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Morality and Altruism

Moral reasoning and altruism evolved together. Both of these traits are beneficial to human survival, so they got selected for in human populations. I will show today how moral reasoning and altruism evolved side by side to increase fitness. 

As discussed previously in my post The Evolution of Morality, moral reasoning is a post hoc search for reasons to justify judgements we already made. Moral reasoning evolved, according to Jonathan Haidt (2012) because of a bigger brain. Those with bigger brains can better process the environment around them and increase fitness for that population. As the brain grows more complex, more sophisticated thinking emerges. Since rapid and automatic processes drive our brain, those populations with bigger brains show more cognitive sophistication due to more cortical neurons as well as bigger overall brain areas which lead to increases in intelligence. 

Both altruism and morality evolved hand-in-hand. Post hoc moral reasoning helps altruistic acts occur. Since “judgement” and “justification” are separate processes, one does not have to justify a moral act, instead relying on his innate judgement that this is the most beneficial act. The “judgement” that’s made is really the *genes* doing what is best to survive. What survives when self-sacrifice occurs aren’t the bodies, the vehicles for the genes, obviously. The gene only cares about the proliferation of more copies of itself.

Darwin said that those who have the altruistic trait are more evolutionarily successful than those who do not have it. Thus, those populations that have more alleles for altruism will be more evolutionarily successful than those populations without it. 

Darwin held that morality evolved in humans because it was a beneficial trait for human social cohesiveness. Without even having a good reason for morale reasoning, just going on gut instinct (which I believe the gut instinct in these situations is the our selfish genes), altruistic acts can then occur without second thought. 

If a trait is beneficial to a population, then it will be selected for in that group. Moral reasoning was a trait that was selected for since those with the trait could better aid the group they were apart of by being ‘selfless’. 

For instance, when animals care for their babes, we don’t say that it’s ‘animal culture’ that causes them to care for their offspring. It’s obviously a trait evolved over time. When an immediate threat occurs, the animal will engage in what looks to be a ‘selfless act’, when in actuality the *selfish genes* are making sure the *copies* of themselves survive. 

All human traits are heritable. So those blank slaters who believe that all of our behavioral traits are molded by the environment, there is a considerable genetic component involved. Thus, it would take us further away from the truth of why altruism and morality occurred in human populations. 

We can see some altruistic-like traits in nonhuman animals. For instance, in bees. The worker bees inherit the queen’s matrigenes, which direct the altruistic behavior of the worker bees to their female kin. These genes inherited from the queen bee have the worker bees forgo their own reproduction to help rear their siblings. So when the queen does, the workers can begin to selfishly compete with one another to lay eggs. This behavior is inherited from the father. 

Emotional intelligence can also be said to be a form of social intelligence. Though, it has been recently discovered that EQ is a mix of high IQ and the Big Five Personality Traits. Traits that enhanced human social cohesiveness get selected for. For instance, in Eurasia, the Big Five Personality Traits evolved since those who are more altruistic were better able to survive in the harsh Eurasian winters due to an increase of frequency in altruistic alleles. 

The moral reasoning is the ‘gut instinct’, where the person *knows* something is ‘wrong’, they just can’t explain it rationally. This human behavior has an evolutionary basis, which increased human social cohesiveness and eventually led to our complex societies. Altruism would not have evolved without moral reasoning (which the reasoning we construct is post hoc to justify judgements we already made). 

Thus, when when speaking of mortality with someone attempting to figure out truth, you will hear nonsensical answers. But thinking of moral reasoning as a skill that evolved to further our own agenda, moral reasoning makes a lot more sense. By keeping your eye on the intuition (what their *genes* want), you can see a person’s motivations for holding these views they do, even though they cannot think of a reason for their belief. 

So, I’m proposing that moral reasoning evolved to increase human fitness and social cohesiveness, going hand-in-hand with altruism.

Without these two traits, we wouldn’t be able to build these complex societies, which moral reasoning (post hoc or not) and altruism are two of the driving force forces behind our both our evolution as well as our societal evolution. 

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Nordicist Fantasies: The Myth of the Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed Aryans and the Origins of the Indo-Europeans

750 words

Nordicists say that the Aryans, the Indo-Europeans, had blonde hair and blue eyes. Though, recent genetic evidence shows that the origin of the Indo-European language is from the Russian steppe, originating from the Yamnaya people. The originators of the Indo-European languages weren’t blonde-haired and blue-eyed, but dark-haired and dark-eyed. Better known as the ‘Kurgan Hypothesis’, this is now the leading theory for the origin of Indo-European people.

