JayMan has said that ““Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist (Neither Does Group Selection)“. It’s clear from what he says towards the end that he has some sort of bias to attempt to disprove Ethnic Genetic Interests and Group Selection. This will be a definitive refutation of JayMan’s belief of the non-existence of GST and GS. Along with Dr. Swaggins from the CoonU Blog, both of us today will prove that EGI and GS do in fact exist and that JayMan has an implicit bias in the denial of EGI and GS. I will also address JayMan’s comment to me in that same article that I never responded to save it for this article.
I first wrote an article, Genetic Similarity Theory, in reply to his denial of EGI. It was short, but I got my point across with the Price Equation. JayMan then comments:
Ethnic altruism can’t evolve through genetic similarity because the coefficient of relationship between co-ethnics (who aren’t close family) is pretty small. Even kin selection itself is pretty weak in general. How much time do you spend with your second and third cousins?
In-group favoritism likely evolved through individual selection for reciprocal altruism. Overall similarity simply allowed individuals to recognize likely partners for trading favors (shared language and customs may help). This may have even co-opted systems designed to act towards close kin – misfiring kin altruism, if you will.
Rebutting Jayman’s denial of the ethnic kinship coefficient requires an explanation of the concept of relatedness as a whole. How, for example, can I be 50% identical to my father if I’m 99.8% identical to all living humans? The answer is that I am not 50% identical to my father; rather, I am 50% identical to my father by comparison to the baseline level of relatedness of all living humans. If all living humans are 99.8% genetically identical then I’m 99.9% identical to my father. Jayman’s argument that two random co-ethnics aren’t related fails to factor this into account: a calculation of relation needs a baseline level of relatedness for comparison. So he’s correct in stating that two co-ethnics are not similar to one another- but only by comparison to the baseline level of relatedness of their entire population.
Since the ethnic kinship coefficient has been worked out to the equivalent of half siblings, it may be useful to frame the issue in those terms. If I am 25% identical to my half sibling by comparison to any other co-ethnic, it is because there is a quarter of my genome that I share with my half sibling due to our common descent. Specifically, our mutual descent from our mutual parent gives us a specific combination of genes that nobody else is likely to have. 25% of my genome is 100% identical to his alleles of the same genes and the other 75% is as similar to his as it is to any other co-ethnic, but taken as an average across my entire genome, any given allele is 25% more likely to be shared with him than it is everyone else in our race.
The ethnic kinship coefficient works in an uncannily similar way. Instead of inheriting those 25% identical genes from recent common ancestors, the two co-ethnics inherit the same genes due to the fact that people of their race usually have those genes (think melanin, keratin, microcephalin, EDAR, HERC2, or any other gene for which the frequency of alleles differs overpopulation). In spite of that difference in the origin of ethnic vs familial similarity, the mathematics are shockingly similar: according to Henry Harpending in his review paper Kinship and Population Subdivision, “Many studies agree that Fst [genetic distance between populations] in world samples of human populations is between ten and fifteen percent,” with “a conservative general figure” being 12.5%. What’s more, Fst “is computed for each allele at each locus, then averaged over all loci.” In other words, 1/8th of human genetic diversity is at the between-group level.
To put things into perspective, a 1/8th reduction in diversity within a family occurs when two half siblings (25% identical) have a child. There is a 1/16th chance that the common parent will pass a given allele to both children and that both children will pass that allele to their child, and a 1/16th chance for the same to occur for the other allele of the same gene; when computed allele for allele, “diversity” (odds of heterozygosity) goes down by 1/8th among a population that is 25% identical by descent.
One such calculation finds, for example, that a Frenchman is 24% identical to another Frenchman if your baseline for comparison is the genetic similarity between the French and Japanese.
