I was alerted to a response to my article r/K Selection Theory Rebuttals on Twitter. I enjoy when people write responses to my pieces as I can better build my arguments. It’s also fun defending what I wrote.
This Pastebin is where the response is. He states that he disagrees with AC (Anonymous Conservative) on two things: calling them liberals when he would call then progressives and his clear conservative bias.
First it refers to a criticism of Ruston’s application of r/K to humans:
This article applies r/K selection to differences between races, I don’t see how this is relevant. AC never discusses race and I’m only interested in how r/K selection applies to individuals within a civilization too.
It is very apt when rebutting AC’s ‘theory’. Human races are not local populations therefore it doesn’t apply to human races. To then bring this wrong theory to individual differences is stupid. Hell, I agree more with Rushton’s application than AC’s application and that’s saying something. The point of bringing up Rushton’s r/K theory is that he was the one who repopularized the theory and you have to give credit where it is due (I’m certain he heard of r/K from Rushton; the fact that he doesn’t give him credit there is dishonest, but AC is a dishonest guy so this is no surprise to me).
r/K selection applies to almost all life forms, next to other selection mechanisms. So it goes much deeper than the specific situation a specific race may have lived in. Even if people in races now commonly express more r-selected or K-selected behavior, I’d expect that to change if their children grew up in a different environment.
You only say that because organisms have offspring and at different rates. I won’t even go through the different cites that show that r/K theory is bunk, but I will cite one that shows that it’s been dead for years. Reznick et al, (2002: 1518) write: “The distinguishing feature of the r- and K-selection paradigm was the focus on density-dependent selection as the important agent of selection on organisms’ life histories. This paradigm was challenged as it became clear that other factors, such as age-specific mortality, could provide a more mechanistic causative link between an environment and an optimal life history (Wilbur et al. 1974, Stearns 1976, 1977). The r- and K-selection paradigm was replaced by new paradigm that focused on age-specific mortality (Stearns 1976, Charlesworth 1980).” This is simple. Age-specific mortality replaced r/K theory. People like AC attempt to ‘show’ their ‘hypothesis’ is true. They notice something in this snapshot in time then say oh this this and that make sense therefore this! It doesn’t work like that.
On his point that ‘he’d expect that to change if their children grew up in a different environment’, to say that one race is ‘r’ or ‘K’ over another, you must study the population in question in the location where the adaptations were hypothesized to have occurred (Anderson, 1991).
RR: “It is erroneously assumed that living in colder temperatures is somehow ‘harder’ than it is in Africa”
Yes, there is much less biomass available in colder temperatures. Of course Africans would still compete with each other for resources. The idea is also that there’s more requirement to think ahead, in order to prepare for the winter. Requiring more deferral of gratification.
The idea is dumb. Africa is harsher than Eurasia (Dobzhansky, 1950: 221). Did people in Africa not have to plan ahead? This is the same old rebutted cold winter garbage in terms of ‘selection for higher IQ;.
The article generally asserts that r/K selection is a simple model:
RR: “One of the main reasons that Rushton’s r/K continuum gets pushed is because it’s a ‘simple model’ that so ‘parsimoniously’ explains racial differences … But ecological systems are never simple”:
Where was an implication that any ecological system is simple? I’d say the tropics are way more complicated than cold area’s. The relevant aspect here is that a cold area is more difficult to live in, has less resources and thus supports fewer individuals. Which is a K-selected pressure.
It is a simple model. “Simple models will be successful only if their simplifying assumptions either match reality or are unimportant” (Anderson, 1991: 57). This does neither. It is surely not easy to live in the tropics. This canard that those in Africa had an easy life in comparison to the people who migrated out of Africa doesn’t make any sense. It’s like people think that food just dropped on their laps from the trees, they didn’t have to deal with predators or heat, etc. It’s an extremely simple model which is why it doesn’t work. Africans are ‘K-selected’ if Rushton is to be believed, not r-selected (Anderson, 1991).
AC’s book is for the public, not to be the bleeding edge of science. Most people have no idea about these theories. I think it would greatly improve their understanding of reality if they knew about it, it did mine. This seems like the situation with Newton’s theory of gravity. It’s been proven wrong, but we still use it when useful.
I get that, but his premises are wrong which means his theory is false. What ‘reality’? It’s just stories, fables. Whatever sounds good to AC, whatever he thinks will buttress his theory he’ll write. Anything about the ‘rabbits’ or ‘wolves’ (so-called r- and K-selected organisms respectively). r/K has been proven wrong and it’s still not useful so we should not use it.
RR: ‘So “the actual adaptation they have” is to “wear thick clothing“? This is bullshit and you know it’
No it’s not. The clothing is far thicker and thus harder to make with a higher required investment. It requires more quality of the individuals. The writer assumes a binary difference here, where none was asserted. Of course these things are on a spectrum.
Yes it is. Sorry, you didn’t understand what I meant here. The actual adaptation is not ‘to wear thick clothing’. What is ‘more quality’, is that a scientific term? What does that even mean?
