship coefficient level) isn’t an expression of “genetic selfishness” (preferring shared alleles).

      >Even when it comes to a mate for your child: once you start outbreeding, it doesn’t matter if mate is 6th cousin or from 6th continent.

      And stuff like this is just absurd. You’re heinously misusing the relationship coefficients here. Having a kid with somebody whose MRCA with you was 100 years ago means that, due to overlap between you and your mate, your offspring are going to share more of your own alleles than a kid with somebody whose MRCA with you was 1,000 year ago, to say nothing of a kid with somebody whose MRCA with you was 10,000 or 30,000 or 60,000 or 120,000 years ago!

      >Just the same, the inclusive fitness impact to a White American is the same whether he focuses his altruistic act on an unrelated White American or on a Namibian; it is zero in both cases. If you adopt children rather than have your own, the fitness hit to you is the same whether your adopted children are White, Black, Chinese, or Venezuelan.

      I hadn’t realized I’d stepped into a Jobsian reality distortion field.

      >The fitness impact to a White man’s genes if his daughter marries a Black man is the same as if she married an unrelated White man (again, fitness from gene function notwithstanding).

      Whatever happened to regression to the mean? And don’t try to tell me that it’s all about the Black man’s gene function, either! https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/the-breeders-equation/

    • JayMan / Aug 3 2015 8:13 PM

      @Abraham Lincoln:

      Whatever happened to regression to the mean?

      See, this is why I wrote this post. Regression to the mean is a family effect, not a “whole race” effect. Children regress to their family’s mean. The children of a Black man whose family is well above average will be themselves well above average.

      I find it difficult to believe that preferring to hang out with people more like oneself (even beyond the supposedly minuscule interrelatedness of the fourth-cousin relationship coefficient level) isn’t an expression of “genetic selfishness” (preferring shared alleles).

      Nope. Has nothing to do with kin favoritism, unless they’re actually a cousin. Odds are they don’t share all that many alleles for the traits of interest.

      MRCA with you was 100 years ago means that, due to overlap between you and your mate, your offspring are going to share more of your own alleles than a kid with somebody whose MRCA with you was 1,000 year ago, to say nothing of a kid with somebody whose MRCA with you was 10,000 or 30,000 or 60,000 or 120,000 years ago!

      The relationship coefficients means it doesn’t matter, if said mate isn’t actually a close cousin.

    • RaceRealist / Feb 26 2016 6:04 PM

      Regression to the mean is a family effect, not a “whole race” effect. Children regress to their family’s mean. The children of a Black man whose family is well above average will be themselves well above average.

      Not at all Jayman. See this from Ruhston and Jensen (I’m sure you’ve read this paper before), black children will regress to closer to the mean of 85 if 2 SDs above the racial average, as well as if whites were 2 SDs above average, they’d go closer to the average of 100. The converse holds true for both races with IQs 1 or 2 SDs below the average for each race.

      So in the United States, genetic theory predicts that the children of Black parents of IQ 115 will regress toward the Black IQ average of 85, whereas children of White parents of IQ 115 will regress toward the White IQ average of 100. Similarly, children of Black parents of IQ 70 should move up toward the Black IQ average of 85, whereas children of White parents of IQ 70 should move up toward the White IQ average of 100. This hypothesis has been tested and the predictions confirmed. Regression would explain why Black children born to high IQ, wealthy Black parents have test scores 2 to 4 points lower than do White children born to low IQ, poor White parents (Jensen, 1998b, p. 358).

      Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences and Cognitive Ability

      Odds are they don’t share all that many alleles for the traits of interest.

      Really?

      Again, from Rushton:

      The twins’ preference for spouses and friends similar to themselves was about 34% due to the twins’ genes, 12% due to the twins’ common environment, and 54% due to the twins’ unique (nonshared) environment. Similarity to partners was more pronounced on the more heritable items than the less heritable items. It is concluded that people are genetically inclined to choose as social partners those who resemble themselves at a genetic level.

      Mate choice and friendship in twins: evidence for genetic similarity.

      The relationship coefficients means it doesn’t matter, if said mate isn’t actually a close cousin.

      It still does matter. Have you heard of George Price? To quote from the paper he co-authored, The Logic of Animal Conflict

      Conflicts between animals of the same species usually are of “limited war” type, not causing serious injury. This is often explained as due to group or species selection for behaviour benefiting the species rather than individuals. Game theory and computer simulation analyses show, however, that a “limited war” strategy benefits individual animals as well as the species.

      You’re pretty wrong. If you haven’t I highly recommend you read Altruism, Socialization, and Society by Rushton.

      I’m sure you remember this.

    • JayMan / Feb 26 2016 8:04 PM

      Not at all Jayman. See this from Ruhston and Jensen (I’m sure you’ve read this paper before), black children will regress to closer to the mean of 85 if 2 SDs above the racial average, as well as if whites were 2 SDs above average, they’d go closer to the average of 100.

      Yes, if you look at all Blacks 2 SD above the mean. The mean of all families is the mean of the race (obviously, no?). This doesn’t tell you about specific Black (or White, for that matter) families, whose means could be significantly higher than that of the race as a whole.

      Odds are they don’t share all that many alleles for the traits of interest.

      Really?

      Again, from Rushton:

      The twins’ preference for spouses and friends similar to themselves was about 34% due to the twins’ genes, 12% due to the twins’ common environment, and 54% due to the twins’ unique (nonshared) environment. Similarity to partners was more pronounced on the more heritable items than the less heritable items. It is concluded that people are genetically inclined to choose as social partners those who resemble themselves at a genetic level.

      You’re appealing to the authority of Rushton. Modern genomic analyses show that for non relatives, phenotypic similarity is far and away from genetic similarity.

      The attraction to those who are phenotypically similar likely has to do with selection for reciprocal altruism (finding people likely to reciprocate).

      Conflicts between animals of the same species usually are of “limited war” type, not causing serious injury. This is often explained as due to group or species selection for behaviour benefiting the species rather than individuals.