Haak et al (2016) showed that at the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe (approximately 7 to 8 kya) that a closely related group of farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain. These ancient populations were different from the indigenous peoples from the Russian steppe, the Yamnaya, who showed high affinity with a 24000-year-old Siberian sample. Approximately 5 to 6 kya, farmers throughout Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors from the early Neolithic, but the Yamnaya from the Russian steppe were descended from the Eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population with Near East ancestry (Ancient North Eurasians, ANE). Further, the migration of haplotypes R1b and R1a traveled into Europe 5000 years ago.

The Late Neolithic Corded Ware culture from Germany trace approximately 75 percent of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, which confirms a massive migration from Eastern Europe to the heartland of the continent 4500 years ago. This ancestry from the Yamnaya persisted in all of the Europeans sampled up until approximately 3000 years ago, and is common in all modern-day Europeans. The researchers then conclude that this provides evidence for a steppe origin for some of the Indo-European languages from Europe.

As mentioned above, Haber et al (2016) show how, as I alluded to above, that the Yamnaya people share  distant ancestry with the Siberians, which is probably the source of one of the three ancient populations that contributed to the modern-day European gene pool (Ancient North Eurasians, West European hunter-gatherers, and Early European farmers from Western Asia with the fourth population being the Yamnaya people).

Olade et al (2015) show that since the Basque people speak a pre-Indo-European language that this indicates that the expansion of Indo-European languages is unlikely to have begun during the early Neolithic (7 to 8 kya). They, like Haak et al, conclude that it’s in agreement with the hypothesis of the Indo-European languages coming out of the East, the Russian steppe, around 4500 years ago which is associated with the spread of Indo-European languages into Western Europe.

Finally, it is known that the Yamnaya people had dark skin (relative to today’s Europeans), dark hair, and dark eyes. Knowing what is presented in this article, this directly goes against the Nordicist fantasy of the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Indo-Europeans. Nordicists also like to claim that the Indo-Europeans had blonde hair and blue eyes, when genetic evidence goes directly against this claim:

For rs12913832, a major determinant of blue versus brown eyes in humans, our results indicate the presence of blue eyes already in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers as previously described. We find it at intermediate frequency in Bronze Age Europeans, but it is notably absent from the Pontic-Caspian steppe populations, suggesting a high prevalence of brown eyes in these individuals.

Further, the Yamnaya were a tall population. Since the Yamnaya had a greater genotypic height, it stands to reason that Northern European populations have more Yamnaya ancestry.

The Yamnaya herded cattle and other animals, buried their dead in mounds called kurgans, and may have created some of the world’s first wheeled vehicles. They were a nomadic population that, some linguists say, had a word for wheel. The massive migration into Western Europe from the Russian steppe contributed large amounts of North Asian ancestry in today’s Europeans. The Yamnaya are also shown to be the fourth ancient population that is responsible for modern-day Europeans.

Modern-day genetic testing is shattering all of these myths that are told about the origins of Europeans and Proto-Indo-European peoples and languages. The ACTUAL basis for most PIE languages is from the Russian steppe, from a relatively (to modern Europe) dark-skinned, dark-haired, and dark-eyed people who then spread into Europe 4500 years ago.

The Nordicist fantasies of the Aryans, the originators of Proto-Indo-European languages has been put to rest. It was originally proposed based off of myths and stories, mostly from ancient Indo-European cultures who were situated thousands of miles away from the original Indo-Europeans (the Yamnaya).

The Kurgan Hypothesis is now the theory that’s largely accepted by the scientific community as being the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. The Yamnaya people now make a fourth founding population for Europeans, with the other three being West European hunter-gatherers, Ancient North Eurasians, and Early European Farmers.

The Evolution of Morality

Summary: Moral reasoning is just a post hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments people have already made. When people are asked why, for certain questions, they find things morally wrong, they say they cannot think of a reason but they still think it is wrong. This has been verified by numerous studies. Moral reasoning evolved as a skill to further social cohesiveness and to further our social agendas. Even in different cultures, those with matching socioeconomic levels have the same moral reasoning. Morality cannot be entirely constructed by children based on their own understanding of harm. Thus, cultural learning must play a bigger role than the rationalists had given it. Larger and more complex brains also show more cognitive sophistication in making choices and judgments, confirming a theory of mine that larger brains are the cause of making correct choices as well as making moral judgments.

The evolution of morality is a much-debated subject in the field of evolutionary psychology. Is it, as the nativists say, innate? Or is it as the empiricists say, learned? Empiricists, better known as Blank Slatists, believe that we are born with a ‘blank slate’ and thus acquire our behaviors through culture and experience. In 1987 when John Haidt was studying moral psychology (now known as evolutionary psychology), moral psychology was focused on the third answer: rationalism. Rationalism dictates that children learn morality through social learning and interacting with other children to learn right from wrong.

Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget focused on the type of mistakes that children would make when seeing water moved from different shape glasses. He would, for example, put water into the same size glasses and ask children which one had more water. They all said they held the same amount of water. He then poured water from one glass into a taller glass and then asked the children which glass held more water. Children aged 6 and 7 say that the water level changed since the water was now in a taller glass. The children don’t understand that just because the water was moved to a taller glass doesn’t mean that there is now more water in the glass. Even when parents attempt to explain to their children why there is the same amount of water in the glass, they don’t understand it because they are not ready cognitively. It’s only when they reach an age and cognitive stage that they are ready to understand that the water level doesn’t change, just by playing around with cups of water themselves.

Basically, the understanding of the conservation of volume isn’t innate, nor is it learned by parents. Children figure it out for themselves only when their minds are cognitively ready and they are given the right experiences.

Piaget then applied his rules from the water experiment with the development of children’s morality. He played a marble game with them where he would break the rules and play dumb. The children the responded to his mistakes, correcting him, showing that they had the ability to settle disputes and respect and change rules. The growing knowledge progressed as children’s cognitive abilities matured.

Thus, Piaget argued that like children’s understanding of water conservation is like children’s understanding of morality. He concludes that children’s reasoning is self-constructed. You can’t teach 3-year-old children the concept of fairness or water conservation, no matter how hard you try. They will figure it out on their own through dispute and do things themselves, better than any parent could teach them, Piaget argued.

Piaget’s insights were then expanded by Lawrence Kohlberg who revolutionized the field of moral psychology with two innovations: developing a set of moral dilemmas that were presented to children of various ages. One example given was that a man broke into a drug store to steal medication for his ill wife. Is that a morally wrong act? Kohlberg wasn’t interested in whether the children said yes or no, but rather, their reasoning they gave when explaining their answers.

Kohlberg found a six-stage progression in children’s reasoning of the social world that matched up with what Piaget observed in children’s reasoning about the physical world. Young children judged right and wrong, for instance, on whether or not a child was punished for their actions, since if they were punished for their actions by an adult then they must be wrong. Kohlberg then called the first two stages the “pre-conventional level of moral judgment”, which corresponded to Piaget’s stage at which children judge the physical world by superficial features.

During elementary school, most children move on from the pre-conventional level and understand and manipulate rules and social conventions. Kids in this stage care more about social conformity, hardly ever questioning authority.

Kohlberg then discovered that after puberty, which is right when Piaget found that children had become capable of abstract thought, he found that some children begin to think for themselves about the nature of authority, the meaning of justice and the reasoning behind rules and laws. Kohlberg considered children “‘moral philosophers’ who are trying to work out coherent ethical systems for themselves”, which was the rationalist reasoning at the time behind morality. Kohlberg’s most influential finding was that the children who were more morally advanced frequently were those who had more opportunities for role-taking, putting themselves into another person’s shoes and attempting to feel how the other feels through their perspective.

We can see how Kohlberg and Piaget’s work can be used to support and egalitarian and leftist, individualistic worldview.

Kohlberg’s student, Elliot Turiel, then came along. He developed a technique to test for moral reasoning that doesn’t require verbal skill. His innovation was to tell children stories about children who break rules and then give them a series of yes or no questions. Turiel discovered that children as young as five normally say that the child was wrong to break the rule, but it would be fine if the teacher gave the child permission, or occurred in another school with no such rule.

But when children were asked about actions that harmed people, they were given a different set of responses. They were asked if a girl pushes a boy off of a swing because she wants to use it, is that OK? Nearly all of the children said that it was wrong, even when they were told that a teacher said it was fine; even if this occurred in a school with no such rule. Thus, Turiel concluded, children recognize that rules that prevent harm are moral rules related to “justice, rights, and welfare pertaining to how people ought to relate to one another” (Haidt, 2012, pg. 11). All though children can’t speak like moral philosophers, they were busy sorting information in a sophisticated way. Turiel realized that was the foundation of all moral development.

There are many rules and social conventions that have no moral reasoning behind them. For instance, the numerous laws of the Jews in the Old Testament in regards to eating or touching the swarming insects of the earth, to many Christians and Jews who believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness, to Westerners who believe that food and sex have a moral significance. If Piaget is right then why do so many Westerners moralize actions that don’t harm people?

Due to this, it is argued that there must be more to moral development than children constructing roles as they take the perspectives of others and feel their pain. There MUST be something beyond rationalism (Haidt, 2012, pg. 16).