This is the inevitable implication of the central tenet of HBD: that the various races of the world are genetically different from one another. It is also the inevitable implication of Lewontin’s famous finding that 15% of all human genetic variation is racial; if it were 100% then all co-ethnics would be identical and it were 0% then race wouldn’t exist at all. If it were 15%, though, then that 15% would be composed of genes whose alleles vary in frequency across populations; these are genes you share with co-ethnics much more often than you share with anyone else. If you’re more likely to share a lot of genes with co-ethnics than you are with anyone else, then you’re more genetically similar to co-ethnics than you are anyone else. When they sequence the genes of people of different races and compute the odds of similarity locus for locus, you’re much more likely to share some genes (ABCC11, MC1R, etc) with co-ethnics than you are others, but taken as an average across both copies of the entire genome, it’s about 25%. Apply those odds to the 20,000 or so genes in the human genome and the result will be consistent with the data that members of a given race are about 25% identical by comparison to members of other races.
We are not the first people to predict that these genetic differences would result in kin selection expressed as altruism towards co-ethnics and discrimination towards others; to quote an article by the late Henry Harpending posted in March 2012, “In the new diverse community the average person can find someone related as f~0.06, corresponding roughly to a great-grandchild at f=1/16. Suddenly there is a fitness payoff to discrimination.” (In this hypothetical population, an individual is 1/8th more related to a co-ethnic than to the average and 1/8th less related to some of a different race than to the average.) In an ethnically homogeneous population, discrimination of this kind will not occur because the fitness payoff of benefiting one co-ethnic or the other is the same, but in a heterogeneous population, you suddenly have people in whom you have comparatively more or less genetic interest. In December 2012, Harpending and Salter published “JP Rushton’s Theory of Ethnic Nepotism,” a paper predicting that the Fst data would support Rushton’s theory of ethnic genetic interest, by providing evidence for kin selection. Towards the end of this article, I will provide evidence for human altruistic behavior fitting the patterns predicted by kin selection, and I will present a likely animal model for subspecies competition over resources. In the meantime, however, there are more misconceptions to clear up.
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 sucheach 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.<—)) (Additions in last sentence for emphasis are mine)
Individual genes don’t always contribute to fitness independent of one another; the venerable Nicholas Wade has pointed out that there is at least one gene which confers different levels of selective disadvantage depending on the other genes they’re mixed up with: an allele that slightly increased risk of heart problems in Europeans causes big problems whenever it introgresses into Africans. Naturally, the population which has had this allele for longer has more genes elsewhere in the genome compensating for its negative effects, meaning that said allele will cause fitness problems after it introgresses into another population. Introgression is just a fancy word for race mixing, though, and there are other problems with it, as follows:
In a study of 100,000 mixed-race adolescent school children, those who identified themselves as such had higher health and behavior instances than those of one race. The effect was still observed even when SES and other factors were controlled for. A problem with an obvious genetic component.
Yet another study done on white-Asian mixes notes that they have a two times higher rate to be diagnosed with psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse.
It was found, in agreement that black-white mixes engaged in more risky behavior than did monoracial children. They also observe that mixed-race adolescents are stark outliers in comparison to whites and blacks, which still holds true despite being raised in similar environments to monoracial children.
Fitness doesn’t look increased in that process, seeing how mulatto children show more health problems and negative behavior than monoracial children. And given the data relating to the allele mentioned above, we can’t rule out the possibility that health problems in biracial children arise because their parents’ genes don’t necessarily work together.
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).
Do you really believe that? As shown above, mixed-race children show more health and behavior problems than do monoracial children. Africans were not selected for resistance to the negative effects of certain European genes as Europeans were, and we have no reason to believe that any race is selected to compensate for the negative effects of genes they don’t even have.
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.
Again, this assumes that there are no genetic differences between populations, but there are, so your fitness is probably higher if you adopt a co-ethnic than if you adopt someone else.
Hence, there is no human ethnic group that exhibits ethnic nepotism. This includes Ashkenazi Jews. 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.