      I guess you don’t know anything about lions, chimpanzees, ants, then – or humans for that matter.

  9. johan stavers / Aug 4 2015 2:22 AM

    @JayMan

    ‘Your unrelated co-ethnics aren’t your kin’

    Ancestral tribes were highly inbred which would surely raise the relationship coefficients quite a bit so I don’t think racial differences were the driving force of ethnic conflict but that even much smaller genetic differences (European ancestry testing can nowadays point to a pretty exact nation or even location for your ancestors) are the cause of the existence of some kind of ‘we like us, we hate them’ instinct. Being an instinct and therefore emotional it can’t be expected to be really sophisticated and it probably relies on simple ‘clues’ as to who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’. Language, culture and religion historically would have been pretty reliable markers because these have a tendency to mutate over time, just like genes. A individual can of course acquire language, culture, religion and pass for a member of the other ‘tribe’ and probably that would work, because instincts are stupid. If racial features are however made part of the in-group definition that doesn’t work anymore because you can’t change the way you look – and you get racism.

    Kin altruism might by the way be enough for you to want to sacrifice your life in a war for your group against an enemy because if your group perishes, so does your close kin (Genocide has been a reoccurring phenomena historically and so has slavery or raping and abusing soldiers).

  10. Henk / Aug 4 2015 4:06 AM

    Seems you want to repeat what Cochran tried in his Brotherhood of Warmblood post: Ethnic altruism can’t evolve ex nihilo via kin selection, so yadda yadda yadda, you’re all stupid.

    However, Cochran was careful not to wander off claiming things outside a very narrow scope. To my knowledge he never made this false claim:

    The fitness impact to a White man’s genes if his daughter marries a Black man is the same as if she married an unrelated White man

    As food for thought, note that both daughter and marriage are important. The fitness impact to a Black man’s genes if his son spritzes his load into a White girl and leaves is clearly positive.

    Since I’m out of time, a quick quote from Dawkins:

    [The coefficient of relationship] is a good approximation provided the genes concerned have no better way of ‘recognizing’ copies of themselves in other individuals.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 7:09 AM

      @Henk:

      e. To my knowledge he never made this false claim:

      The fitness impact to a White man’s genes if his daughter marries a Black man is the same as if she married an unrelated White man

      If you do get time, I’d love for you to explain what’s false about it.

    • Henk / Aug 4 2015 10:08 AM

      @JayMan

      If you do get time, I’d love for you to explain what’s false about it.

      There’s no problem if reproduction is essentially free–in that case, the daughter would simply have both children. With costly reproduction the basic premise of Salter/Harpending holds. (For simplicity’s sake I’m pretending that every gene is affected.)

      For a gene that makes it into a woman’s child, a black father reduces the chance of homozygosity, which would have been a guaranteed ticket into the following generation. For a gene that doesn’t make it directly by descent from the mother, a black father reduces the “second chance” of being present anyway by descent from the father.

      From the gene’s point of view, it matters that a vehicle’s limited resources are spent raising new vehicles that contain copies. A systematically reduced expected number of copies per costly offspring vehicle is a fitness reduction.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 10:15 AM

      @Henk:

      That was the point of my original statement: this only applies if your child’s mate is *also* a relative. The coefficient of relationship is too low between unrelated co-ethnics for this to matter. So to a White woman, there’s no difference between an unrelated White man and a Black man.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 11:17 AM

      @Henk:

      That is, in order for this to work, the degree of relationship to a putative unrelated White mate needs to be high enough such that benefits of inclusive fitness pay off. All this nonsense about “genetic background” is irrelevant. If the inclusive fitness payoff is low in a homogeneous genetic background, it will still be low in a more heterogeneous one. There’s simply no way around that fact.

      Preference for mates who are similar to oneself can evolve, but not because of inclusive fitness, unless we’re talking about actual cousin marriage.

    • Henk / Aug 4 2015 11:36 AM

      @JayMan

      The coefficient of relationship is an approximation that works well analyzing initial spread of new mutations because usually only a direct line descendent of the carrier of the original mutation will have the new gene. Without inbreeding, the approximation will hold up very well for a few generations.

      In this case we’re not talking about new mutations but about old ones already mixed into the population. Close relatives may obtain an additional boost of likelihood of sharing a given gene, above a (nonzero) base rate. The base rate is specific to a given gene. In the limit, a gene has gone to fixation and relatedness doesn’t matter at all. For our example’s woman, this base rate expectation of sharing a gene with her child (and the child’s children) does depend on race of the unrelated father and should tend to be lower for a black father.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 12:10 PM

      @Henk:

      Still don’t fly. See this whole with Misdreavus on why.

    • Henk / Aug 4 2015 2:05 PM

      @JayMan

      Misdreavus:

      If the gene manages to successfully replicate more copies, it INCREASES in frequency.

      Um, yeah. Which is of course precisely what we’re talking about, a gene’s probability of successfully having “more copies” in a vehicle’s descendants. And we found that when comparing potential fathers, race can influence that probability. If one choice offers consistently lower probability, taking that choice is fitness reducing for affected genes.

      This interacts with cost per child. Misdreavus:

      Every time a man mates with a female, his chromosomal fragments get broken up and re-assembled into unique patterns that are (more or less) randomly. And it doesn’t matter if the other half genetic half of his offspring comes from a member of his own race […]

      He’s right for the case of costless drive-by insemination. That man’s child would be pure win, no matter who the mother happens to be, because no trade-off decision had to be made. Not so when a child has high cost, which forces to choose, trading off potential mates because not all can be used. (In the wild, the race factor would be one trade-off among many, and no argument is offered on relative weight.)

      Misdreavus:

      Any competing allele at the same locus that reproduces itself less often, but keeps itself within a “purer” gene pool of other loci found most commonly among members of a single race, would be an evolutionary loser.

