Society culls itself

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by francois, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    If, as you imply, that the first family continues to breed with intelligent people, and if the second family, as you imply, continues to breed with stupid people, I see no reason why we wouldn't expect the first group to contain a higher concentration of intelligence genes.
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  3. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    I'm still curious about this strange theory of yours and how it fits with your theories of culling and race.
    And who has access and the most dependence on technology: those with more money. In fact they tend to pay people to solve problems for them. And those who must make ends meet and problem solve in the lower rungs of society, and make their way through dangerous neighborhoods where they are relegated, etc.,

    these people would be challenged, kept alert, cannot be so dependent on technology.

    If we look at what rises to the top, take the Bush Administration, we see what can happen when you are surrounded by wealth and technology from the get go.
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  5. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I wasn't talking about specifically technology like televisions and appliances. I was talking in a more general sense. Technology, which encompasses the ways of modern society in first world countries, which nearly everyone has access to. Things like welfare, vaccines, healthcare. Not just the elite benefit from those things. Nearly everybody gets vaccinated. Child death rates are very low these days even for the poor. In the early 1900s in America, one in six kids died before they became adolescents. Not anymore. As a result people, who have weaker constitutions are allowed to perpetuate their weaker constitutions. Got asthma? Here's an inhaler! Got allergies? Have some Clariton!

    It's not a "strange theory." It's precisely what we should expect when there's no selective force weeding out deleterious genes.
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    What is a "deleterious" gene?
  8. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    Everybody does not have access to the same health care, nutrition, protection even in the first world. It seeme like you were saying that technology is interfering with natural selection. But the fact is it is interfere more with the upper classes,BY FAR. Think about what a rich family can do to produce a child, for example.

    It is a strange theory in the context where you are talking about culling and race. If you are right in your theory than generally white upper class people are vastly more cut off from the 'advantages' of natural selection that the poor in their own countries and certainly many citizens in the third world.

    And since this is a not a new phenomenon, the reduced viability of the priviledged may already be easy to notice. Except to the extent that they control capital.

    I don't think your race intelligence theories fit well with your culling theories. Nor does what I called a strange theory bode well for the people you identify with.
  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Why were the twins reared separately? Was one adopted? ...Because there are minimum standards for adoptive parents.
  10. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    A gene which causes one harm. The gene which causes Huntington's disease can be considered a deleterious gene. A gene which causes retardation is a deleterious gene.
  11. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    You are quite right about this. I would not argue that the upper class does not have better access to better health care than the other classes. My only point is that overall, in modern first world countries, there is less genetic sifting for everybody. You're putting arguments in my mouth.

    Again and again you guys are putting arguments in my mouth. Why do you do this? What's hard about taking my points at face value? I never made this about race. I think Sam was the first one here to mention it. Then once she said it, everybody was like "zomg, racist." I never even mentioned race.

    Again, I have no idea what you're talking about, and I doubt that you do either.
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Why do these genes persist if they are deleterious?
  13. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Because while being harmful (that is, increases the organism's probability of dying), their effects aren't harmful enough to prevent the organism from passing them on to the next generation. The reason they're not harmful enough in the circumstances we're talking about (first world modern societies) is because of these lenient new environments and technologies. These cumulative errors build up and make the organisms weaker though.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    But I carefully did not say "intelligent people" and "stupid people". And the question was not about "intelligence genes", but about the ability to solve a difficult engineering problem.

    So: the fifth generation of Kennedy/Bush inbeeding and privilege, or the fifth generation of the outbreeding described. Which would you guess could handle your problems, do your intellectual work, the better ?
  15. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    But it is about intelligence genes, since genes are what make people intelligent. If I want someone to be able to handle a complex engineering challenge, not just any doofus will do. He will need the proper genetics. Similar to any application. If you want someone to be able to train as a professional athlete he will need the proper genetics. Not any regular clutz will do.

    I'm not sure man, there's no way to be sure, obviously, but my bet would be on the family which originally contained the more intelligent people, that's provided that somehow their family didn't get dumbed down with successive breeding and the other stupid family didn't get boosted with successive breeding.

    Anyway, why don't you just come out and tell me what your point is? You said earlier it has something to do with recessive genes. Yes, I fully accept that there is such a thing as a recessive gene. You said that I didn't allow for it. I don't know how you got that. I don't know how that changes the fact that intelligence is inherited. I don't see how that changes the fact that smart people breed smart progeny. Therefore, I don't see how it obviates my initial premise. Do you?
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    So you don't think its possible that recessive genes confer any special advantages under some circumstances and hence they persist?
  17. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I didn't say that and I don't think that.
  18. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    1) google and microsoft seemed like a kind of shorthand. Yes, everybody is getting sifted less, but some vastly less than others.

    You based this in part on the Bell Curve, duh.