Ashkenazi Jews evolved their nepotism through thousands of years of getting driven out of countries. Along with being barred from certain jobs, this led to them being only able to do banking jobs and those jobs that took more intellect, which they then evolved their higher IQ as well as more group favoritism to help them in societies where they are the minority. This is clearly evident today with Jewish overrepresentation at elite universities; their average IQ of 110 suggests that they shouldn’t be that much of the student body since they’re six times as likely to be geniuses but many more times likely to make it into the top institutions. Odds are pretty good that that’s ethnic nepotism in action. We’re talking about a group of people 38% likely to consider themselves religious but 70% likely to believe the old mythos that the omnipotent, omniscient creator of everything that ever existed prefers them to literally everyone else, and judge whether someone is worthy of this inconceivably lofty status purely on the basis of their genetics; before they had handy-dandy PCR machines and enzymes, Jews determined someone to be Jewish by matrilineal descent, not cultural custom. If the Ashkenazim lacked any ingroup preferences of any kind during their time in Europe, they would’ve literally copulated themselves to death by marrying Gentiles until their population was totally absorbed by ours. What would you call it then, JayMan, if not EGI? They’re one of the best examples FOR the existence of EGI. See, the thing is, if someone is an Ashkenazi Jew, more often than not, they will be more related to each other than some other random person from another population.
This particular fact – that co-ethnics share genes – is why they have a genetic interest in one another.
The Ethnic Kinship Coefficient has been corroborated literally every time anybody calculated Fst values between different human races, and by JayMan’s understanding of kin selection it disproves his assertion that ethnic genetic interests do not exist:
This [relatedness] is the probability that a given relative of an individual possesses a copy of an allele the individual possesses.
Co-ethnics are about 25% more likely to share the statistically average allele than people of different races are, so the Hamiltonian drive to confer benefit on co-ethnics is comparable to the drive to confer benefit on secondary relations (half siblings, grandchildren, etc). In other words, it doesn’t matter that the frequency of altruistic alleles is unaffected by the presence of outsiders, because people have a genetic imperative to assist the genes they share with their co-ethnics either way (and are therefore selected for altruism/ethnic nepotism either way); since they are related to their co-ethnics regardless of context, they are selected for the desire to confer benefit on co-ethnics regardless of context, and they only have a genetic interest in derogating an outgroup if doing so will increase the fitness of the ingroup. This is why Harpending and Salter observe, in the paper linked above, that racial solidarity “strengthens in response to attacks perceived to be aimed at group identity, especially invasion of the homeland and physical harm done to co-ethnics.” Observe Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen excoriating the bureaucrats they deem responsible for an alleged invasion, or Black Lives Matter being more enraged about a Hispanic killing a black than by thousands of blacks killing thousands of other blacks. A supposed shift in altruistic allele frequencies was never the point, and to argue against it is to battle with strawmen.
If altruism is the result of kin selection, then an organism will confer benefit on the criterion of relatedness. If a European man saves a daycare with 8 Asian babies in it from some freak accident, then he saves as much of his own genes as were shared by those babies. If he saves a daycare with 8 European babies in it, he just saved a collection of his own copies of HERC2 or ABCC11 or EDAR or some other such gene which he previously failed to save as well. If he saves 8 of his co-ethnic first cousins, the proportion again goes up, this time by 12.5%. By the same mathematical model we use to explain kin selection (Hamilton’s Rule), we predict and observe that altruism will be expressed to various degrees depending on the degree of relatedness.
The adaptation to this would have nothing to do with magical altruism genes which change in frequency when Japanese people arrive in France. Rather, the selection pressures predicted by the kin selection model would select for organisms that exhibited compassion and cooperation in proportion to relatedness.
The fact that co-ethnics share so many genes means that they do have a genetic interest in one another, if kin selection is real. I personally believe that kin selection is a clearer and more likely explanation for altruism than group selection in most cases, but due to the difficulty of determining causality in processes that occurred thousands if not millions of years ago (namely the original evolution of altruistic behavior), I doubt that the scientific community can put this one to bed yet. For the purposes of this issue, however, JayMan has already professed his belief that group selection has never occurred, meaning that one of a few different things must be true.
- Humans are not altruistic at all. Untrue.
- Humans are altruistic, but not due to kin selection or group selection. Unlikely; we can talk about mutual back-scratching all we want but the fact that people take bullets and jump on grenades for one another means that mutual benefit cannot be our only reason to confer benefit upon others.
- Humans are altruistic due to kin selection. This explanation is consistent with genetics and evolutionary theory; evolution holds that survival is a matter of passing on genes and genetics show that related organisms have many of the same genes. It also has pretty good predictive power (it predicts familial love, racism, and other real phenomena). For these reasons, I’m going to be arguing from the assumption that kin selection is a primary reason for human altruism, and that it, therefore, must exist in humans.