      Sure, reproducing less often to avoid black fathers wouldn’t work out. I think nobody has proposed that. On the other hand, for high-investment parents–who already don’t pump out offspring like little machine guns–mate choice has consequences.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 2:41 PM

      @Henk:

      Um, yeah. Which is of course precisely what we’re talking about, a gene’s probability of successfully having “more copies” in a vehicle’s descendants.

      You’re arguing that there are fitness consequences to the race of unrelated mates. But a little thought should show why that’s silly. Let’s assume here that the genes that vary between races were fitness neutral with respect to one another. Is a White person going to have more descendants if they mate with an unrelated White person over a Black person?

      Like I said, think about it.

    • Henk / Aug 4 2015 4:17 PM

      @JayMan

      You’re arguing that there are fitness consequences to the race of unrelated mates.

      Indeed.

      Is a White person going to have more descendants if they mate with an unrelated White person over a Black person?

      That’s entirely orthogonal to the issue at hand.

      Like I said, think about it.

      Think unit of selection. Think fitness impact at the level of the gene. Feel free to assume no difference whatsoever regarding number of individual descendants.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 5:02 PM

      @Henk:

      Think unit of selection. Think fitness impact at the level of the gene. Feel free to assume no difference whatsoever regarding number of individual descendants.

      Would such a behavior be selected for under such circumstances? Answer that and I think we’ve settled the issue.

    • pumpkinperson / Aug 4 2015 7:18 PM

      Would such a behavior be selected for under such circumstances? Answer that and I think we’ve settled the issue.

      What was likely selected for was an instinctive ability to compare two people and favor the one who looks or acts more like you or the people you grew up around (a proxy for genetic relatedness).

      This instinctive ability may have evolved for the purpose of distinguishing very close kin from slightly less close kin (siblings vs cousins) because humans originally lived in small bands of extended families, but once humans encountered distant races, it would likely cause them to favour their co-ethnics over other races, and the degree to which ethnic favoritism is genetically adaptive depends on 1) your definition of genetic fitness, and 2) the cost of the ethnic favoritism (you can help someone without hurting yourself).

    • Henk / Aug 5 2015 3:10 AM

      @JayMan

      My point was that the “no ethnic altruism” argument does not imply a lack of genetic fitness impact from racial mate choice. You claim too much ground, and so does Misdreavus. Cochran didn’t.

      Would such a behavior be selected for under such circumstances?

      Unsure what “such a behavior” refers to, but the answer would probably be: I don’t know. Real world mate choice integrates lots of factors. The issue under discussion may be a factor, but it would be subject to overrides from many other factors. In the case of US race relations, I’d expect other factors to dominate.

      I do expect outbreeding avoidance to exist, probably more pronounced in women, although not necessarily based on the effect under discussion.

  11. Abraham Lincoln / Aug 4 2015 4:11 PM

    @JayMan,

    Just the same, the inclusive fitness impact to a White American is the same whether he focuses his altruistic act on an unrelated White American or on a Namibian; it is zero in both cases. If you adopt children rather than have your own, the fitness hit to you is the same whether your adopted children are White, Black, Chinese, or Venezuelan.

    This cannot possibly be true if a white American shares more of his genes with an “unrelated” white American than with a Namibian. As, indeed, he does.

    Regression to the mean is a family effect, not a “whole race” effect. Children regress to their family’s mean. The children of a Black man whose family is well above average will be themselves well above average.

    Most black children don’t belong to families which are well above average. Hell, most black children don’t even belong to families! A single mother does not a family make. But I know what we’re really talking about is your “black” family, so I’ll say this: Children regress to the family mean, and families regress to the population mean. Your children have some seriously loaded dice, but they’re not quite as loaded as yours were. Regression is inevitable.

    The relationship coefficients means it doesn’t matter, if said mate isn’t actually a close cousin.

    How can my genetic overlap with my sixth cousin be no greater than my genetic overlap with a Namibian? This defies comprehension.

    The fitness impact to a White man’s genes if his daughter marries a Black man is the same as if she married an unrelated White man (again, fitness from gene function notwithstanding).

    I already quoted this, but I missed something the first time: sexual selection. The relative statuses of the parental “races” affects the future reproductive success of their descendants. An example of this is the 80/20 African/white admixture in African-Americans today. A child with 50/50 blend of African/white looks black, so he’s stuck with the status of the African-American population, and likely stays in that gene pool. Similarly, a child with 50/50 blend of Asian/white looks Asian, so he inherits the status of the Asian population, although he’s probably not as limited to that gene pool, as white people don’t seem to be nearly as averse to miscegenation with Asians. Now that I’ve typed it out, it sounds racist, but so is HBD.

    The prevalence of such nonsense beliefs in this space speaks to the mindset of some in it. Most humans have some sort of agenda, and it is fairly normal behavior to selectively interpret/acknowledge fact in such a way that suits such an agenda. But no, you can’t excuse your racism by appealing to ethnic genetic interests. Nor can you excuse your misogyny and other hatred by appealing to specious claims about the sexes, children, or other classes of individuals. One feature of these individuals is a visceral opposition to “race mixing”.

    One can’t excuse one’s racism by appealing to ethnic nepotism, but one can excuse one’s racism by acknowledging racial differences in IQ, violence, poverty, education, altruism, and so on. Similarly, one can excuse one’s sexism by acknowledging sexual differences in IQ, violence, poverty, sexual behavior, divorce, and so on. More often than not, the why it is matters less than the what we’re going to do about it.

    • Abraham Lincoln / Aug 4 2015 4:13 PM

      I’m not sure what happened to my quote tags. Sorry.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 5:29 PM

      @Abraham Lincoln:

      Children regress to the family mean, and families regress to the population mean

      Oh boy…

      Now, if you mean that all families “regress” to the mean of their race in the sense that the mean IQ of all families at a given moment is the mean of the race, you’d be right. If you mean across generations, you’d be very wrong (have you not heard of Gregory Clark?).

      Regression to the mean would cease entirely after the first generation in a world with perfect assortative mating. Come on now.