RR: “The preparation does work.” (Preparation of anti-malarial remedies as seen in Wilcox and Bodecker, 2004)
Maybe it helps, much of traditional remedy use is based in tradition and superstition. Europeans where slaughtered by all kinds of diseases. It probably depends on the situation. If you can find a cure for the disease, then maybe it is a K-selected pressure.
It’s irrelevant that ‘much of the traditional remedy use is based in tradition and superstition‘, because these remedies are proven to work (Wilcox and Bodecker, 2004). “If you can find a cure for disease, then maybe it is a K-selected pressure“, you’re clueless and don’t know what you’re talking about.
RR: “Here is what people like Samuel Skinner and AC don’t get: r/K selection theory WAS discarded; it is no longer in use. Age-specific mortality better explains these trends than r/K selection”
But age-specific mortality doesn’t apply to humans and doesn’t explain differences between individuals within a species or population.
Are you saying that we can’t apply this theory to humans at all?
Yes it does apply to humans. Why talk about something when you don’t know about it? Should I care that it doesn’t explain differences between individuals within a species or population? Not everything needs to be some grand, overarching theory to explain everything so perfectly.
RR: “We found that high K scores were related to earlier sexual debut and unrelated to either pubertal onset or number of sexual partners.”
In humans that correlation is broken because of advanced society. However, we can still find that correlation in progressive or conservative politics.
Yet Rushton et al assert that Africans are r, for instance, and have more children but as you can see from Copping, Campbell and Muncer, (2014), earlier sexual debuts were seen in the so-called K dimension, completely against Rushtonian r/K theory and against whatever theory AC cooked up in his head.
There are several links to scientific papers, several of which are no longer working, but fails to summarize how they support his position.
They don’t work because sci-hub is down. I need to fix the broken links and I did summarize how they support me which is why I did “claim then (citation)”.
RR: “Individuals WITHIN A SPECIES are not R OR K”
Since environments can change, why would species not be able to adapt to the new situation?
That’s not even what the original theory spoke about. If the liberals environment changed, would they become K (according to AC)? You’re completely missing the r/K dynamic.
A Jelly fish has several reproductive strategies available and chooses based on available resources.
Humans are much more complicated, but we could still have that ability.
This doesn’t mean that r/K selection has any utility.
RR: “Something AC doesn’t get is that using the discredited r/K continuum, conservatives would be r”
I don’t get that either.
Because the continuum comes from Pianka (1970) and Rushton adapted it to show that lower IQ peoples who had more children were r-selected. Therefore, if this did apply to individuals within the human species then conservatives would be r while liberals would be K (they have fewer children and higher IQs).
RR: “women who reported being religious stated that having children was more important to them”
And are in favor of investing in those children through their mother staying home to take care of them. Where progressives are more likely to be in favor of the mother working and putting the children in day-care. Progressives are also in favor of birth control and abortion. Allowing them to maintain the r-selected sexual life style, without having the burden of a child. r/K selection is about the underlying psychology, not surface level attributes like total number of children.
Liberals still have fewer children than conservatives who have more. What you’re saying is largely irrelevant. “r-selected sexual lifestyle”, this is dumb. r/K selection is predicated on number of children which conceived, supposedly, differs on the basis of differential psychology, supposedly, between two human groups. It doesn’t, it’s wrong.
“I’ve already covered that libs are more intelligent than cons (Kanazawa, 2010; Kanazawa, 2014), and that conservative countries have lower IQs”
I don’t think we should expect a correlation between IQ and r or K in modern human societies. What happens is that high IQ people raise their children in abundance, which makes them more likely to be r-selected. Availability of resources is a trigger for r-selected psychology.
Riiiiight. But you would expect a correlation between other so-called r/K measures in modern societies? You don’t even make sense.
“Conservatives are more likely to be religious”
Yes because religions like Christianity are viewed as tradition. And progressives oppose tradition where conservatives favor it.
Right, and they have more children than liberals, which is r-selected behavior (supposedly).
This guy tried, but clearly, this wasn’t good enough. r/K is dead when speaking about race and the differences between human individuals. For anyone who believes AC’s bullshit, where did liberals and conservatives evolve these different behaviors? Are they local populations? People like AC ignoring the continuum by Pianka, yet use that same hierarchy are dishonest. They’re using a discredited continuum and attempt to prove their political biases. “The other team has X, Y, and Z bad while we have A, B, and C good! The other side does X and Y while we do A and B, therefore, we are better!” AC has a huge bias; he will never admit he’s wrong because he has a book to sell that pushes this discredited garbage. (Don’t worry, I’ll review it and pick it apart soon enough.)
To conclude, people really need to stop letting their biases get in the way of rational thought. If they did, they’d be able to look at these dumb theories for what they are: pseudoscience, cherry-picking and pigeon-holing the other group, the “enemy” with all of the bad qualities while their side has all of the good ones. However, as I’ve shown countless times, real life is completely different from the fantasy world AC and his followers live in.