Due to the genetic similarity between co-ethnics, there is a genetic interest between them. Each has a Darwinian interest in the other comparable to roughly 25% of their own survival. Operating from the assumption that kin selection is the reason for human altruism, one would predict one of the following possibilities:
- Humans will prefer to confer benefit to their co-ethnics over others due to the fitness advantage gained by doing so,
- That humans cannot perceive genetic similarity and have therefore been selected to benefit one another regardless of genetic similarity in hopes that they hit the mark by accident,
- Humans do prefer those who are genetically similar but are incapable of perceiving the genetic differences between the various human subspecies, or
- Humans understand the genetic differences between themselves and others but for whatever reason will not take the 25% fitness advantage. I’m going to go ahead and throw this one out.
We know that humans prefer others on the basis of genetic similarity, and we know that nearly all human cultures have considered those of different ethnicities to be “the other,” or at least different in some significant way. We know that people can determine someone’s biological race based on their appearance, in any case, and in his 1996 book Race in the Making: Cognition, culture, and the child’s construction of human kinds, Lawrence Hirschfeld found that even children could do so. All of which means that humans can get a rough idea of genomic similarity (or difference) using phenotype and family history as a proxy, and that race is among the types of genetic difference that humans are capable of perceiving. If humans prefer one another based on the criterion of genetic similarity (they do), and race is a genetic difference that humans can perceive (it is), then we expect humans to generally prefer those of their own race (they do).
Even in studies of bereavement, Littlefield and Rushton (1986) put forth ten hypotheses (I will only bring the ones up that prove the case for EGI) to make the case for Genetic Similarity Theory:
- A mother will grieve more than the father: this is due to the mother having finite number of ova, have a more limited reproductive potential than do men and also bear the burden of bearing children, this shows that each offspring of a mother is more important to the overall success to her genes than the are to the father’s.
- Male children will be grieved for more intensely than female children. This is due to a male having a higher chance to have more children and spread his genes to more progeny.
- Similar children will be grieved for more intensely than dissimilar children. GST explains the phenomenon of assortative mating, the phenomenon that spouses will be genetically similar on those traits more influenced by genetics. One consequence of assortative mating is that one parent may be more similar to the child than the other. This can be illustrated as follows: Rushton and Littlefield: “If a father gives his child 50% of his genes, 10% of which are shared with the mother, and the mother gives the child 50% of her genes, 20% of which are shared with the father, the child would be 60% similar to the mother and 70% similar to the father (Rushton et al., 1984)”. So we can see that depending on the amount of genes a child gets from his parent will infer whether or not they are genetically similar to which parent, and in the case of a possible surprise death, the parent who believes the child looks (shares more alleles in common with) like their selves, will grieve longer and more intensely due to having a greater fitness hit due to the increased GST.
This study shows good evidence that the more genetically similar the child is to the grieving parent, the more strong and intense the grieving process will be. How mothers and fathers will risk their lives for their children, their genetic endowment, shows another truth to this phenomenon: altruism. Altruism for those who are genetically similar to yourself. We can then take this and show that since co-ethnics are closer to each other than they are to distant populations, and that since they are more genetically similar to themselves, the same kind of derogation and suspicion that parents give strangers who come around their children, co-ethnics will give to non-co-ethnics when they appear in their homeland. Robert Putnam’s research corroborates this.
Altruism/nepotism does increase when out-groups come to the land. When this occurs, the native population of the country will, in theory, become more altruistic to co-ethnics since their genetic interests are at stake. This is currently occurring in Eastern and Southern Europe in countries like Hungary, Poland, Spain, and Italy.
The model has pretty good predictive power since it predicts racism and other phenomena, which I’ll dive into now. Applying the kin selection model to humanity we expect that altruism will not only be doled out proportionally with respect to genetic similarity, but also to the number of babies the recipient is likely to have. I wouldn’t do as much for my DNA by saving the residents of a retirement home as I would by saving a daycare. And saving women is smarter than saving men. Hence, when the Titanic sinks, the rallying cry of the day is literally “save the women and children!” (Because the people who didn’t do that throughout our biological history had less of an impact on our gene pool than the ones who did.)
