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Evolution and IQ Linkfest V

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1850 words

Nutrition science isn’t broken, it’s just extremely hard (Of course nutrition science is hard, each individual body is unique in its own right; one body may not have a certain organ, while another may have a higher base blood pressure. Indeed, to make nutrition science respectable, the ideological spin needs to be taken out of it (like with everything in our lives). The same holds for the human sciences, and any other scientific field. Follow the data, draw conclusions based on said data and don’t twist and turn data to make it say what you want to say.)

Rethinking Mammalian Brain Evolution (Terrence Deacon has argued a lot over the years that brain size is the last refuge of progress in evolution. Indeed the overall size of our brains have increased over the years. But all the brain size fetishists do is proclaim ‘look at how big the brain has gotten!’ all the while they ignore the fact that the brains grow as bodies do. There is no ‘progress’ in mammalian brain evolution nor brain evolution as a whole.)

Fallacies of Progression in Theories of Brain Size Evolution (A paper full of fallacies in theories of brain size evolution. From the Bigger-is-smarter Fallacy, to the Numerology Fallacy, Deacon goes through a large list of fallacious reasoning in regards to the supposed brain size increase over time. Numerology fallacies are apparent correlations that turn out to be artifacts of numerical oversimplification. Numerology fallacies in science, like their mystical counterparts, are likely to be committed when meaning is ascribed to some statistic merely by virtue of its numeric similarity to some other statistic, without supportive evidence from the empirical system that is being described (Deacon, 1991b: 201). Most people just see a correlation and attempt to ascribe meaning to it and then fall down the rabbit hole of crappy theories all because of a correlate. Well…correlates don’t mean anything unless causation is show. Sure there is a relationship, but if you champion correlations all day every day and not discover causesthen you’d just end up being a psychologist. Brain size evolution is the last refuge for progressionists. Apparently, only looking at the size of the brain is enough to deduce that ‘progress’ has occurred. That will be covered at length in the future.)

Confusing size-correlated differences with phylogenetic “progression” in brain evolution (So-called brain size progress vanishes when effects of brain size and functional specialization are taken into account. That’s the final nail in the coffin for so-called progressive brain evolution. It’s funny how people still push this today when papers were written 30 years ago rebutting the same notion… I get it. Looking at the average size of brains, it did increase. But that’s not taking allometry into account and when allometry and functional specialization is taken into account, the relationship all but disappears. What’s funny is that this is literally a rebuttal to PumpkinPerson’s article ‘Marching up the evolutionary tree‘ which I rebutted here: Marching Up the ‘Evolutionary Tree’? Progressionists grasp on to whatever they can to attempt to ‘show’ that evolution is synonymous with ‘progress’, when natural selection is literally local change, and that’s what brain size evolution is; local change!)

Brain development, gender and IQ in children A volumetric imaging study (This one is sure to send brain size fetishists into a fervor. There seems to be a plateau and then, perhaps, a sharp decrease in the largest brains. This goes against the ‘bigger-is-better’ notion of some brain size fetishists. So it seems that after IQ 120, there is a sharp decrease in brain size… If IQ is meaningful for brain size, why is this so? Even then, larger brains have more myelinated axons and larger neurons connecting them, so larger brain size would not be expected to increase cognitive competence more than modestly. Fact of the matter is, brain size increased for expertise capacity, not IQ (Skoyles, 1999). This study lends credence to the fact that ‘bigger is not always better’. This is yet more ammo against the brain size fetishists clamoring that bigger brains actually mean something for having modern-day levels of intelligence.)

Evolution of the human brain: when bigger is better (Hofman argues that the theoretical maximum size capacity of the human brain is 3500 cc. That’s 3 times the size of our brains now! He states that after this enormous size, that cognitive power would begin to decrease. At a brain size of about 3500 cm3, corresponding to a brain volume two to three times that of modern man, the brain seems to reach its maximum processing capacity. The larger the brain grows beyond this critical size, the less efficient it will become, thus limiting any improvement in cognitive power. I don’t think it is physically possible for our brains to become that large. Imagine how large women’s hips would need to be to birth that monstrous head. Imagine how our bipedality and running would be affected. It’s a fun thought experiment, but it’s not realistic.)

Evolution evolves: physiology returns to centre stage (Evolution evolves. Once it was discovered that physiological systems can and do respond to the environment and make changes to the system, physiology was thrust back into the evolutionary spot light. Noble et al state that the Neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis needs either extension or replacement (I argue replacement, will do so in a future article) since the gene is not the ‘star of the show’ so to speak. This also largely rebuts Dawkins and his Selfish Gene theory. That, too, will also be covered in the future.)

Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology (And rightfully so. The gene-centered view (Dawkins’ view) is archaic and we need to move on from it. Selfish genes have no place in physiology. The selfish gene theory, anyway, is just a metaphor, a metaphor that has seeped into our popular culture and has permeated our lives. Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology because genes are passive and do not do anything unless guided by the intelligent physiologic system that interacts with its environment and is homeodynamic in nature. This is a new and unique way of understanding the evolution of systems and organisms as a whole. The fact of the matter is, the organism is, again, front-and-center while the gene is relegated to where it belongs.)

Neo-Darwinism, the Modern Synthesis and selfish genes: are they of use in physiology? (No they are both obsolete in regards to physiology. Physiologist Denis Noble dissects Dawkins’ selfish gene theory through a physiologists point of view. He states that genes don’t do anything until directed by intelligent systems. DNA sequences only make sense in the context of the particular organism. Noble disagrees with Dawkins’ has contended that genes are ‘passengers’, while Denis Noble instead states that genes are ‘prisoners’ in our bodies (what Dawkins terms ‘vehicles’). Neo-Darwinists relegate the role of the organism as an ‘indispensable vehicle’. This is not true. I know that Dawkins and Gould had long back-and-forths on gene- and species-selection. However, it seems that Gould was in the right. Modern-day evolutionary physiology is proving the theory of Punctuated Equilibria correct. Noble concludes with this paragraph: “It is therefore time to move on and remove the conceptual barriers to integrating modern physiological science with evolutionary and developmental theory. The integrative approach can achieve this since it avoids the simplistic fallacies of the gene-centred differential approach and it is essentially what successful systems physiology has employed for many years.” The gene-centered view of evolution needs to go.)

Form and function remixed: Developmental physiology in the evolution of vertebrate body plans (heritable morphologic change can occur without a change in genes since physiology responds to what occurs in the environment. This is huge! The fact that there can be no change in gene frequency BUT heritable morphologic change occurs in species shows that intelligent physiology can take cues from the environment and direct development that way. This, too, lends credence to Eldredge and Gould’s Punctuated Equilbria theory. Species change DUE TO the environmental change which is DRIVEN by intelligent physiology, which is made up of smaller, intelligent cells. This stuff on intelligent physiology and evolutionary physiology is really blowing my mind the further I fall down this rabbit hole.)

As some of my readers may have noticed, I have changed a ton of my views in the past year. All of my view changes will be covered in a future article.

One of my problems with a lot of theories floating around is the concept of ‘reductionism’. There is a huge problem with reducing and dividing larger complex systems into smaller ‘more manageable’ parts.

Reductionism—in regards to the large complex physiologic and anatomic systems that make up the human body—is the theory that to understand human body (i.e. physiologic system), you must first understand its simplest, smallest parts. Of course, reductionism isn’t the only way to understand how complex physiologic systems work and interact with each other and the environment. Imagine looking at a bunch of car parts strewn across the floor. Looking at the simple parts of the car, you won’t be able to ascertain the inner workings of automobile transmission, the same can be said for the the human personality; you can never deduce how one’s personality would be with complete knowledge of the circuitry of the brain, nor the genetic sequence of DNA.

Holism is a complimentary theory that states that the whole system—and not the sum of its parts—should be looked at, to treat disease for instance.

So we must look at the whole of the system and not reduce things into a sum of smaller parts. Aristotle was hugely important to our understanding of the human body, but in regards to physiology and anatomy, holism makes more sense. I’m not informed on holism in regards to psychology, however. Here is a good article.

Reductionism and Holism in Psychology
I contend that physiologic systems are too complex to be reduced to a sum of smaller parts, and the whole physiologic system and organism must be studied to understand Y.

So why, for instance, does the human brain and body get ‘reduced’ to ‘simple parts’ when, to understand the nature of the whole system, the parts MUST be looked at working in unison with eachother? Imagine seeing a spleen on the floor. Sure, you may be able to guess at its use and function, but without actually seeing what it does in the body and how it interacts with other organs you’ll think something pretty underwhelming.