      How can my genetic overlap with my sixth cousin be no greater than my genetic overlap with a Namibian? This defies comprehension.

      I didn’t say that. What I did say was that that doesn’t matter.

      I already quoted this, but I missed something the first time: sexual selection. The relative statuses of the parental “races” affects the future reproductive success of their descendants. An example of this is the 80/20 African/white admixture in African-Americans today. A child with 50/50 blend of African/white looks black, so he’s stuck with the status of the African-American population, and likely stays in that gene pool. Similarly, a child with 50/50 blend of Asian/white looks Asian

      And how does any of this impact fitness?

      In any case, I did say fitness impact of the genes themselves notwithstanding.

      This intellectual exercise is interesting to me, because it shows the lengths people will go to to justify their own prejudices.

  12. Ryan / Aug 4 2015 6:56 PM

    I don’t think you’re exactly strawmanning these folks, as their arguments seem to be simply exactly as dumb as you say. But often an ostensibly smart person isn’t nearly as stupid as they seem to be. If we remove giant chunks of stupidity from their argument, there might be a kernel of reason left over.

    So for example I can imagine a pretty simple but ugly version of the argument which may not be sheer idiocy. If we accept that in black Americans genes are driving the triforce of single mommy, feral child and abandoning dad, and you find out your daughter is dating a black man who was the child of a single mother, and you forbid her from dating him or any other black man who’s the child of a single mom, that’s racist as all hell by any definition. However what justifies calling this irrational?

    A second attempt to throw these people a lifeline would be to ask if maybe they don’t mean genetic fitness but are rather referring to something we might call socio-political fitness? Liberal creationism, the dominant belief system in the country, is based on obvious BS but people believe it anyway. They like to talk about how white people may have power in society now, but it’s going to go away, and they seem to be enacting many laws with that goal in mind. It’s most fervent adherents alternate between wearing Che Guevara t-shirts and those with slogans like kill all white men.

    Maybe in that situation the fact that evolutionary biology has no place for a concept like white collective interests isn’t actually the pertinent fact you’re making it out to be? In fairness I think I may be strawmanning your position here.

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 7:01 PM

      @Ryan:

      If we accept that in black Americans genes are driving the triforce of single mommy, feral child and abandoning dad, and you find out your daughter is dating a black man who was the child of a single mother, and you forbid her from dating him or any other black man who’s the child of a single mom, that’s racist as all hell by any definition. However what justifies calling this irrational?

      Or White men with similar backgrounds, who would impart the same level of bad genes into your gene pool, then yes. (Good luck in making that happen, though.)

      Not that I made no comment either way on the rationality of ethnic favoritism. Only that it couldn’t have arose via kin selection (or group selection). That’s all.

    • ryan / Aug 4 2015 7:39 PM

      @JayMan

      I guess what really confuses me is why people would bend over backward trying to make a case for the evolutionary fitness of ethnophilia when the case for the fitness of xenophobia seems really obvious. Or is not as obvious as I think?

    • JayMan / Aug 4 2015 7:42 PM

      @ryan:

      when the case for the fitness of xenophobia seems really obvious. Or is not as obvious as I think?

      Is it?

    • ryan / Aug 5 2015 12:24 AM

      @JayMan

      A whole, whole lot of people have reproduced or not reproduced because they survived or did not survive a war. A whole, whole lot of people have reproduced or not reproduced because they killed or ran off a stranger before they caused them trouble. The “us/them mentality” gets you there on both fronts. And it seems like a behavioral trait in the plainest sense.

  13. johan stavers / Aug 6 2015 2:22 PM

    hmm, now having actually read the section from Misdreavus and further down I think this ‘altruistic gene cannot be selected for idea’ is actually a classic free-rider problem. You can actually observe that people are mostly quick to administer altruistic punishment to those who don’t ‘chip in’ or ‘pull their weight’. In the most extreme case during war an example would be deserters or cowards being shot.

    So altruistic genes, leading to behavior not optimal for the individual vis-a-vis other individuals in the group but optimal for the group vis-a-vis other groups, can be selected for if there is simultaneously a selection for ‘free-rider punishment genes’. Of course no instinct can have evolved to deal with the big populations of todays nations because those big populations have not existed for most of humanities history.

    some notes

    – coefficient of relationship is flawed, if a man fathers a child with his sister his child is more than 50% related, this extends to niece/nephew mating and therefore logically also to mating within ethnicity or even nation (if it is ethnically homogeneous) where you probably only have to go back no more than a couple of dozen generations to find a common ancestor.
    – it is therefore illogical to claim kin selection exists but that group selection does not because they are basically the same thing, namely proportionally favoring those who share more genes with you.
    “The reason is simple: if an altruistic act isn’t going confer a fitness benefit when outsiders are absent (thanks to Hamilton’s rule), it isn’t going to suddenly confer more fitness when outsiders are present” -> this is simply false because groups compete and groups that have individuals that sacrifice for the group simply win. If the group wins which in which almost all your genes can be found wins out by an self sacrificing act of yours then you reproduce more copies of your genes then when to less related group wins out.(‘winning’ meaning having the most secure reproductive future).
    – When you racially mix you throw away 50% of the genes that are distinctive for your own race (and therefore of you!). Actually that sort of behavior doesn’t seem very adaptive. You for instance introduce the change that your grandchild won’t have any of your (ethnically) distinct genes because those might be the ones thrown away in your child’s mating.
    Your conclusion can simply be turned around, you can’t excuse your racial mixing by claiming ethnic interest doesn’t exist.
    – racial mixing introduces novel combinations of genes. Selection will weed out those of them who are not favorable but there might also be favorable combinations that otherwise would never have come to be.