So you’re going to see innumerable charities for the benefit of children, and comparatively, nobody trying to solve the conundrum of how terrible life is in nursing homes for the elderly. On the Forbes list of top US charities, numbers 1-4 all frequently work with children (as do many others) and numbers 5, 6, 12, and 14 are specifically for children. None of them are specifically for the elderly; making sure that Grandpa isn’t miserable and alone registers nowhere in the top 50 items of our society’s to-do list.
And you’re going to see things like this, in spite of the fact that men are equally likely if not a hair more likely to get lung cancer and it’s a big killer in both sexes because people care more about “women” than they do about “people.” And I’m not joking or cherry-picking: Lung Force’s blog is seemingly more about women’s feelings than about lung cancer, no doubt because these people are aware that breast cancer research receives way more funding than prostate cancer research does in spite of similar death rates . In other words, it’s a well-known fact among people whose jobs are to stir up altruism that people will give more resources for the well-being of women than for the well-being of men.
All of which is just another case of altruism that “just so happens” to confer group and/or kin benefit, and does so proportionally to the expected increase in fitness, precisely as kin selection would predict. I would expect people to donate more to co-ethnics as well, were it not for the facts that:
a) It’s fashionable in our society to virtue signal niceness to swarthier folks, and
b-z) Haitian children literally eat dirt for breakfast.
In any case, you can look at where rich nonwhites send their donation dollars, be it the fitness benefit gained by JayZ when he donates to clean water causes in Africa, or by George Lopez in his “contributions to the Latino community“. This isn’t a cherry-picked trend of statistically irrelevant anecdotes: Blacks donate to other Blacks, “Identity-based giving is gaining momentum in the Latino, Asian American, Arab American, and Native American communities,” and “Latino’s motivation to give is embedded in a sense of responsibility and desire to give back to their community.” Much of the work of such people may end up benefiting Whites who happen to be there when a catastrophe hits a bunch of the donor’s co-ethnics (observe a Black donating to Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans is majority black, but not devoid of Whites), or occasionally they’ll donate to other nonwhites. But I’m not holding my breath for the day they raise awareness for the White squatter camps in South Africa.
Basically, any time that a person does a nice thing for another person, it will be proportional to any combination of three factors: genetic similarity, assumed number of offspring, and/or how bad the recipient needs help. All three of these are predicted by kin selection since all three are factors which predict the fitness gained by engaging in an altruistic act.
Importantly, virtually every culture on Earth preferred co-ethnics to others prior to the Communist subversion of the West, at which point accusations of racism became something of a social death sentence. (You don’t believe me on the Communist subversion thing- think it’s a conspiracy? Google up where all of this “social construct” ideology we keep encountering ultimately came from, and look up who’s promoting it today.) One could claim that whether a culture is “racist” or not depends on “culture” rather than biology, and point to the modern West as an example of an “anti-racist” culture, but in that case, it’s one hell of a coincidence that every race on Earth generally preferred themselves to everyone else, and did so for 10,000 years or more if you count prehistory. Considerably more likely is that populations with no ingroup preference are subsumed by other populations who gain a fitness advantage by doing so (they mounted no defense because they didn’t understand the need to do so) and that the majority of modern humans are therefore descended mostly from passionate racists.
Co-ethnics have a real genetic interest in one another due to large amounts of shared DNA, meaning that ethnic genetic interest is real. Humans do act on genetic interests in general, as the family studies show, and they are capable of perceiving racial genetic differences, as the ethnicity studies show; it is, therefore, likely that they will act on these ethnic genetic interests as they do with other genetic interests, because racism is caused by the innate preference for genetically similar people. In other words, racism is a biological phenomenon instead of a cultural one.
That, or nearly every culture ever in the history of forever was racist by pure coincidence.