Richard Shweder then came along and offered the idea that all societies must resolve a small set of questions about how to order society with the most important being how to balance the needs of the individual and group (Haidt, 2012, pg. 17).

Most societies choose a sociocentric, or collectivist model while individualistic societies choose a more individualist model. There is a direct relationship between consanguinity rates, IQ, and genetic similarity and whether or not a society is collectivist or individualistic.

Shweder thought that the concepts developed by Kohlberg and Turiel were made by and for those from individualistic societies. He doubted that the same results would occur in Orissa where morality was sociocentric and there was no line separating moral rules from social conventions. Shweder and two collaborators came up with 39 short stories in which someone does something that would violate a commonly held rule in the US or Orissa. They interviewed 180 children ranging from age 5 to 13 and 60 adults from Chicago and a matched sample of Brahmin children and adults from Orissa along with 120 people from lower Indian castes (Haidt, 2012, pg. 17).

In Chicago, Shweder found very little evidence for socially conventional thinking. Plenty of stories said that no harm or injustice occurred, and Americans said that those instances were fine. Basically, if something doesn’t protect an individual from harm, then it can’t be morally justified, which makes just a social convention.

Though Turiel wrote a long rebuttal essay to Shweder pointing out that most of the study that Shweder and his two collaborators proposed to the sample were trick questions. He brought up how, for instance, that in India eating fish is will stimulate a person’s sexual appetite and is thus forbidden to eat, with a widow eating hot foods she will be more likely to have sex, which would anger the spirit of her dead husband and prevent her from reincarnating on a higher plane. Turiel then argued that if you take into account the ‘informational assumptions’ about the way the world works, most of Shweder’s stories were really moral violations to the Indians, harming people in ways that Americans couldn’t see (Haidt, 2012, pg. 20).

Jonathan Haidt then traveled to Brazil to test which force was stronger: gut feelings about important cultural norms or reasoning about harmlessness. Haidt and one of his colleagues worked for two weeks to translate Haidt’s short stories to Portuguese, which he called ‘Harmless Taboo Violations’.

Haidt then returned to Philadelphia and trained his own team of interviewers and supervised the data collection for the four subjects in Philadelphia. He used three cities, using two levels of social class (high and low) and within each social class was two groups of children aged 10 to 12 and adults aged 18 to 28.

Haidt found that the harmless taboo stories could not be attributed to some way about the way he posed the questions or trained his interviewers, since he used two questions directly from Turiel’s experiment and found the same exact conclusions. Upper-class Brazilians looked like Americans on these stories (I would assume since Upper-class Brazilians have more European ancestry). Though in one example about breaking the dress-code of a school and wearing normal clothes, most middle-class children thought that it was morally wrong to do this. The pattern supported Shweder showing that the size of the moral-conventional distinction varied across cultural groups (Haidt, 2012, pg. 25).

The second thing that Haidt found was that people responded to harmless taboo stories just as Shweder predicted: upper-class Philadelphians judged them to be violations of social conventions while lower-class Brazilians judged them to be moral violations. Basically, well-educated people in all of the areas Haidt tested were more similar to each other in their response to harmless taboo stories than to their lower-class neighbors.

Haidt’s third finding was all differences stayed even when controlling for perceptions of harm. That is, he included a probe question at the end of each story asking: “Do you think anyone was harmed by what [the person in the story] did?” If Shweder’s findings were caused by perceptions of hidden victims, as was proposed by Turiel, then Haidt’s cross-cultural differences should have disappeared when he removed the subjects who said yes to the aforementioned question. But when he filtered out those who said yes, he found that the cultural differences got BIGGER, not smaller. This ended up being very strong evidence for Shweder’s claim that morality goes beyond harm. Most of Haidt’s subjects said that the taboos that were harmless were universally wrong, even though they harmed nobody.

Shweder had won the debate. Turiel’s findings had been replicated by Haidt using Turiel’s methods showing that the methods worked on people like himself, educated Westerners who grew up in an individualistic culture. He showed that morality varied across cultures and that for most people, morality extended beyond the issues of harm and fairness.

It was hard, Haidt argued, for  a rationalist to explain these findings. How could children self-construct moral knowledge from disgust and disrespect from their private analyses of harmlessness (Haidt, 2012, pg. 26)? There must be other sources of moral knowledge, such as cultural learning, or innate moral intuitions about disgust and disrespect which Haidt argued years later.

Yet, surprises were found in the data. Haidt had written the stories carefully to remove all conceivable harm to other people. But, in 38 percent of the 1620 times people heard the harmless offensive story, they said that somebody was harmed.

