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Home » Adaptationism » JP Rushton, Richard Lynn, Satoshi Kanazawa, and Michael Hart: the Just-so Storytellers

JP Rushton, Richard Lynn, Satoshi Kanazawa, and Michael Hart: the Just-so Storytellers

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Charles Darwin

Denis Noble

JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson

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1500 words

The four men in the title are, in my opinion, the biggest just-so storytellers in the “HBD” movement. These four men have written numerous journal articles and books pushing their just-so stories—making a career out of storytelling. We have Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories for Little Children, well Rushton, Lynn, Kanazawa, and Hart (RLKH) told Just-so Stories for Adults—like all EP is. Either way, RLKH have quite the following—those who would defend their just-so stories—and if you deny and question them, you’re “denying evolution” and are “no better than a creationist.” Well, too bad for them, rejecting just-so stories means nothing of the sort.

So even though humans as a species are incredibly K selected, some believe that some humans are more K selected than others.  In other words, while some men have numerous sexual partners and father lots of illegitimate babies with different mothers, other men are more nerdy, and father very few children with only one woman, but they make sure those children are well parented and provided for.

When men first evolved in the warm hospitable tropics some 200,000 years ago, survival was relatively easy, so instead of natural selection (survival of the fittest), genetic fitness was determined by who could get the most women (sexual selection).  As a result, men with the biggest muscles, highest testosterone, best social skills, most charisma and sexual abilities, were the most successful at passing on their genes.  But as the ice age emerged and humans moved North, passing on genes became more about natural selection and less about sexual selection.  What good is it to be a great pick up artist if you can’t survive the winter long enough to mate? (PumpkinPerson; Why women hate nerdy men)

When asked “why white women didn’t evolve to prefer nerds,” PumpkinPerson writes that “cold climate women evolved to be submissive so their preferences were prehistorically irrelevant.” More and more just-so stories. That’s all “HBD” is: a collection of just-so stories.

Sexual selection is a subset of “natural selection” but there is one important difference: humans have minds and thus, humans can *attempt to* “select-for” traits, but each trait is coextensive with an infinitude of traits which throws a wrench in the notion. There is no such thing as “natural selection (Fodor and Piatteli-Palmarini, 2010).

The above just-so story, personally, is one of my favorites, in the top ten, at least. This type of just-so story was popularized by Rushton and his r/K selection theory (read the rebuttal here; I also have many rebuttals of Anonymous Conservatives just-so stories, his attempted revival of Rushton’s storytelling). Africans, like PP claimed above, evolved in hotter, harsher environments, and so had to have more progeny in order to ensure reproductive success. On the other hand, when Man out of Africa, he encountered colder temperatures and, it is said, had to have fewer children in order to ensure that the children were looked after.

According to Richard Lynn, then, this migration into colder climates caused a decrease in colder climates due to a shift to “K strategy”, which then “selected-for” lower testosterone (Lynn, 1990). In Lynn (1990), he claims that differences in PCa (prostate cancer) are evidence for the claim that blacks have higher levels of testosterone than whites, which drives behavioral differences between the races. He then assumes that these differences have an evolutionary origin between the races, and that migrating into colder climates caused a decrease in testosterone in Europeans compared to Africans. However, one large mistake that Lynn (1990) makes is assuming that testosterone levels today have any bearing on testosterone levels thousands of years ago.

Claims that PCa are caused by higher levels of testosterone are ubiquitous in the “HBD” literature. But, as I have covered in the past, there is no reason to be scared of the hormone testosterone (read my most extensive review here); testosterone does not cause aggression and it does not cause PCa (Stattin et al, 2003).

One of the most oft-cited studies on the matter of T differences between blacks and whites is a small, highly methodologically/conceptually flawed study by Ross et al (1986). I have documented numerous flaws with the study.

So Lynn, in his 1990 just-so story shown above, claims that, due to colder temperatures, children would have needed more attention. Giving more attention would have meant having fewer children. This was done, he claims, through shifting to K strategy. So then, a decrease in testosterone was how to achieve this “K adaptation”, and achieving this “K adaptation” was through a reduction in T levels which subsequently, according to Lynn, brought “about a lowering of sexual drive and behaviour” (Lynn, 1990: 1205).

Note how Lynn’s claims in this paper *completely rest on* differences in prostate cancer between races. He uses these differences due to the assumption that high levels of testosterone contribute to differences in prostate cancer. This claim is false.