To put subspecies competition into perspective, I will point out that wolves and coyotes have a Fst value between 0.056 and 0.121 and can interbreed. We can call subspecies and other taxonomic classification a social construct if we like; technically we’d be correct in the case of canids, to whom the words “species” and “subspecies” are doled out in a pretty arbitrary fashion. We can say that the admixture is proof that the wolf and coyote DNA doesn’t care about which other genes it’s combined with, if we like. But everything we say about it does absolutely nothing to change the fact that the biological fitness of coyotes massively drops when they share territory with wolves.
Understatement of the week: the implications of having to compete for the same resources is probably why canids fight for territory. Wolf packs, being direct family, would no doubt have a high Fst with other wolf packs, no different from how I’m more similar to my grandpa than I am my housemates. They fight for territory on a familial level because of genetic interest, and they have been observed fighting for territory on the level of subspecies as well, with a clear genetic interest in doing so. The only difference between them and us in this respect is that our method of acquiring resources relies on commerce rather than hunting, and so we weren’t selected for the propensity to wander around a given territory fighting off other families who intrude. That’s not good for business; in fact, I’d be willing to bet that warfare usually occurs in humans when the profit incentive for conquest is greater than the profit incentive for trade. Humans who don’t engage in a lot of commerce and belong to inbred populations, though, have fewer incentives towards peace and higher Fst values relative to others- and they aren’t above killing the guys from the next tribe over. What a surprise that these village’s conflicts had to do with territory and breeding, both of which have to do with fitness. In any case, humans from populations selected for agriculture and commerce engaging in this sort of behavior is the exception that proves the rule, because the only reason anybody knows about the interfamilial warfare of the Hatfields and McCoys is that it falls under the “man bites dog” rule.
I have this radical view that biological rules still apply to humans, and that we are therefore self-replicating bags of meat smart enough to understand that we are self-replicating bags of meat. I see little difference between wolves reclaiming their old hunting grounds and the Reconquista movement. Coyotes had taken over when the wolves kept getting killed by men; Spaniards took over when a storm of viruses killed off most of the Natives. Even after the Spanish admixture, the Fst values between Whites and the now-mestizos likely falls within the range of coyote-wolf Fst values. Wolves feed their kind with elk and we feed ours ultimately with money; the distribution of elk meat to wolves isn’t good for coyotes and I’m willing to bet that the distribution of money and jobs to other nations and their peoples explains much of our abysmal birth rates in the West (with birth control technologies being another primary factor). We had lots of kids back when there were blue collar jobs you could get fresh out of high school which instantaneously elevated you to the middle class. We could afford to have them, no different from the fact that European nobles had more kids on average than us commoners. If current economic, cultural, and political trends continue, though, then ethnic Europeans might go out roughly 50x faster than the Neanderthals did.
Biological organisms show preference of those who are similar at the level of self (me), family (the Kennedys), tribe or nation (Papuan tribes or Mexico), race or subspecies (Native Americans), and species (I eat pork and kill spiders more often than I eat aboriginal Australians and kill Sentinelese people). All are the same phenomenon (attempts to increase the odds of self-replication at the genetic level), all are predicted with Fst values and Hamilton’s Rule, all are observed in animals to whom “culture” doesn’t apply, and all are observed in mankind.
Now, the question is this: how would GST be detected? Numerous ways. Location, for one. Since up until around 50 years ago, most countries were monoracial, those in your general proximity will, more often than not, be more genetically similar to you than a group that’s 50 miles away. Culture, which is an expression of genetics, is yet another way that GST can be detected. Since culture is an expression of genetics, when that culture is expressed, this shows other genetically similar co-ethnics that this individual shares more genes in common than those who don’t share their culture. There is also matching by phenotype, which goes along with the location aspect. But, as I stated in my article Genetic Similarity Theory as a Cause for Ethnocentrism:
It’s clear that we are more altruistic to people who look more phenotypically similar to ourselves, to pass on and benefit copies of our genes. This evolved in spite of the negative impact on behalf of the altruist. The altruist is helping copies of his shared genes survive so that they may be copied into the next generation of progeny. The tendency to favor co-ethnics is the tendency to attempt to help pass on shared genes, as if the phenotype is similar, more often than not, the genotype is as well. This is the basis for ethnocentrism.