Haidt found that it was obvious in his sample of Philadelphians that it was obvious that the subjects had invented post hoc fabrications. People normally condemned the action very quickly, but didn’t need a long time to decide what they thought, as well as taking a long time to think up a victim in the story.

He also taught his interviewers to correct people when they made claims that contradicted the story. Even when the subjects realized that the victim they constructed in their head was fake, they still refused to say that the act was fine. They, instead, continued to search for other victims. They just could not think of a reason why it was wrong, even though they intuitively knew it was wrong (Haidt, 2012, pg. 29).

The subjects were reasoning, but they weren’t reasoning in search for moral truth. They were reasoning in support of their emotional reactions. Haidt had found evidence for philosopher David Hume’s claim that moral reasoning was often a servant of moral emotions. Hume wrote in 1739: “reason is, and ought to be only the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

Judgment and justification are separate processes. Moral reasoning is just a post hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments people have already made.

The two most common answers of where morality came from are that it’s innate (nativists) or comes from childhood learning (empiricists), also known as “social learning theory”. Though the empiricist position is incorrect.

  • The moral domain varies by culture. It is unusually narrow in western education and individualistic cultures. Sociocentric cultures broaden moral domain to encompass and regulate more aspects of life.
  • People sometimes have gut feelings – particularly about disgust – that can drive their reasoning. Moral reasoning is sometimes a post hoc fabrication.
  • Morality can’t be entirely self-constructed by children based on their understanding of harm. Cultural learning (social learning theory, Rushton, 1981) not guidance must play a larger role than rationalist had given it.

(Haidt, 2012, pg 30 to 31)

If morality doesn’t come primarily from reasoning, then that leaves a combination of innateness and social learning. Basically, intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second.

If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas – to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to – then things will make a lot more sense. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don’t take people’s moral arguments at face value. They’re mostly post hoc constructions made up on the fly crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives (Haidt, 2012, pg XX to XXI).

Haidt also writes on page 50:

As brains get larger and more complex, animals begin to show more cognitive sophistication – choices (such as where to forage today, or when to fly south) and judgments (such as whether a subordinate chimpanzee showed proper differential behavior). But in all cases, the basic psychology is pattern matching.

It’s the sort of rapid, automatic and effortless processing that drives our perceptions in the Muller-Lyer Illusion. You can’t choose whether or not to see the illusion, you’re just “seeing that” one line is longer than the other. Margolis also called this kind of thinking “intuitive”.

This shows that moral reasoning came about due to a bigger brain and that the choices and judgments we make  evolved because they better ensured our fitness, not due to ethics.

Moral reasoning evolved for us to increase our fitness on this earth. The field of ethics justifies what benefits group and kin selection with minimal harm to the individual. That is, the explanations people make through moral reasoning are just post hoc searches for people to justify their gut feelings, which they cannot think of a reason why they have them.

Source: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion

Science Proves It: Fat-shaming Doesn’t Work

2250 words

Milo Yiannopoulos published an article yesterday saying that “fat-shaming works”. It’s clear that the few papers he cites he didn’t read correctly while disregarding the other studies stating the opposite saying “there is only one serious study”. There is a growing body of research that says otherwise.

He first claims that with the knowledge of what he is going to show will have you armed with the facts so that you can hurl all the insults you want at fat people and genuinely be helping them. This is objectively wrong.

In the study he’s citing, the researchers used a quantitative analysis using semi-structured interview data (which is used when subjects are seen only one time and are instructed by the researchers what the guidelines of the experiment will be in order to get the reliable, comparable, and quality data) on 40 adolescents who lost at least 10 pounds and maintained their weight loss for at least a year. This guideline came from Wing and Hill (2001) who say that maintaining a 10 percent weight loss for one year is successful maintenance. He claims that the abstract says that bullying by the peer group induces weight loss. Though, it’s clear that he didn’t read the abstract correctly because it says:

In contrast to existing literature, our findings suggest that primary motivating factors for adolescent weight loss may be intrinsic (e.g., desire for better health, desire to improve self-worth) rather than extrinsic. In addition, life transitions (e.g., transition to high school) were identified as substantial motivators for weight-related behavior change. Peer and parental encouragement and instrumental support were widely endorsed as central to success. The most commonly endorsed weight loss maintenance strategies included attending to dietary intake and physical activity levels, and making self-corrections when necessary.

Peer encouragement and instrumental support were two variables that are the keys to success in childhood weight loss maintenance, not fat-shaming as he claims.

The same study found that obese people were more likely to lose weight around “life transitions,” like starting high school. In other words, people start to worry about how others will see them, especially when they need to make a good first impression. Fear of social judgement is key. So keep judging them. 

The study didn’t find that at all. In fact, it found the opposite.