One of my favorites is from Rushton and Templer (2012) who attempt to show that the melanocortin system modulates aggression and sexuality in humans. I wrote a response to it, and, of course, one of the main culprits is our old friend testosterone. The hypothesis put forth is, of course, another just-so story. Nevermind the fact that Rushton and Templer show no understanding of endocrinology. We have a great understanding of the melanocortin system and what it does in humans (see Cone, 2006), but, unfortunately for Rushton and Templer, none of the review discusses the fringe ideas they put forth. Rushton and Templer showed that they do not understand human physiology, much less the melanocortin system.

Lynn (2013) even claims that testosterone has an effect on human penis length between races, citing a study on… rats. RATS!! THAT is the standard of evidence that Lynn has for attempting to prove his fringe just-so stories.

These just-so stories pushed by Rushton (1997), Lynn (2006), and Hart (2007) lack independent evidence—we don’t have a time machine to verify their claims. So they’re just-so stories. I rebutted all 3 of these psycho-logists’ claims in this article on how black women do not have higher levels of T than white women. I did, indeed, used to push all types of just-so stories when I was a more hard-core “HBDer”, but I’ve since learned the errors of my ways and have stopped telling just-so stories See exhibit A, defending Kanazawa’s just-so stories.

I wrote:

“To be blunt, black women look more like men than women due to their higher levels of testosterone.”

I can’t believe some of the stuff that I used to write/believe… I have, of course, since seen the error of my ways (in more than one way, as can be evidenced by my view changes over the past two years).

Anyway, these types of claims are easily put to rest by reading Mazur’s (2016) analysis of testosterone and honor culture.

“There is no indication of inordinately high T among young black women with low education.”

“The pattern [high testosterone] is not seen among teenage boys or among females.”

So, quite clearly, PumpkinPerson’s just-so storytelling, as popularized by RLKH, has no backing in reality—these psycho-logists told nothing but just-so stories. “But the stories are consistent with the data!”, one may attempt to say. Well, to that, I would say the stories are selected to be consistent with the data; how parsimonious a just-so story is with any current data is irrelevant since one can spin any type of story they want to fit with any data point they have. This is put succinctly by Smith (2016) in his paper Explanations for adaptations, just-so stories, and limitations on evidence in evolutionary biology:

“An important weakness in the use of narratives for scientific purposes is that the ending is known before the narrative is constructed. … [Just-so stories] are always consistent with the observations because they are selected to be so.”

The method known as “inference to best explanation” is not a solution to these problems. … Some just-so stories should not be told.

Now, put this to the stories of RLKH, and it will become clear that all they are doing is storytelling—telling just-so stories for adults. These types of stories are inherently ad hoc and generate no testable predictions. It doesn’t matter that they “agree with the data”, since one can construct any type of narrative to agree with the data—that’s a fact.

It’s no surprise that people still, to this day, attempt to defend RLKH’s just-so storytelling—it is rooted in the Darwinian paradigm of natural selection, after all. However, appealing to an imaginary force (natural selection) which shaped traits over thousands of years is literally telling just-so stories—there is no evidence for the claim other than evidence the story purports to explain—nevermind the fact that the trait in question could have moved to fixation by other methods than “selection.” (See Samir Okasha’s (2018) book Agents and Goals in Evolution for a critique of Darwin’s view of “natural selection” with an “agent” behind it, guiding the process—Mother Nature.) Thus, RLKH et al are nothing but Darwinian just-so storytellers—and anyone who defends them as being “purveyors of truth”, people who get “shouted down” for attempting to “speak the truth” are no better than the just-so storytellers themselves.

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46 Comments

  1. King meLo says:

    “Sexual selection is a subset of “natural selection” but there is one important difference: humans have minds and thus, humans can attempt to “select-for” traits, but each trait is coextensive with an infinitude of traits which throws a wrench in the notion”

    NS lacking as an explanatory mechanism is not equivalent to saying “there is no such thing”, I think the issue here is that concepts and theories are something only minds can produce. “selection for” being intensional doesn’t pose any problems, as we are beings with intentionality. There is a distinction between how the process of NS works in application(which is factually real) and how we choose to model it conceptually.

    NS as a mechanism is still false independent of Fodor’s say on the matter. Though it may be a theory.

    “lack independent evidence—we don’t have a time machine to verify their claims. So they’re just-so stories. ”

    This is a confusing statement.

    Why would independent verification via novel prediction require temproal equivalence with the original event/ That seems redundant.

    “current data is irrelevant since one can spin any type of story they want to fit with any data point they have”

    If a theory is data driven the original data point doesn’t matter, it has to coincide with other relevant data points as well. PP can claim cold winters select IQ and I can claim sociality does but, only one is going to agree with the most available data. If both do to some degree then it’s probably a mix of both. There are ways to deduce the holistic processes that go into this mixture. Read into the cultural brain hypothesis.