    • JayMan / Aug 7 2015 6:36 AM

      @johan stavers:

      coefficient of relationship is flawed, if a man fathers a child with his sister his child is more than 50% related, this extends to niece/nephew mating and therefore logically also to mating within ethnicity or even nation

      No, coefficient of relationship is perfectly fine.

      groups compete and groups that have individuals that sacrifice for the group simply win. If the group wins which in which almost all your genes can be found wins out

      And in cases where that happens, what happens to your genes within the group? That’s right, the decrease in prevalence and eventually disappear. This is why group selection doesn’t exist.

      racial mixing introduces novel combinations of genes. Selection will weed out those of them who are not favorable but there might also be favorable combinations that otherwise would never have come to be.

      Yup, and that’s the only real word here on the matter.

  14. johan stavers / Aug 7 2015 3:26 PM

    @JayMan

    ‘No, coefficient of relationship is perfectly fine’

    I can’t refute the ‘just because I say so argument’

    And in cases where that happens, what happens to your genes within the group? That’s right, the decrease in prevalence and eventually disappear. This is why group selection doesn’t exist.

    There is no reason why my genes would decrease in frequency within the group. The only genes that would be weeded out (by the group) are those of the free rider. Exactly by those supposedly unadaptive altruists.Doesn’t the persistent cultural stereotype of the relative collectivist Chinese with their saying ‘the nail that sticks out, gets hammered’ ring a bell?

    • JayMan / Aug 7 2015 3:31 PM

      Johan stavers:

      Doesn’t the persistent cultural stereotype of the relative collectivist Chinese with their saying ‘the nail that sticks out, gets hammered’ ring a bell?

      That’s something different entirely from ethnic nepotism. Indeed, interesting you pick the Chinese. They are a shining example of ethnic altruism….

  15. n/a / Aug 7 2015 4:24 PM

    @johan stavers:

    coefficient of relationship is flawed, if a man fathers a child with his sister his child is more than 50% related, this extends to niece/nephew mating and therefore logically also to mating within ethnicity or even nation

    No, coefficient of relationship is perfectly fine.

    JayMan, the fact that the table of “coefficients of relationship” on wikipedia is not valid for the purpose you’re attempting to use it is not some subtle issue that’s open to debate, but a point that follows directly from the definitions of the relevant terms.

    Thus, if we can calculate the percentage of homozygosis which would follow on the average from a given system of mating, we can at once form the most. natural coefficient of inbreeding. The writer3 has recently pointed out a method of calculating this percentage of honmozygosis which is applicable to the irregular systems of mating found in actual pedigrees as well as to regular systems. This method, it may be said. gives results widely different from Pearl’s coefficient, in many cases even as regards the relative degree of inbreeding of two animals.

    Taking the typical case in which there are an equal number of dominant. and recessive genes (A and a) in the population, the random-bred stock will be composed of 25 per cent. AA, 50 per cent. Aa and 25 per cent. aa. Close inbreeding will tend to convert the proportions to 50 per cent. AA, 50 per cent. aa, a change from 50 per cent. homozygosis to 100 per cent. homozygosis. For a natural coefficient of inbreeding, we want a scale which runs from 0 to 1, while the percentage of homozygosis is running from, 50 per cent. to 100 per cent. The formula. 2h-1, where h is the proportion of complete homo- zygosis, gives the required value. This can also be written 1-2p where p is the proportion of heterozygosis. In the above-mentioned paper it was shown that the coefficient of correlation between uniting egg and sperm is expressed by this same formula, f 1-2p. We can thus obtain the coefficient of inbreeding fb for a given individual B, by the use of the methods there out- lined.

    The symbol rbc, for the coefficient of the correlation between B and C, may be used as a coefficient of relationship. It has the value 0 in the case of two random individuals, .50 for brothers in a random stock and approaches 1.00 for individuals belonging to a closely inbred subline of the general population. [. . .]

    If an individual is inbred, his sire and dam are connected in the pedigree by lines of descent from a common ancestor or ancestors. The coefficient of inbreeding is obtained by a summation of coefficients for every line by which the parents are connected, each line tracing back from the sire to a common ancestor and thence forward to the dam, and passing through no individual more than once. The same ancestor may of course be involved in more than one line.

    Coefficients of Inbreeding and Relationship
    Sewall Wright
    The American Naturalist
    Vol. 56, No. 645 (Jul. – Aug., 1922), pp. 330-338
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/2456273

    Go ask Greg Cochran about this if comprehension continues to elude you.

  16. johan stavers / Aug 8 2015 5:07 AM

    “racial mixing introduces novel combinations of genes. Selection will weed out those of them who are not favorable but there might also be favorable combinations that otherwise would never have come to be.

    Yup, and that’s the only real word here on the matter. ”

    Ay…just realized that this actually might be more of an argument against racial mixing than the old fashion biblical one that the south Africans used to justify apartheid (god created the races because according to the bible the world hasn’t existed long enough for them to have evolved since, therefore they should not mix). Unfavorable new combinations that eventually get weeded out are not positive for the ethnicity but they are a minor hit compared to an actual new favorable combination because that is like introducing a new breed of fish in a pond that might replace all other fish and thus wiping out the ethnically alleles that have no place in that new genetic combination. Any selfish gene worthy of the name would not stand cheering at such a prospect of annihilation. So, you could say natural selection is no friend of ethnic genetic interest but of course natural selection is no friend of anyone anyway.

    • Greying Wanderer / Aug 8 2015 12:09 PM

      I think the point is speed and scale. Your population isn’t going to pick up all the available “best” genes without some mixture but the question is how much and how fast.

    • johan stavers / Aug 10 2015 6:43 PM

      I can’t help but think of the supposedly 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal DNA in modern non-African humans. Any favorable combination coming from racial recombination will sweep through a population. But that won’t mean that the whole population becomes a racial blend. Only the favorable trait will survive in the long run and this can be totally detached from any observable racial features.

  17. Greying Wanderer / Aug 8 2015 11:58 AM

    “Now how could said putative alleles have grown in frequency if the targets of altruism – hence selection for these alleles (distant relatives or even unrelated people) were highly unlikely to carry it? The fitness of the bearer goes down but the allele does not increase in frequency to compensate.”

    All you need is a situation where initially low levels of altruistic behavior increase fitness e.g. mother-child.

