Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scientific Potpourri , Mainly about Nicholas Wade

That LAST POST from John Craig's blog is having offspring. After reblogging that, I read the comments at the original, and one commenter, Glen Filthie, called attention to a piece by P. J. O'Rourke about what he would say at a Rutgers commencement address. The quote on the quibcag is just one piece of advice he'd give the graduates, and his full piece is HERE, and you really ought to read it. He's just as funny as he was 40 years ago at National Lampoon. [Baloo is jabbing me with his elbow, and insists that I point out that he, too, used to write for that magazine, and that I have just done.]

Next, concerning my recent post about evolution HERE: I had a comment on it from parabarbarian, and I asked him to elaborate on it, and he did just that on his own blog HERE. I may try to syntesize the thesis and antithesis in a later post.

And still on the subject of evolution, Steve Sailer deconstructs a deconstruction of Nicholas Wade's book HERE, with reference to the Scottish Enlightenment and North Korea, among other unexpected things.

Finally, still on the subject of Nicholas Wade's scary book, Fred Reed has read it, and here's the first part of his review:

A Troublesome Inheritance

Wading in the Zeitgeist

May 17, 2014

Apparently like everybody who can read, still a probable majority in the US, I have just finished Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance, which deals with the genetics of human behavior, race, intelligence, how they came about, and related things about which one must never, ever state the obvious. It is a fine book: cogent, well informed, devoid of political propaganda. Anyone interested in the foregoing matters should read it. If you are a Democrat, have it shipped in a package marked Weird Sex Books to protect your reputation.

It is creating a great disturbance among professors, the right-thinking press, those college students who have heard of it, race panders, and related herbivores. This is curious. Reduced to a sentence, Wade says that genetics has a lot to do with human outcomes. Its major conclusions have been accepted or suspected forever in every blue-collar bar in the country. Yet they are a shock in faculty lounges. It is interesting to consider the pattern of views:

The Lounge: Race is a social construct. It doesn’t biologically exist.

Wade: Yes it does. (He demonstrates this with things like base-pair repeats and single-nucleotide polymorphisms, a bit messy to go into here.)

Joe’s: Sure, race exists. Just look.
(If it doesn’t, then everyone who has received benefits based on race should repay them, and face fraud charges.)

The Lounge: No genetic or group differences in intelligence exist.

Wade: Yes they do, they are measurable, and came about through natural selection.

Joe’s: Sure, everybody knows Jews are smart, blacks aren’t, and the Chinese and Japanese must be too because look at what they’ve done.

Now, races are genetic subspecies, slightly blurred at the edges, of Homo (doubtfully) sapiens, just as Dobermans and Chows are subspecies of dog. Any dog breeder will tell you that Chihuahuas and Great Danes are not social constructs. Only a professor could think otherwise. The breeder will also say that Border Collies are smarter than beagles. This is genetic, not due to Border Collie Privilege.
He will further assert from experience that much of behavior is genetic. If you think the personalities of pit bulls and cocker spaniels are equally warm and fuzzy, you probably need to stay away from dogs.

It is also clear to inhabitants of the real world that genetic differences in behavior exist between sexes. Raise a heifer (for readers under thirty, that’s a little-girl cow) and a little-boy cow completely apart from other cows, so they learn nothing from cow culture. After they reach puberty, go into their field, throw rocks at them, and observe the differences in their reactions. (Put me in your will before doing this.)

Genes count. It's how things are.
(Read the rest HERE.)
Quibcag: This is a quote about science, but this time I'm not using a picture of Rika Shiguma. Instead, on the advice of Vulture of Critique, I'm instead using a picture of Kurisu Makuse (牧瀬 紅莉栖 Makise Kurisu) (never mind who the guy is), from an anime I haven't seen called Steins;Gate (シュタインズ・ゲートShutainzu Gēto). Now, she certainly looks scientific, what with the lab coat and all those gears and stuff, but... She's just not as cuddly as Rika. That probably says more about me than it does about either one of them. You be the judge. Some Rika HERE.
Oh, what the hey. Here's the same quibcag with Rika Shiguma substituted. What's your vote?

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