Dr. Fred Pescatore says:

According to a new study, while most teens’ weight loss attempts don’t work, the ones who do lose weight successfully, quite simply, do it for themselves, rather than to please their (bullying) peers or (over-pressuring) parents.

He then cites a paper from the UCLA stating that social pressure on the obese (fat-shaming) will lead to positive changes. Some of the pressures referenced are:

If you are overweight or obese, are you pleased with the way you look?

Are you happy that your added weight has made many ordinary activities, such as walking up a long flight of stairs, harder?

The average fat person would say no to the first two.

Are you pleased when your obese children are called “fatty” or otherwise teased at school?

Fair or not, do you know that many people look down upon those excessively overweight or obese, often in fact discriminating against them and making fun of them or calling them lazy and lacking in self-control?

Self-control has a genetic component.In a 30 year follow-up to the Marshmallow Experiment, those who lacked self-control during pre-school had a higher chance of becoming obese 30 years later. Analyzing self-reported heights and weights of those who participated in the follow-up (n=164, 57 percent women), the researchers found that the duration of the delay on the gratification task accounted for 4 percent of the variance in BMI between the subjects, which, according to the researchers, was responsible for a significant portion of the variation in the subjects. The researchers also found that each additional minute they delayed gratification that there was a .2 reduction in BMI.

Why? Because people change their health and dietary habits to mimic that of their friends and loved ones, especially if they spend lots of time around them. Peer pressure encourages people to look like the people they admire and whose company they enjoy. Unless there’s a more powerful source of social pressure (say, fat shaming) from the rest of society, of course.

Not even thinking of the genetic component. The increase in similarity relative to strangers is on the level of 4th cousins. Thus, since ‘dietary habits are mimicked by friends and family’, what’s really going on is genotypic matching and that, not socialization, is the cause for friends and family mimicking diets.

There is only one serious study, from University College London, that suggests fat-shaming doesn’t work, and it’s hopelessly flawed. Firstly, it’s based on survey data — relying on fat people to be honest about their weight and diets. Pardon the pun, but … fat chance!

Moreover, the study defines “weight discrimination” much like feminists define “misogyny,” extending it to a dubiously wide range of behaviours, including “being treated poorly in shops.” The study also takes survey answers from 50-year olds and tries to apply them to all adults. But in what world do 20-year-olds behave the same way as older people?

The paper he cites, Perceived Weight Discrimination and Changes in Weight, Waist Circumference, and Weight Statusdoes say what he claims. However, the researchers do say that due to having a sample of people aged 50 and older that it wasn’t applicable to younger populations (as well as other ethnicities, this sample being 97.9 percent white). (Which you can tell he did not read, and if he did he omitted this section.)

The researchers found that 5.1 percent of the participants reported being discriminated on the basis of their weight. They discovered that those who experienced weight discrimination were more likely to engage in behaviors that promoted weight gain, and were more likely to see an increase in weight and waist circumference. Also observed, was that weight discrimination was a factor in early onset obesity.

Present research indicates that in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating people to lose weight, weight discrimination increases the risk for obesity. Sutin and Terraciano (2013) conclude that though fat shaming is thought to have a positive effect on weight loss and maintenance, it is, in reality, associated with maintenance of obesity. Also seen in this sample of over 6,000 people was that those who experienced weight discrimination were 2.5 times more likely to become obese in the next few years.Further, obese subjects were 3.2 times as likely to remain obese over the next few years.

Sutin et al (2014) also showed how weight discrimination can lead to “poor subjective health, greater disease burden, lower life satisfaction and greater loneliness at both assessments and with declines in health across the four years”.

Puhl and Heuer (2010) says that weight discrimination is not a tool for obesity prevention and that stigmatization of the obese leads to threatened health, the generation of health disparities and, most importantly, it interferes with effective treatments.

Tomiyama (2014) showed that any type of fat shaming leads to an increase in weight and caloric consumption.

Shvey, Puhl, and Brownell (2011) found in a sample of 73 overweight women, that those who watched a video in which weight discrimination occurred ate 3 times as many calories than those who did not see the video. The authors conclude that despite people claiming that weight discrimination works for weight loss, the results of the study showed that it leads to overeating, which directly challenges the (wrong) perception on weight discrimination being positive for weight loss.

Participants were from an older population, in which weight change and experiences of weight discrimination may differ relative to younger populations so findings cannot be assumed to generalize

Puhl and King (2013) show that weight discrimination and bullying during childhood can lead to “depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, suicidal ideation, poor academic performance, lower physical activity, maladaptive eating behaviors, and avoidance of health care.”