    I agree the dying in battle example doesn’t work on its own but if mother-child spreads the altruism genes first then the argument against sacrifice in battle no longer applies – it would simply be a side-effect of the mother-child relationship being an exception to game theory.
    .

    • JayMan / Aug 8 2015 12:19 PM

      I agree the dying in battle example doesn’t work on its own but if mother-child spreads the altruism genes first then the argument against sacrifice in battle no longer applies – it would simply be a side-effect of the mother-child relationship being an exception to game theory.

      That would require a really haywire set of mother love genes.

  18. Jedi Master / Aug 9 2015 3:57 AM

    Jayman,

    Love your blog but I think there are a few problems here.

    ““Group selection” in a sense can occur, when one group out-competes other groups because of traits the first group possess. But the key fact is that these are traits that individually advantageous within the group. That is, this sort of “group selection” acts in tandem with individual selection, not in spite of it. In that sense, such selection is really a type of individual selection.”

    I definitely think that you’re misinterpreting Bourrat and the pragmatic approach to multi-level selection more generally. It isn’t that such selection is “really” a type of individual selection. Rather, they’re one and the same process.

    The ontological interpretation of group selection/multi-level selection does indeed posit qualitatively different selection processes at two or more levels. But the more pragmatic approach to multi-level selection, by contrast, makes no such claim. Rather, the latter approach claims that there is only a single, unitary selection process occurring at each level simultaneously. Hence, as commenter n/a correctly noted, group selection and kin selection are theoretically equivalent formulations — that is, different perspectives on the same phenomenon. In other words, group selection and kin selection are two equivalent frameworks, analogous to the two equally valid ways of observing a Necker cube (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necker_cube).

    Bourrat and others before him have argued that since multi-level selection pertains to theoretically equivalent formulations, there is much scope for utilizing either. It depends on what one’s scientific questions are; partitioning selective processes in the manner afforded by multi-level selection can therefore be a pragmatically useful theoretical approach.

    David Sloan Wilson has even maintained that all selective processes, even just straightforwardly kin selective ones, can also be re-described in group-selective terms — he calls such re-descriptions ‘kin groups’. In any case, as per the ‘bookkeeping argument’, all group selectionist accounts (including ‘kin group’ formulations) can reciprocally be re-described in kin selectionist terms (so it works both ways).

    (Sterelny and Griffiths describe the ‘bookkeeping argument’ here on page 66: http://scilib-biology.narod.ru/SexDeath/SexDeath.htm#03_3)

    At any rate, framing the selection pressures that shaped our ‘groupish’ psychological adaptations (whatever the precise details of those end up being) can be a very pragmatic conceptual approach. As long as one has the above notion of group selection in mind (as opposed to the older Wynne-Edwards approach and ontological approach), there should be no problem.

    “The non-existence of group-selection means that any traits any human ethnic group possesses are the result of individual selection (and on close kin as described above).

    This includes Jewish peoples. A common trope in this space is that Ashkenazi Jews have group-selected traits that as aided in their success and survival. Of course, that’s rubbish. Any traits they possess are as individually selected as they are for other groups.”

    We have to be careful here, because it’s easy to skate over the subtleties in this territory. Since you mentioned the Ashkenazim, take Kevin MacDonald’s work as an illustration. He utilizes the cultural group selection approach, which, despite many misconceptions, is quite workable and plausible. Anthropologists like Boyd, Richerson, and Henrich have been developing this framework in a sophisticated manner for quite a while now.

    But in a nutshell, the basic idea as applied to the current discussion is that cultures can play a direct role in the survival prospects of groups, as well as in competitive contexts with other rival groups.

    The group selectionist approach can make our coalitional/tribal evolutionary history more apparent, and the cultural group selectionist approach can help make salient how cultural evolution then emerged as a separate channel of inheritance and evolutionary change. In a sense (and to condense things to a very large degree (!)) group survival and group conflict over human evolution and human history appear to a large degree to have played out in the cultural domain, in the process implicating both aggregates of memes and individual memes alike.

    Another layer to all of this is gene–culture co-evolution. When cultural group selection is an important, persistent, and long-standing feature of the evolutionary game, as it appears to have been with humans, it’s a good bet that such processes will feedback into gene pools and leave distinctive marks, thus also differentiating those gene pools from one another.

    So while I’m pretty skeptical of ethnic genetic interests having played a direct evolutionary role in our evolution, it’s quite possible that gene–culture co-evolutionary processes have made certain genes and certain cultures ‘stick to one another’. On this view, such cultural evolution affects genetic evolution and makes certain genes ‘mesh’ better with those corresponding cultural elements, and those genes in turn make those corresponding cultural memes more attractive to the bearers of those genes.

    So, without expounding on any of this any further, a rather odd process may have emerged in our evolution, creating something that, at least superficially, looks a lot like selection in favor of ethnic genetic interests. Perhaps, because of the varying nature of cultural group selection processes, some groups have gene pools and corresponding cultural memeplexes that ‘stick’ together more easily. Recall, also, that from their respective points of view, genes and memes are both in it for ‘selfish’ reasons. Perhaps, at least in some cases, they have sort of ‘hitched’ themselves to one another (at least for periods of time), akin to the various evolutionary transitions in the history of life (e.g., the endosymbiotic rise of eukaryotes).

    Most of what looks like ethnic genetic interests is probably just tapping into our evolved coalitional psychology, however (viz., the constituent functionally specialized cognitive adaptations that comprise it). Needless to say, these are difficult issues to disentangle, and I haven’t tried to survey all of the relevant interdisciplinary literature. But as Haldane reminded us, this reality is queerer than we suppose, and perhaps even queerer than we can suppose. So who knows how deep this rabbit hole goes.

    An overview of cultural group selection from Boyd and Richerson:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981912/

    Alex Rosenberg has recently done a good job of debunking bad arguments against the existence of memes and presents a strong positive account in their favor (see pages 22-25):
    http://bjps.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/1/1.full.pdf

    Cheers.