    I was assuming you identified with the google/microsoft people. Let me know if this is wrong. I am suggesting that they, via wealth and priviledge, are vastly less vulnerable to those things that have been traditionally parts of natural selection. Even infertile ones can spend many thousands of dollars to get around this. This, according to what seemed like concerns in the OP, puts them - or their genetic heirs - at a disadvantage in the long run, especially if you are correct that they are now socializing more and more with each other, given that their genetic pool will be isolated from the 1st world poor and from the third world where natural selection is more prevelent. Thus you theory does not bode well for them in the long term.

    I did understand what I meant. I can only hope, since I am quite sure are proud of where you sit on the relevent bell curve, that you can now understand my point.
  19. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    How do you know that some classes are "vastly" more sifted than others in modern first world countries? Female intuition? How convincing!

    Damn... do you know what a non-sequitur is? Just because I use an idea that is promoted in a book which talks about race does NOT mean I'm talking about race. Do you even think at ALL before you write?

    First, you don't know that the elite is significantly sifted less than the rest. You're just guessing. Second, I accept that due to dysgenics, everybody will be less healthy in general--if things keep going as they are--which they probably won't. That doesn't change the fact that some societal forces are still culling smarter people from the duller populations. That doesn't change the fact that these smarter people will have better jobs, more money and better lives than the rest of the population in a way that is more distinct than it is today. That was my entire point.

    Again you idiots can't stop focusing on me. Learn to use spell checker, twit.
  20. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

    You asserted that technology, and I assume you included health care, was reducing the effects of natural selection. First world citizens are vastly better protected from factors we usually think of in natural selection. Ever lived in the 3rd world. I have. People just sit down to die when they get bitten by poisonous snakes where I was, even though the towns now have anti-venoms - primarily utilized by tourists. Let alone diseases that kill children and adults much more than in the 1st world. This is shown through life expectancy statistics and I find it odd you even disagree. Actually you didn’t. Which was clever, if disingenuous.

    Did you even think before you cited a book that came under great criticism for the way it used statistics around race, the same kinds of statistical analyses that were used for all of their conclusions? Did you ever check out any of the vast literature pointing out the problems with The Bell Curve. Or did you think you could simply cite from memory, gosh, I think it said something like.....

    Another poster joins the debate and is racist and instead of challenging him, you decide to make sure I am not a hypocrite in the way I challenged him. Sorry if I assumed you draw, like he drew, racial conclusions following the logic in the OP and later posts and The Bell Curve. You certainly seem less concerned about racism than what appeared to you to be inconsistancy. But I am glad to hear you do not draw race based intelligence conclusions like the morons who wrote that book.

    Yeah, I got that. Using idiotic notions of what intelligence is, basing your conclusions on a book that is very naïve about considering a variety of factors and the nature of intelligence testing, you have join the ranks of those who think that those with merit rise to the top.

    In this post toward the end, I focused on you. Before that I focused on your ideas, implicit or directly stated. You’re the asshole who lowered it to ad homs. Been hanging out too much in McDonald's I guess.
  21. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I can see I got you a bit riled up because I snapped at you in my previous post. I think I owe you an apology. Sorry. That's not really me. I was annoyed because you were the third or fourth person who failed to comprehend my argument and who kept focusing on me instead of my arguments. It was a case of breaking the camel's back, so sorry. I hope we can carry on civilly.

    Okay, before I respond to this, I'll let you in on something: this dysgenics stuff we've been talking about really has nothing to do with the main argument at hand. I've just been going along with it so we could talk about something and hopefully quickly get back to the main point. I guess that didn't happen.

    Your argument has been this: The elite are at a disadvantage in the long run since they are more subject to dysgenic influences and therefore your theory doesn't bode well for the elite. Which actually doesn't even contradict my argument. If the dysgenic influences for the elite are so much greater than they are for the rest, as you claim they are, then they should get dumb again, and, equalize with the rest of the population.

    You again made it seem like I was arguing something I never was. Please, please, please, know what it is I am arguing before you argue against it. That's called a strawman. You implied that I was arguing that the influence of natural selection in third world countries isn't great compared to those in modern first world countries. In fact, I never argued that. The only thing I explicitly said about this dysgenics stuff is this: In modern first world countries, genetic sifting is less for everyone." and in response to your argument: "You don't know that the elite in modern first world countries are vastly less sifted than the rest of the population in first world countries. You're just guessing." That's all I said.

    You mean criticisms from flakes like Gould? What, precisely, are the problems with The Bell Curve?

    No, don't answer that. Forget The Bell Curve. There are only two ideas I used from my argument which I could have gotten from anywhere. If The Bell Curve hadn't been written by Herrnstein and Murray, it would have been written by someone else. The ideas are.

    1. Like people cluster. Especially because of the improved transport these days smart people tend to cluster more than they ever could before.
    2. Intelligence is powerfully inherited.

    If these ideas are true, then the ramifications have to be large. If you pull the brightest minds out of populations to work on NASA, CERN and all kinds of high brain powered jobs, then you're going to have brain drain in other places.