I expect we’ll see more of these pseudo-studies, and not just because academics tend to be lefties. Like climate scientists before them, I suspect a substantial number of “fat researchers” will simply choose to follow the political winds, and the grant money that follows them, rather than seeking the truth.

He is denying the negative implications of fat-shaming, disregarding the ‘one study’ (or so he claims) that shows the opposite of what he cited (which he didn’t read fully). I also like how these studies are called ‘pseudo-studies’ when the conclusion that’s found is a conclusion he doesn’t like. Really objective journalism there.

The reverse is also true. Just being around attractive women raises a man’s testosterone.

The researchers say that talking with a beautiful woman for five minutes led to  14 percent increase in testosterone and a 48 percent increase in cortisol, the anti-stress hormone.

Of course, this has its grounds in evolution. When two people are attracted to each other, they begin to mimic each other’s movements and using the same body language unconsciously. The researchers he cited concluded that “women may release steroid hormones to facilitate courtship interactions with  high-value men“. This, of course, has an evolutionary basis. Women seek the best mate that will be able to provide the most for them. Men and women who are more attractive are also more intelligent on average with the reverse holding true for fat people, who are uglier and less intelligent on average.

Though it would be to un-PC to conduct an experiment proving it, it stands to reason that looking at fat, ugly people depresses testosterone. This is certainly how any red-blooded man feels when looking at a hamplanet.

Depressed testosterone is associated with many negative health outcomes, and thus the mere presence of fat people is actively harming the population’s health — particularly men’s, since we’re more visual. We ban public smoking based on the minuscule effects of “passive” intake, so why aren’t the same lefty, public-health aware politicians clamouring for a ban on fat people being seen in public?

A study conducted on people’s hormonal response to the obese and overweight may indeed show a decrease in testosterone and cortisol. Though, these hormonal responses are temporary, which he doesn’t say.

Instead, the same lefties who want to stop us having fags or drinking too much in public (and even alcoholics and chain smokers are healthier than the obese) are the same ones urging the authorities to treat “fat-shaming” as a crime and investigate it. Insane!

There are, contrary to popular belief, obese people who are metabolically healthy. Blüher (2012) reviewed the data on obese patients and found that 30 percent of them were metabolically healthy with the obese patients having similar levels of insulin sensitivity similar to lean individuals.

Moreover, new research has found that having a BMI of 27 leads to a decrease in mortality. In a huge study of over 120,000 people, the researchers gathered people from Copenhagen, Denmark, recruiting people from 1976 to 2013. They were then separately compared to those who were recruited in the 70s, 90s, and 00s. Surprisingly, the BMI linked with the lowest risk of having died from any cause was 23.7 in the 70s, 24.6 in the 90s, and 27 from 2003-2013. Due to the results of this study, the researchers are arguing that BMI categories may need adjusting.

As shown in that 2014 study, young people in particular are concerned about what their peers think about them, especially when they start high school. That’s why it’s so critical to let them know that their instincts are correct, and that they can’t be “healthy at any size.”

If you can be unhealthy at any size, why can’t you be ‘healthy at any size’? As I’ve shown, those with a BMI of 27, on average, are metabolically similar to those with to those with lower BMIs. Since, in the study previously cited, BMI increased while mortality decreased, technological advancements in caring for diseases, such as Diabetes Mellitus, improved, this is one possible explanation for this.

Those with a BMI under 25 may still suffer from negative effects, the same as obese people. They may suffer from metabolic syndrome, high triglycerides, low HDL, small LDL particles, high blood sugar and high insulin. Those who are skinny fat need to worry more about their vital organs, as the fat deposits they carry are white fat which is wrapped around the vital organs in the body. These are some of the reasons why being skinny fat can be more dangerous than being obese or overweight: they think that because their BMI is in the ‘normal range’ that they’re fine and healthy. Clearly, sometimes even being ‘underlean’ can have serious consequences worse than obesity.

Then he brings up smoke shaming and bills being passed to stop smokers from smoking in certain public areas lead to a decrease in smoking, so fat shaming makes sense in that manner.

Except it doesn’t.

Humans need to eat, we don’t need to smoke. Moreover, since the rising rates in obesity coincide with the increase in height, it has been argued by some researchers that having an obese population is just a natural progression of first world societies.

Fat shaming doesn’t work. It, ironically, makes the problem worse. The physiological components involved with eating are a factor as well. It is known that the brain scans of the obese and those addicted to cocaine mirror each other. With this knowledge of food changing the brain, we can think of other avenues that do not involve shaming people for their weight, which increases the problem we all hate.