    Do you have actual examples? Your quotes simply don’t do the claim any justice

    ” These types of stories are inherently ad hoc and generate no testable predictions.”

    How is it inherently ad hoc? What theory are select for hypotheses covering inconsistency for? Doesn’t observation almost always precede a hypothesis?

    I’ve shown you at least 5 studies that made risky and novel predictions so that’s just dishonest. You have time to write 2000 word blog posts but enough time to respond to inquiry relevant to them? It just seems pointless if this is a scientific blog or is this is just an opinion piece? If so it may be a good idea to include possible counter arguments to your claims. Am I still able to make a blog post on here? Maybe I could write antithesis articles, if you’re down.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) Yes, if NS is not a mechanism and neither of the two dominant concepts of mechanism captures NS then NS is not a mechanism and cannot explain trait fixation. How “NS factually works” is the claim under contention.

      (2) I don’t see what’s confusing about the claim that “we don’t have a time machine to verify their claims.” That’s the only way to verify the claims from RLKH.

      (3) Both claims, in any case, can be made “strong” by searching for confirmation or verification—but that’s just storytelling—i.e., ad hoc hypotheses.

      (4) Ad hoc explanations only predict what they’re designed to explain and do not generate any testable predictions. Ad hoc hypotheses, by definition, cannot be tested, so they are, by definition, just-so stories.

      (5) Name the predictions and explain how the hypotheses predict said predictions. Explicitly state the explanandum and explanans for each hypothesis you cited. Example: “Explanandum: XYZ; Explanans: ZYX”

      West-Eberhard’s data implies that where one’s body fat is stored depends on how well-fed a fetus is. The main problem here is fructose—don’t eat fructose and other similar sugars and the VAT response will not occur. The paper says that certain foods a mother eats will influence the fat distribution of the fetus. Nothing new. This is a re-dressed thrifty phenotype/genotype hypothesis, in any case. See Speakman (2008) and Southam (2009) for comments.

      Smith (2016), whom I cited in the article, shows how just-so stories (ad hoc explanations) are—and all historical stories—inherently ad hoc. That seals the deal. Selectionist theory is nothing but a collection of just-so stories—and the supposed mechanism, “natural selection”, is not a mechanism, which you agree with, and so there is no mechanism for X to go to fixation by being “selected.”

      My arguments against RLKH stand, of course—they’re nothing but just-so storytellers.

      You can write articles whenever you want on whatever you want, you’re an author.

      Like

    • King meLo says:

      (1) NS is not a mechanism by definition because it is a process that requires a mechanism and a disposition that creates new dispositions. The mechanism of NS is exogenous. Your original claim was that “there is no such thing”. Fodor’s contentions that Select-for is vacuous and that NS is not a mechanism are two distinct levels of criticism and neither refute NS as an inevitable reaction between multiple factors. Adaptation hypotheses do not appeal to NS as a form of causation even though the proponents may claim that “NS caused trait X”. Your rebuttal is more semantic than conceptual at this point.

      (2) Why would you need a time machine to verify a novel prediction? Shouldn’t a novel prediction arise outside of the original data?

      (3&4). You’re not really answering my questions. Only repeating what I already know.

      From each article cited:

      A key area is to investigate the fetal cues that affect variation in the development of the visceral immune system, because of their potential role in the etiology of the chronic inflammatory diseases of visceral obesity. Epigenetic genomic effects may be involved, as they appear to connect some effects of nutrition with the metabolic syndrome (150, 151).

      Similarly, the role of omentin, suggested here to be involved in VAT-prioritization via its effect on VAT insulin sensitivity, invites further research: Does omentin respond to infection and thereby raise insulin sensitivity and glucose input in support of a VAT immune response? The possible role of omentin in immunity and inflammation is discussed by Yu (152).

      If VAT-prioritization supports immune function as proposed here, then healthy, lean VAT-prioritized individuals should have relatively high resistance to intraabdominal infections. And if the prevalence of visceral obesity and associated disease in some populations, as in India, is due to relatively high investment in visceral immune organs, then resistance to intraperitoneal infections in those populations may be relatively high as well. Future genomic studies may reveal further evidence that recent human evolution (during the last 10,000 years) has involved loci related to dietary change and the abdominal immune system, including its malfunction during chronic disease. Genomic studies of different ethnic populations (of different geographic/racial origin)—especially those, like Asian Indians, with distinctive metabolic-immunological phenotypes—may illuminate the genetic nature of those phenotypes.