Reductionism has lead the way for holism—which is the study of the whole system and not the sum of its simpler parts. Studying whole organisms/systems and not their smaller, ‘simpler’ parts (genes) will lead to a better understanding of evolution as a whole and will prevent us from continuing to use metaphors such as the selfish gene. It now makes no sense to me to reduce the complex human physiological system—and the brain—into smaller parts to see how it works. The whole organism must be studied.



  1. Maldo says:

    Do you now deny that there are differences between the races in intelligence? And that East Asians are the most intelligent, Europeans are in the Middle, and African populations south of the Sahara are the least?

    Also, how can you hold Gould as a respectable source considering his misrepresentation of Samuel George Morton and known Marxism?


    • RaceRealist says:

      I don’t deny racial intelligence differences. I don’t deny that East Asians score higher on IQ tests than Whites who score higher than blacks.

      I love Gould’s work on evolutionary theory. His books Full House and Wonderful Life are great reads. My next book of his to slog over is his titanic 1000+ page magnum opus The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. He contributed a ton to our understanding of evolution. It’s worth noting that evo devo lends credence to Eldredge and Gould’s Punctuated Equilibrium theory. I’m going to cover that soon. Tons of new and interesting developments on how species physiology interacts with the environment to create new species.

      And the Morton debate is far from over. I believe Morton didn’t have an unconscious bias (but I do believe everyone has an inherent bias, especially if they’ve been working on something for decades. I covered it in this article).

      Gould on Morton, Redux: What can the debate reveal about the limits of data?—Kaplan, Pigliucci, and Banta, 2015

      Remeasuring man—Weisberg, 2014


    • Maldo says:

      I don’t deny racial intelligence differences. I don’t deny that East Asians score higher on IQ tests than Whites who score higher than blacks.

      But do you deny the differences are significantly biological?


    • RaceRealist says:

      I’m entertaining other idea and am more than open to debating it. I’ll go in depth later if you’d like to discuss. I love debating positions I don’t hold. That way both parties can strengthen arguments. Not for nothing, I believe I can argue the anti-hereditarian side better than any antis I’ve seen.

      See Afrosapiens’ latest article too.


    • Maldo says:

      So the Blank Slate then.


      Even more rundowns on Gould’s conduct. The second one even notes Gould’s traditional Jewish hostility to Europe.

      See Afrosapiens’ latest article too.

      Seen it. Just more of the old “MUH POVERTY” that ignores how it’s been noted that in America poorer European Americans outperform poorer Negro Americans and Richer European Americans outperform richer Negro Americans whether it’s criminality or education.


    • RaceRealist says:

      Not “blank slate”, the arguments are more complex than that.

      And I didn’t bring up Gould and his views on evolutionary psychology and sociobiology. I brought up his and Elder’s punctuated equilibrium theory which recent developments in evolutionary development have lender credence and mechanisms to their theory.

      Anyway, the Morton debate has far from over as you can see.

      Seen it. Just more of the old “MUH POVERTY” that ignores how it’s been noted that in America poorer European Americans outperform poorer Negro Americans and Richer European Americans outperform richer Negro Americans whether it’s criminality or education.

      Comment on it.


    • ian smith says:

      yes it’s true. and what’s wrong with marxism. marx was not a modern day liberal.

      at one time the GOP was opposed to race based affirmative action. what they wanted was socio-economic/class based affirmative action.

      why did the democrats oppose it?

      because such affirmative action would benefit poor whites almost exclusively.

      poor whites score as high as middle class blacks.

      what’s behind the democrat’s identity politics?

      the utter failure of the american ruling class over the last 45 years. it’s an intentional distraction from stagnant wages and runaway inequality. discrimination may be a cause of inequality. but it’s only one of them. AND in the US discrimination is perfectly legal unless it’s discrimination based on race, gender, etc. the focus on a few categories of discrimination is intended to distract from the problem of discrimination in general. if the american ruling class weren’t 90% straight white and jewish men, if it had more minorities and women, but wages were still stagnant, inequality was still out of control, no universal healthcare, obscene tuition, etc. would it be a btter country? NO. it would be just as bad as it is.


  2. Chinedu says:

    Seen it. Just more of the old “MUH POVERTY” that ignores how it’s been noted that in America poorer European Americans outperform poorer Negro Americans and Richer European Americans outperform richer Negro Americans whether it’s criminality or education.

    Poorer whites are still part of the dominant culture. Members of dominant cultures outperform members of sub-cultures worldwide, not just in America. Moreover, a “poor white” might actually have millions of dollars in family wealth that was built up over generations during which time blacks were denied the same opportunity.