  19. Greying Wanderer / Aug 9 2015 11:56 AM

    @Jayman

    “That would require a really haywire set of mother love genes.”

    Nope.

    The argument is that altruistic genes can’t evolve because they lower the fitness of the first carriers.

    Which is why mothers kill their babies.

    Not.

    Mother-child is an example where standard game theory about free riders doesn’t apply and that’s how altruistic genes can develop and spread among a population.

    This doesn’t prove anything about kin altruism but the correct baseline for this argument isn’t a population that doesn’t have any altruism genes but a population that already has them but for other reasons.

    • JayMan / Aug 9 2015 11:58 AM

      @Greying Wanderer:

      This doesn’t prove anything about kin altruism but the correct baseline for this argument isn’t a population that doesn’t have any altruism genes but a population that already has them but for other reasons

      But no one is making that argument. At least no one here.

  20. Greying Wanderer / Aug 9 2015 2:04 PM

    @Jayman

    “But no one is making that argument. At least no one here.”

    Cool, my mistake, so we both agree the argument is whether pre-existing altruism genes (evolved and spread because of the parent-child relationship) could somehow get re-purposed to kin-altruism behavior (even if in a very diluted form).

  21. RCB / Aug 13 2015 11:59 AM

    n/a and I had a big debate about this. If you care to read the back-and-forth, go here: http://racehist.blogspot.com/2015/07/reply-to-rcb-on-evolution-and.html

    In my view, the debate ended with me asserting six points, and n/a conceding them. Note: the argument was mostly built on whether Salter’s book on ethnic genetic interests is a correct use of Hamilton’s rule and evolutionary theory (it isn’t), not whether ethnocentrism exists, or human populations are genetically distinguishable (both of the latter are true). Here are the six points: (I mention English and Bantu groups to address a particularly stupid hypothesis that Salter makes in his book; you can generalize it to any large ethnic groups.)

    (1) In large groups (modern day England), novel group-altruistic alleles have F_ST ~ 0. Because of this there is no positive group selection for the allele. There is only within-group selection, acting to kill the allele off. Unless it gets very lucky, it will not spread in modern England.

    (2) For group-altruistic alleles at high frequency (i.e., ones that got lucky), F_ST may be large enough to facilitate some generations during which the expansion of altruistic groups at the expense of non-altruistic groups causes the allele to increase in frequency globally, even though it’s decreasing within every subgroup due to within-group selection.The Price equation shows this.

    (3) Unless there is some mechanism maintaining F_ST (e.g., shuffling among small groups), within-group selection necessarily pushes the group-altruistic allele toward 0 in *every* group, whether the group is growing or shrinking. Therefore the ultimate fate of such alleles is to be replaced by non-altruistic alleles, despite the possibility of transient growth noted in (2).

    (4) England and Bantu are large ethnic groups that do not undergo reshuffling. There is no current mechanism replenishing F_ST at disfavored loci for these large, stable groups. Thus, the current tendency for group-altruistic alleles is to die off faster than non-altruistic alleles – i.e., negative selection.

    (5) English alleles, broadly speaking (across the genome), would indeed live longer if England were able to resist foreign invaders for longer. (This is just noting that group-beneficial behaviors exist.)

    (6) Given the ubiquity of ethnocentrism, and its heritability, it is quite possible that conditions favoring ethnocentric behaviors did exist in the past, and still do in smaller ethnic groups. Or, the genes may currently be favored because they provide some other benefit, in which case ethnocentrism at present would be considered a maladaptive byproduct of selection on other behaviors.

    • David / Apr 22 2016 3:29 PM

      There is a relationship between reciprocal altruism and kin-selection in ethnic nepotism in the following sense: kin-selection is needed to explain how you build trust between unrelated individuals to get reciprocal altruism off the ground.
      1) A standard answer is that they have identifiable phenotypic signs that are due to shared genes. This is right, but if the genetic relationship it signifies is minimal it isn’t clear why it matters and why it should create trust in the first place. Why does the ethnic marker not suggest to us that the person shares our asshole genes, not our reciprocal altruist genes?

      I think part of the answer is that sometimes we notice shared (or non-shared) ethnic markers that make us dislike and distrust someone and sometimes they make us like and trust them.

      But another part of the answer is that if someone shares an ethnic marker, they have a decent chance of being related to someone that is kin to us. This chance of shared kin means that there is a sense in which we do share genetic interests with strangers. They may not be our cousin, but they may be a cousin of one our our cousins. This means that we can be more confident that our inclusive fitness interests align and that we aren’t working for the other side. Because our genes our trapped in individuals we know that to help their cousin, they have to help our cousin.

      The core point is that cousin relationships are not transitive. The cousin of your cousin is not thereby your cousin. But these relationships can still be relevant for getting trust off the ground. This is how the organized nepotistic ethnic groups that we see today came into existence. At a psychological level, if you and a business and/or sex-partner share a cousin you will have more incentive to work with each other because their will be another interested party.

    • JayMan / Apr 22 2016 3:35 PM

      you build trust between unrelated individuals to get reciprocal altruism off the ground.

      Doesn’t fly. There is no shared genetic interest for unrelated coethnics. Similarity doesn’t have to signify relationship, it could just signify “this person will pay me back if I help him”.

      It’s possible that reciprocal altruism got started from a co-option of kin-altruism modules. But that’s a misfiring trait that happened to evolve into something useful.

  22. David / Apr 22 2016 3:32 PM

    Final point, the presence of outsiders can make it harder to find close kin to work with so one is stuck with distant kin. And, if two groups that are organized in the way described above meet, chances are they will be hostile to each others’ interests and so in the face of hostility one will be more likely to unite with whoever has evolved to be less hostile towards you, but this is just self-interest, not altruism.