      The findings summarized in this Perspective suggest that even more attention needs to be paid to abdominal obesity than has been in the past (see also ref. 153). Even though abdominal obesity is well known to be associated with chronic disease, it is still surprisingly common for “obesity” to be represented by body mass index (based only on weight and height) and then verbally linked to diseases like T2DM and CVD, without pointing out that subcutaneous obesity is not usually associated with those diseases: it is a different illness that requires different treatment.

      Predictions
      The key predictions from the analytical model are that:

      Increased reliance on social learning requires high transmission fidelity (relative to the ability to generate knowledge by oneself).
      Extreme reliance on social learning also assumes access to a range of models with different amounts of adaptive knowledge [determined by sociality—population size and interconnectedness—and assuming an ability to select and learn from models with more adaptive knowledge; see 16, 48, 49].
      A greater return on adaptive knowledge (affected by λ; e.g. richness of environment) increases brain size (and may therefore explain different encephalization slopes across tax). Assuming an exponential return on adaptive knowledge, the environment will have a larger effect on social learners.
      However, there are several assumptions and implications underlying these basic insights, such as:

      Social learners face a bootstrapping problem of where the initial knowledge comes from.
      The birth rate and the indirect relationships that affect actual population size will also affect brain size (and adaptive knowledge).
      Species that do enter an extreme of social learning (such as humans) are on a treadmill, requiring higher transmission fidelity and more adaptive knowledge to sustain their large brains. A loss in either transmission fidelity or access to adaptive knowledge would drive the species towards smaller brains.
      Brain size and reliance on social over asocial learning will depend on factors that affect availability of adaptive knowledge, which are themselves affected by learning strategies and adaptive knowledge. In other words, there are a range of co-evolutionary dynamics that we have assumed or abstracted away in order to solve this model analytically, but which are crucial to capture and understand the full range of evolutionary dynamics. To understand the conditions under which social learning might emerge (and perhaps more interestingly, extreme reliance on social learning as in humans), we need to explore these co-evolutionary dynamics. We explore these full set of variables and explore these dynamics through an evolutionary simulation. An evolutionary simulation also allows us to properly account for population size, population structure, more sophisticated learning strategies, and life history. This model will bolster and expand on our analytic model and reveal the conditions where adaptive knowledge and brain size will increase.

      The Third study i cite goes into detail how simple it is to make testable predictions from selection hypotheses, i recommend reading it. It’s too much to copy and paste

      http://www.rgwinther.com/Publications/WintherRG2009PredictionSelectionistEvolTheory.pdf

      The 4th study showcases how neutral theory is dead

      https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/34/8/1863/3804550

      (5).I mean you’re poking holes in it’s empirical foundations, which I encourage but you’re not really showing me how it’s Ad hoc.

      (6)Hahaha, the environment is the mechanism of trait X fixation. this doesn’t contradict NS. Seriously provide some quotes , you’re being so vague. You keep sayings it’s “sealed the deal” But you’re not showcasing this, simply because you can’t answer any question that involves amy sort of depth. I like learning too. so how I am I supposed to if you can’t be clear? I’ll try to write something soon. i am busy, but i’ve been sort of fiending to get something out lately.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) NS is the proposed mechanism; I’ve previously, elsewhere, have provided numerous quotes from both Darwin, his contemporaries, and modern-day philosophers that it is, supposedly, a mechanism. Proposed exogenous selectors (“the environment”) cannot do what NS is supposed to “do.”

      (2) Those are the claims on the table; just-so stories are inherently ad hoc, and they only predict what they’re designed to explain— they generate no testable predictions. Your questions are answered.

      (3) Just name the explanandum and explanans.

      (4) It’s not “dead’; in any case, Sarkar’s argument is sound.

      the environment is the mechanism of trait X fixation

      This does not circumvent the problem of selection-for.

      Write about whatever you want, whenever you want, buddy. You don’t need to ask.

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    • King meLo says:

      (1) NS cannot explain all trait variation, that is admitted by it’s original propagators. Therefore exogenous factors can do what NS is supposed to do. Looking at genomic data we can see hallmarks of selection but this says nothing of what caused the selection. It is these sort of instances when the Evolutionary Biologist will say “NS caused trait x”.

      (2) You clearly didn’t answer them. As each question was meant to poke at the base of your claims. So you refuse to elaborate?