    With regard to criminality, most poor whites live in rural areas. In many of these areas you’d have a hard time finding a crime to commit. I have literally driven for hours through rural parts of America without encountering another human being. But in the past when poor whites were in urbanized environments, crime proliferated. Even today there’s an explosion of “white crime” in places like Watford City, ND and Anchorage, AK with increased urbanization.


  3. Chinedu says:

    I don’t deny racial intelligence differences.

    That’s cute, but you have to prove it. Notice the recent withering condemnation of white supremacy from all corners. That’s because it’s considered an idiotic hypothesis. People can observe in real life, in real time and through life experience that no “race” is intellectually superior to another. That’s why the idea of racial hierarchies in intelligence is met with such virulent opposition. It’s not due to political correctness as you people like to claim.

    These supremacist ideas are cute on Internet echo-chambers. But if you set aside your keyboard and try to promote this junk in the real world, armed with “research” from your rogues gallery of Pioneer Fund pseudo-“scientists”, you’re in for a rude awakening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Afrosapiens 🇫🇷🇪🇺 says:

      Liked this comment.


    • Phil78 says:

      “That’s cute, but you have to prove it. Notice the recent withering condemnation of white supremacy from all corners. That’s because it’s considered an idiotic hypothesis. People can observe in real life, in real time and through life experience that no “race” is intellectually superior to another. ”

      That last part is troubling because that’s actually where most people assert that they do, from experience. With that said, just perceiving or identifying a trend explains little of the casual link.

      For instance, a race could be on average “poorer” or a less evident role in history, yet that doesn’t warrant making it a unique case built on top of arbitrary standards.

      For instance, making a correlation between race and inventions doesn’t undermine factors like records, conditions, or diffusions that goes into the process to explain the perception. The same applies poverty.

      To apply these to, say, Africans they simply were far less densely populated on a far larger continent fraction that Europe or the Middle East to adequately resemble the Neolithic model of cities and diffusion to the same extent to actually utilize their skills.

      With that said, you have isolated innovations such as possible independent Iron smelting, specific crops (red rice) , proto-scripts and symbols (Nsibidi/Adrinka), iron bloomeries, Sculpture (Ife), music/folklore (Yoruba/Baluba), and architecture.

      Plus you just have the factors outlined, not including the pattern that leads to what Eurasia has now. It begs to question what actual equivalent is shown for Africa as an accepted model outside of the Bantu Expansion?

      There are Neolithic Generalizations, but not concrete models widely elaborated on. This would need to be considered as well.

      As for overall instability of Modern nations, unlike Europe, the borders weren’t made on their terms. In that context, instability spawning from that is hardly unlike other nations in history.

      “That’s why the idea of racial hierarchies in intelligence is met with such virulent opposition. It’s not due to political correctness as you people like to claim.”

      Well beyond that, as elaborated by others, the quality of the data to confirm a genetic hypothesis directly is lacking. There is data showing it to be often persistent and rather immutable at certain points in life, but not pinpointed genetically and with confidence, just with phenotypical measures often treated concretely.


    • ian smith says:

      like all francophiles fake-afro is incapable of hearing the truth without being triggered. the french are intellectually incapable of understanding the first amendment.

      white supremacism is nearly universal among whites. they just don’t talk about it in public, let alone with black people. and it’s far worse in europe than it is in the US. it’s especially bad in france.

      the only reason businesses claim to practice affirmative action is to avoid lawsuits. it’s sad that black people believe the opposite.

      if it weren’t for affirmative action there would be no black executives in the US or black lawyers at top firms or black doctors.

      In 1996, Texaco paid over $170 million to settle racial discrimination lawsuits filed by black employees at the company. It was the largest racial discrimination lawsuit settlement in the U.S. at the time, and was particularly damaging to Texaco’s public relations when tapes were released containing ethnic slurs used repeatedly by company officers at high-level corporate meetings.


    • ian smith says:

      and this is not peculiar to white people as a group.

      afro is a black supremacist. he thinks that the only reason france is richer than haiti is racism. he believes that blacks are better at everything, and the man is keeping his people down.

      race realist is an italian supremacist. italians and jews are more clannish than any other white group in the US. americans of irish, english, german, scandinavian, etc. descent do not think they’re cool because they’re these things. but a large % of italian americans believe there are two types of people: italians and those who wish they were italians.

      people self-segregate along racial lines. it’s instinct, not culture.

      there’s a name for it, “homophily”.