  23. David / Apr 22 2016 3:34 PM

    But at a psychological level it can look just like it. This is the core observation that the EGI crowd brings, though they do not see clearly into its mechanics

    • David / Apr 22 2016 5:31 PM

      Jayman, my point is that even if co-ethnics do not share enough genes to make pure kin selection worthwhile, because ethnic markers are often signs of common-descent no matter how distant, they can signify that a non-related co-ethnic might be related )or related to someone who is related to) one of your kin. If this is true then there is overlap in your inclusive fitness interests. It does not mean that you have an interest in helping this co-ethnic without payback in some form, but the payback might be in the form of help to one of your kin. Furthermore, if you share kin that means you have
      grounds for trusting this person because your kin can serve as a mediator. If this lasts then eventually feelings that look a lot like kin-altruism can evolve towards co-ethnics.

    • JayMan / Apr 22 2016 5:34 PM

      You’re probably very close to something but you’re still quite a bit off as well.

    • David / Apr 22 2016 6:33 PM

      You can share inclusive fitness interests with people that you share no genes with. If my aunt marries a totally unrelated man and they have children then her husbands blood nephews/nieces and I will have our genetic fates partly tied up in the same people. We can root for the same people for totally genetic reasons without sharing any genes. If we know this that means that we know that our interests partly align with each other and so we will be less likely to cheat each other.

    • JayMan / Apr 22 2016 6:47 PM

      Inclusive fitness by definition means fitness through shared genes. Obviously you have inclusive fitness interests in your cousins (though weak ones).

      You can share interests with non-relatives of course. This is the basis of teamwork and reciprocal altruism. But this is by definition not “inclusive fitness.”

    • David / Apr 22 2016 6:45 PM

      Jayman, thank you for your insightful blog

    • David / Apr 22 2016 9:38 PM

      If this effect exists it would do no more than lower the threshold on relatedness to some extent. It wouldn’t explain modern racism and racialism which clearly has a powerful cultural element.

  24. David / Apr 23 2016 1:42 PM

    What do you think the odds are that a randomly selected coethnic is a cousin of one of your (not too distant) cousins. Not too much probably. But what is we added in a geographic constraint ect?

  25. anon / Jul 6 2016 11:29 PM

    I will keep this relatively short but it seems to me that you are aren’t getting the argument they are making when they use the provocational term “cucking” in the generic sense of acting against your own genetic interests. They are not asserting that the mulatto grandchild doesn’t share the genes of the grandparent with the same frequency similar to that hypothetical purely white child of that same grandfather.

    Their point is that in this environment and in most prospective environments the grandfather will experience less genetic success due to this mullatto granchild’s relative unfitness compared to a white child who’s parents were both white conservatives. As you know the white conservatives have a much higher birthrate and more financial success in terms of disposable income then either blacks or liberal whites in their environment. And they would hypothetically have much higher birthrates and raise more offspring in an prospective environment which didn’t include a welfare state which gave money to non-whites preferentially.

    Though in the extant generation the grandfather’s representation is unaffected by nonwhite status of the father the assertion is that this will not hold true in the future. Even if the black father is relatively intelligent you know that regression to the mean is an observable phenomena and that the black mean IQ is significantly lower than that of a white.

    The point is that white rightist should not be interbreeding with those who have low birthrates(leftist or atheist whites) or those who birthrates depend on government subsidization(mestizos and blacks). And he should be trying to prevent his relations from doing so as well as it is likely to reduce the overall representation of his genetic line in the future while. Moreover since the mixed children would be judged as inferior breeding material they would(and are) largely excluded from the breeding pool those individuals would prefer to associate with. And a large population of mixed individuals or liberal individuals limits the breeding options of their descendants.

    I do not know whether this was simply not communicated properly, you don’t recognize the insinuations, or if you are being deliberately obtuse because you are a quadroon of some sort and would concievably dislike a social framework which would exclude your non-white children from breeding and for that matter probably exile them from a white ethnostate if possible.

    Lets put it this way, genes do not plan with regards to the relative fitness and chances of their propagation 5 generations hence but a white would not be remiss in thinking that a population composed almost exclusively of rightist whites with high birthrates which are independently obtained via personal venture would be a preferable pool of potential mates for their descendants than a multi-enthic society full of liberal whites all of whom have low birhrates or are dependent on welfare(extracted from surplus productively of a white population and distributed predominantly to non-whites).

    • JayMan / Jul 6 2016 11:47 PM

      So much for relatively short.

      You know, when you’re in this space long enough, you start to observe patterns. One of them is a class of ignorant White nationalists, who miscontruse/misunderstand HBD to suit their own agenda – types like you.

      As you know the white conservatives have a much higher birthrate and more financial success in terms of disposable income then either blacks or liberal whites in their environment.

      Group averages are of limited predictivity for individuals!

      Though in the extant generation the grandfather’s representation is unaffected by nonwhite status of the father the assertion is that this will not hold true in the future. Even if the black father is relatively intelligent you know that regression to the mean is an observable phenomena

      The singular is “phenomenon.” Regression towards the mean is towards the mean of the family, not of the whole race.

      You know, I can’t stand uninformed criticism. If you’re going to criticize, know things first.

      Lets put it this way, genes do not plan with regards to the relative fitness and chances of their propagation 5 generations hence but a white would not be remiss in thinking that a population composed almost exclusively of rightist

      Let us hope there is not too much representation of your bloodline in future generations.

Trackbacks

  1. W.D. Hamilton believed in ethnic genetic interests | Pumpkin Person
  2. Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Genetic Interests
  3. Genetic Interests | Neoreactive
  4. Group Altruism and the Cuckservative Phenomenon | Jason Bayz
  5. yummyfajitas comments on “Silicon Valley, Seeking Diversity, Focuses on Blacks” | Exploding Ads
  6. Genetic Similarity Theory « notpolitcallycorrect
  7. Argumentum Ad Genitalium: the Logical Fallacy of the Negro – coontown university department of life sciences
  8. On the Ethnic Kinship Coefficient – coontown university department of life sciences
  9. Ethnic Genetic Interests and Group Selection Does Exist: A Reply to JayMan « NotPoliticallyCorrect

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