    There is nothing wrong with either of these two premises. Intelligence is known to be powerfully inherited. That is known by science. Smart people cluster. That also cannot reasonably be disputed. Do you think it doesn't happen? Why would a genius want to work at McDonald's or Wal-Mart when he could have an incredible job at Google where he's paid $200,000 per year, works at the best company to work for in the world and do stuff that's exciting? I have no idea why they would do that. They probably would not, and that's why idiots don't work at Google and geniuses don't work at McDonald's.

    I didn't see him say anything racist. And actually I did challenge him. Bah.
    Precisely, what's idiotic about the notions of intelligence the book talks about? Do you seriously doubt that in America those with merit aren't the ones that rise? I'll admit there are a lot of crooks (intelligent crooks, mind you) who rise to the top, but there are also lots of just plain intelligent people who do too. Either way, it's usually the intelligent people. There are books and studies which show a reliable trend that IQ correlates powerfully with wealth. Should we expect it not to be that way? Should we expect retards to be writing code for software companies, making millions of dollars a year? That makes sense. Smarter people have a higher economic value. They don't rise to the top arbitrarily. They rise to the top because they're cognizant about how the world works, they are able to make realistic models and predict what will work and what will not, they are more productive at their jobs, and so its worth it for them to be paid more by their employers. That's what's going on, that's precisely what we should expect, and that's what the studies show.

    McDonald's is gross. I'd rather eat dogshit which had been eaten by another dog and then been regurgitated, and then been eaten by another dog and then got shat out. That regurgitated and vomited out dogshit is pretty damn good.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  22. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    This debate sounds like it is suggesting that social Darwinism is just around the corner, with the poor and downtrodden being that way because of their own innate biological inferiority.

    Then again, what is the definition of 'success' we're using here? It can't be earning money and gaining entrance into the more exclusive echelons of society, as I know that the smartest people are not the ones who earn the most, in general. Earning money is relatively easy, it just requires taking on financial risks, so the people who earn the most are, in my experience, men of merely sufficient intellect for the field they are in who are relatively risk-tolerant. The other "high earning" group are the progeny of those risk-seekers, and (in my experience) they tend to be less intelligent than their parents, but their inherited wealth makes it easy for them to earn large sums of money.

    The smartest people I know tend to gravitate to fields where intellectual or artistic challenges abound: philosophy, science, play writing, game theory, or academic positions in general. Some go into law and medicine, but neither of those tends to lead to the mega-fortunes the way that, say, operating a hedge fund or private equity firm does.

    I saw that "engineers" were mentioned, but those could hardly be the paragons of "success" it seems to me. Engineering tends to be a middle path, where you can earn decent amounts on money, and face interesting intellectual challenges. But the money is hardly in the top tier of what's possible and what intellectual challenges usually arise as a result of what the job demands (rather than self-selected, as would be the case for many intellectuals in other areas), and so may or may not be of any particular interest to the engineer.

    If "success" is reproductive success, then smart people seem unsuccessful to me. I know many smart people who are *so* smart that they want to limit the size of their family or, even, do not want kids t all. The unfortunate truth is that, sublime as it may be to be a parent, kids do not lead to greater personal happiness. Even if your kid is terrific and grows into a well-adjusted and loving adult, there is a rocky and expensive path from cradle to living-on-his/her-own. Meanwhile, some kids grow up to be complete pains in the ass. All of which leads us, in our utilitarian age, to want to limit the number of children we have.

    Personally, I see no evidence of the intellectual stratification of the western world at present. I see wealthy parents with some very stupid children (for an obvious and well known example, see Paris Hilton) and I know many people who, despite the difficulty, rose from middle class and lower class backgrounds to wealth and the upper classes.

    There are many factors that lead to people getting married and having children. Selection based on sexual characteristics, like physical attractiveness, seems to be at least as important as that based on intelligence, and since attractiveness is controlled by genes, am I to infer that people in certain classes will be getting prettier over time?
  23. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member

    The Bell Curve is antiquated and wrong. This argument was had over a decade ago & smarter people than I adequately put it to rest and rightly so. Science should not be so easily distorted, when it is, peers must stand up and say 'it aint so'.

    A quick dissection of the issue--

    First off - who is the author? What are his credentials, where did he study? Who, if anyone is paying for the research and publishing?
    Next - Media what extent is it involved and to which audience. Why is there a 'push'?
    Last - peer review. What do people 'in the know' think?

    These were the things I asked myself after reading this book and very quickly got to the crux of the matter so I could see the book in the context in which the author intended. The guy is a Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, is involved with the Bradley Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Find out what these people stand for, then the book takes on a new light. Reading a book cover to cover should not mean you're done with it - if anything, you've only just heard half the story.

    What possibly can one hope to learn from a book when it's author is on record as saying ""For many people, there is nothing they can learn that will repay the cost of teaching.":shrug:
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008

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