 

Dysgenic Fertility and America’s Obesity Crisis

1050 words

The dysgenic trend currently occurring in America has implications for obesity as well. Since intelligence is negatively correlated with obesity, as America’s average IQ decreases, the rates of obesity in our country will increase. This is due to the high correlation between intelligence and obesity. As we continue to allow unfettered immigration into America, the average IQ of the country will decrease, while the amount of people that are overweight and obese will increase.

The ethnic differences in obesity rates lead more credence to what I am saying. As the demographics shift, more people will be overweight or obese due to having a lower IQ. Whites, too, are experiencing this dysgenic effect, as intelligent people of all ethnicities are not reproducing. As more and more genetically less fit individuals continue to have a higher rate of reproduction in comparison to intelligent individuals, this crisis will continue to persist.

Those with lower intelligence have less of an ability to delay gratification, which has a strong genetic component. As more people breed who cannot delay their gratification, the rates of obesity will increase in the country. Of course, the lack of ability to delay gratification comes with a lowered IQ. This is what we see in regards to sex. Those with higher IQs lose their virginities at a later age in comparison to those with lower IQs. Along with the data from Kanazawa that shows that more intelligent people have a lower BMI than those with lower intelligence, this study gives more credence to the theory that those with higher levels of intelligence can better delay their gratification.

JayMan says that there is evidence for an increased genetic load for those with lower IQs, which we can then reason that this also leads to a higher prevalence for obesity in low IQ populations. JayMan then says that many of the genes found to influence obesity seem to operate in the brain and that they have a pleiotropic effect, meaning that multiple genes affect one or more traits. With the increased genetic load comes with an increased chance to have a lower IQ and become obese, as these two things correlate with the lack of ability to delay gratification.

Of course, these problems persist due to modern medicine. With the advent of better medicine, it allowed us to beat diseases that formerly would have been devastating to the population at large. This led to an increase of alleles with negative effects in the population that continue to pass down through the generations. Along with these advances in medical technology, welfare and other government-funded programs also enable those that are less genetically fit. Since intelligence is correlated with ability to care for offspring, as well as r- and K-selected traits, those with lower intelligence exhibit more r-selected traits. This is why America is facing a dysgenic fertility crisis. Welfare props up those with less intelligence, giving them more incentives to breed. They then breed more low IQ children who then will live off of the government. This vicious cycle then continues unfettered due to how America’s dysgenic welfare structure is implemented.

Before the advent of modern technology, those who were less genetically fit didn’t survive to pass on their genes. But, in the modern day with all of our superior technology, this allows the less intelligent to breed when in the past they would have been selected out of the gene pool due to being less biologically fit.

Another variable that is involved with the dysgenic fertility of America is Mexican immigration. With the influx of illegal (and legal) peoples from the South of the Border, this is having both dysgenic effect on both the average intelligence of our country along with the average BMI. The average BMI for the average American male is 28.6In the 1950s, 10 percent of American adults were obese compared to 35 percent of American adults today. Now, this has to do with ability to access food, as well as the effect of the media on children has a huge effect on obesity, due in part to not getting a full nights sleep, as that is correlated with obesity. However, an increase in genetic load, which also comes with a decrease in intelligence, has a lot to do with this as well. The increase in the BMI of the average American has to do with immigration as well. The rates of obesity for different ethnicities in America are as follows: 67.3% for whites, 75.6% for blacks, and 77.9% for ‘Hispanics’. So of course, with more immigration from the South of the Border, the average IQ for America is decreasing while obesity rates are increasing, due mostly to this illegal immigration.

Height and intelligence are both correlated. Ever since the advent of the industrial revolution, we have had an excess surplus of food. As Gina Kolata says in her book Rethinking Thin, an increase in obesity is inevitable. She says this since the increase in genetic height and IQ has occurred, so the increase in obesity follows with it. We need to influence those with higher IQs to have more children. Further, we also need to restrict immigration to only high-skilled immigrants (only when necessary) to reverse this trend that has been occurring since the 1960s. Though, with higher levels of intelligence one can forgo their urges and live a healthier lifestyle due to having higher cognition which leads to a better ability to delay gratification than one with lower intelligence.

Those with higher IQs make better choices on what to eat than those with lower IQs. This is shown in the BMIs of the intelligent and non-intelligent population. As more and more people with lower genotypic IQ come into the country, the quality of life will decrease as will the average intelligence of the country. In turn, the BMI of the average American will increase along with the decrease of our country’s average intelligence. To ameliorate this, we need to have extremely stringent criteria on who we allow into the country. An IQ test, to start, would be a good idea. As those with higher intelligence have less of a genetic load and have less of a chance of becoming obese than one with a lower IQ, the current dysgenic effect that this unfettered immigration is having on America can be lessened.