    • ian smith says:

      in cosa nostra in the US, only full-blooded italians can be “made”. or that’s what Good Fellas says.


    • Maldo says:

      Yeah yeah. Negroes would have mastered flight and space travel if it wasn’t for Whitey. Are you sore about how Black Egypt died a horrible death too?


    • ian smith says:

      the inca, the maya, and the aztecs have no equivalent in black africa.

      the idea that populations which have been separated for 10,000 years or more have perfectly equal distributions of all traits except skin color and muscle fiber type is not believable.

      what is believable is that there is a lot of overlap.

      what is true is that IQ tests do not measure any known thing in the brain.

      what is not true is that IQ test results do not correspond very well to subjective appraisals of intelligence.

      what is not true is that it is necessarily impossible that the genome can provide a rank order of IQ scores for a given population using the same formula for all populations.

      what is true is that if this does happen it will finally put to rest the nature nurture debate forever.

      what is true is this is unlikely to happen any time soon.

      what is true is that advocates of HBD have no understanding of what they actually have to do to prove their case. they do not understand how weak their case is.


    • ian smith says:

      there is a rather subtle possibility which afro has not mentioned.

      in the US especially and the west in general the individualist ideology makes such possibilities seldom thought of.

      in the US blacks live around other blacks. there is de facto segregation. it could be that blacks underperform whites at similar levels of ses because there is something about blacks living together rather than something about individual blacks. this could be cultural. it could be due to a lack of culture. but culture may be an epiphenomenon of the blood.

      so a question is, do poor blacks who live in nearly all white areas score much higher than poor blacks who live among blacks? even when the schools they attend are equally well funded? or do good teachers avoid teaching in black schools because racism?

      states like maine are almost all white, but are also poor as states go. how do the few blacks who live in maine fare? in west virginia? there can’t be any ghettos, because there simply aren’t enough blacks.

      if the black coal miner’s kids are dumber than the white cola miner’s kids this is a problem for afro.


    • ian smith says:

      there are also jewish and china people ghettos in the US, yet the people living in these ghettos do better than whites afaik.

      thus the claim that IQ tests merely test cultural competence, where the culture is that of the ruling class, doesn’t explain this fact.


    • Phil78 says:

      “the inca, the maya, and the aztecs have no equivalent in black africa.”

      See Nok and Ife.


    • ian smith says:

      monumental architecture?


      but this could be a virtue and not a vice.


    • Phil78 says:

      “monumental architecture?


      That’s because, despite large size, they were made of mud bricks and wood so they didn’t last long.

      And by “equivalents” and you dismissing what they are obviously known for in regards to achievements in sculpture art from centralization, similar to the role of architecture, you’re clearly not even trying to gain new information or fail to understand how to actually judge history.

      However if you want a test of architectural skills, see the records of the Bamileke, Bakuba, and Sudano-Sahelian architecture. As well see “Eredo’s sungbo”.

      “but this could be a virtue and not a vice.”

      If you are going into vague relativism of achievements, you might as well either elaborate on the obvious achievements associated with those cultures I mentioned or explain why lack of architecture would be a “virtue”.


  4. Maldo says:

    As you can see, experts back genes, education quality and quantity, culture and health, plus a scattering of other causes as being the reasons for national differences in ability.

    The Noble Savage has been shown to be just a savage. The Blank Slate has been getting kicked down for over a decade. Now we just need to wait for the deathblow to come for Equalism.


    • ian smith says:

      intelligence researchers are morons.
      there is no “genetics of differences…” in any psychological trait. there is only correlations. the number of duplicated allele hits is a handful and explains like 1.00 IQ points.
      there may be in the future. supposedly “deep learning” as pioneered at google can already match faces and voices with genomes. hard to believe, but if true then matching IQ scores and genomes (roughly) may happen. but it would be important to show that the matching works for all populations without changing the algorithm. that is, to show no norm crossing and to show little variance in predictive validity. the technology may already exist. it just needs to be applied to this question. this will settle the debate forever.


    • Phil78 says:

      You do understand the difference between rural versus hunter gatherer lifestyles, correct?

      The only things they share in common are lower population density than urban areas and generally more natural settings, the former of agricultural societies along with a higher population than HG bands contributes to why urban areas have more crime.

      That, of course, is excluding obvious other development traits among the three settings.


  5. Maldo says:

    Surveys show that most intelligence researchers take the hereditarian view on the Black-White IQ gap.

    Muh Whitey fault.


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