There is also what is called the “Grandmother’s hypothesis” in which the researchers theorize that women live past menopause to help take care of their grandchildren. In doing so, they can then make sure their grandchildren are well-fed and nourished. The researchers state that by using Hamilton’s relation coefficients (what we have been using in this article), that a grandmother should share 25 percent of genes with her grandchildren. Ted Sallis says:
Therefore (and this is the important point), a paternal grandmother, all else being equal, is genetically less related to a grandson than to a granddaughter, and less related to a grandson than is a maternal grandmother. Conversely, a paternal grandmother likely is more genetically related to a granddaughter than is a maternal grandmother, given the certainty that the granddaughter possesses an X chromosome from the paternal grandmother.
The researchers hypothesized that the grandmother’s investment in grandchildren will be directly mirrored by how genetically similar they are to each other. The authors conclude that women live past menopause to help care for their children’s offspring. Since they share 25 percent of their genes with their grandchildren, they too, have a genetic investment in making sure they get adequate nutrition and are well cared for. They found that in 7 previously studied populations that “separating grandchild survivorship rates by sex reveals that X-chromosome relatedness correlates with grandchild survival in the presences of MGMs and PGMs. In all seven populations, boys survive better in the presence of their MGM than PGM. In all bar one population, the PGM has a more beneficial effect on girls than on boys. Our X-linked grandmother hypothesis demonstrates how the effects of grandmothers could be sex-specific because of the unusual inheritance pattern of the X-chromosome.”
This is what this whole debate is about: ability to detect genetic similarity in co-ethnics. Matching by phenotype, culture, and general proximity will, with good chance, bring you together with someone who shares more alleles in common with you and someone who you would feel more altruistic towards since you have a genetic interest in ensuring that some of your genes survive to the next generation.
Mixed-race relationships don’t discredit the existence of EGI/GST, in fact, it helps to strengthen it. Americans of mixed ancestry made up for ethnic dissimilarity by matching up on the more heritable traits, whereas the correlation is lower for those traits that are more influenced by the environment. Since the correlation is higher for heritable traits, i.e., BMI, personality, alcoholism, aggressiveness, criminality, psychiatric disorders and so on. Since the correlations are higher than in the environmentally mediated traits and since mixed-race couples match on more heritable traits than on the traits more influenced by the environment, this shows us that even though they are marrying outside of their race/ethnicity, they still match up on the more heritable traits and not the traits more influenced by the environment.
JayMan brings up the concept of reciprocal altruism as if it negates the effect of racial/ethnic altruism as a whole. It does not. Reciprocal altruism and Genetic Similarity Theory go hand-in-hand as genetic similarity eliminates the need for the reciprocation to occur again. Since two related individuals share more genes in common with each other than two unrelated individuals, this then caused reciprocation and GST to evolve hand-in-hand with each other. To quote Rushton:
Thiessen and Gregg (1980) make the same point. Thiessen and Gregg state that “cooperation among `nonrelatives’ (`reciprocal altruism’) may be based in large part on genetic and phenotypic similarity” (p. 133).
Another reason that GST and reciprocal altruism go hand in hand is that genetic similarity at certain important loci can predict the efficacy of a reciprocal altruistic relationship; Fowler & Christakis find that close friends are as similar as 4th cousins, and Guo et al find the same for spouses. Selecting for phenotypic compatibility means selecting for genetic similarity at the loci which determine the relevant phenotypes (height, IQ, personality and so on). For example, different races of the world differ in Big Five personality traits, and the reason for these differences is likely genetic. If a statistically normal, introverted East Asian prefers to associate with fellow introverts, what are his odds of becoming best friends with a comparatively gregarious Black man? A gregarious Asian or an introverted Black may become fast friends with those of other races, but most of their kinsmen are more stereotypical.
Ultimately, however, what it comes down to is this: if a gene can better ensure its own survival by bringing about the reproduction of family members with whom it shares copies with, then it can also do so by bringing about the reproduction of any organism that it shares genes with. Meaning altruistic self-sacrifice. But, if there is a fitness gain for the altruist, then how is it altruism? Simple. The altruist is just protecting genetic interests. The altruist is just being driven by his genes to save copies of itself. This is basically what we humans are: organisms that only attempt to bring about those with similar genetics to ourselves.