      (3) I assume you already read the abstract of the first study so here is the second:

      In the last few million years, the hominin brain more than tripled in size. Comparisons across evolutionary lineages suggest that this expansion may be part of a broader trend toward larger, more complex brains in many taxa. Efforts to understand the evolutionary forces driving brain expansion have focused on climatic, ecological, and social factors. Here, building on existing research on learning, we analytically and computationally model the predictions of two closely related hypotheses: The Cultural Brain Hypothesis and the Cumulative Cultural Brain Hypothesis. The Cultural Brain Hypothesis posits that brains have been selected for their ability to store and manage information, acquired through asocial or social learning. The model of the Cultural Brain Hypothesis reveals relationships between brain size, group size, innovation, social learning, mating structures, and the length of the juvenile period that are supported by the existing empirical literature. From this model, we derive a set of predictions—the Cumulative Cultural Brain Hypothesis—for the conditions that favor an autocatalytic take-off characteristic of human evolution. This narrow evolutionary pathway, created by cumulative cultural evolution, may help explain the rapid expansion of human brains and other aspects of our species’ life history and psychology.

      Not sure why you would need that. Anyway, my studies clearly show how to make predictions of “just-so stories”(LOL).

      (4) Sarkar’s argument is irrelevant to the study i cited. I’d suggest actually reading it. It also inherently cannot refute NS as the main type of evolution because of it’s premises. It already accepts NS.

      (5) Well as I said, there isn’t a problem. I have intentionality. Intensional statements don’t pose an epistemic problem for me.

      Thanks bro.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) It cannot explain any trait variation (fixation) because it’s not a mechanism. There are no hallmarks of adaptation.

      (2) I’m specifically asking you to state the explanadum and explanans for each thing you cited. Sarkar’s argument refutes adaptationism; numerous other arguments also refute it as well.

      (3) It doesn’t matter if it “poses an epistemic problem” for you, since the attack is about the logic behind NS—nevermind the tautology (the fittest are the ones that survive and the ones that survive are the fittest).

      Like

  2. King meLo says:

    (1) That’s not the same as saying “there is no such thing” I agree it’s a tautology to claim NS is a Mechanism. However, it does not refute NS as a concept. Also Your second statement is simply wrong. I’d suggest touching up on your knowledge of genetics.

    (2) For example, one person may pose an explanandum by asking “Why is there smoke?”, and another may provide an explanans by responding “Because there is a fire”. In this example, “smoke” is the explanandum, and “fire” is the explanans.

    Is this the way you are using these terms? If so I don’t really see a point, as the Abstracts specifically state the question and the proposed answer in which they attempt to falsify.

    Sarkar’s and many others logical arguments are subject to refutation by new empirical evidence that relates to them. Again, read the 4th study.

    It’s like the whole syllogism thing. There isn’t a point if your dissenter has at least an elementary level of reading comprehension.

    (3) The “attack” On NS’ logic is that Select-for is an intensional notion. NS is a concept of a physical reaction between a mechanism and a range of dispositions to create new variance in dispositions. Concepts require minds. Minds have intentionality. I can differentiate between the free rider and the fitness causing trait. NS doesn’t have to.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) We like 75 percent agree on NS. Fodor’s argument refutes NS as a concept. Name one hallmark of adaptation.

      (2) Correct that’s how I’m using them. Well? Where is the error in Sarkar’s reasoning?

      (3) What’s the mechanism? It doesn’t matter if you can differentiate between the free rider and the fitness-enhancing trait. That’s not under contention. What’s under contention is the logic of NS. “Trait X was selected-for.” NS is the basis of adaptationism. Since select-for is intensional, we cannot say that creature A one cannot infer, A’s have trait T and A’s were selected to A’s were selected-for trait T. The coextensiveness of traits is the reason why.

      How would you test the hypothesis that trait X is an adaptation?

      Like

    • King meLo says:

      (1) By “hallmark of adaptation” I mean genetic evidence of selection:

      https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-017-0434-y

      (2) Well first of all his thesis only seems to refute negative selection not any other kinds. Not to mention the lack of generality for his premises.

      (3) If NS was a mechanism it would have to be called “Natural selector“. Natural selection is a process with the mechanisms being the physical laws of nature and other organisms that phenotypes are subject to.

      Observations exist independent of conceptual understanding. The “logic of NS” is conceptual as all understanding is. Meaning, NS no matter how you conceptualize it is still a concept. That’s why whether i( or anyone trying to conceptualize it) can differentiate coextensive traits is what’s more important.

      “select-for” is an intensional concept, but we are intentional beings. This may still make NS as a theory vacuous, however it does not warrant abandonment as it makes evolutionary theory as a whole less powerful

      (4) Refer to this paper: http://www.rgwinther.com/Publications/WintherRG2009PredictionSelectionistEvolTheory.pdf

      Even if I fully accepted empirical adaptionism, it would be foolish using it as a starting model for any attempt at explaining variation.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) To identify a hallmark of adaptation, you need to first identify a function.

      (2) Where is the error in his reasoning?

      (3) Natural selection, as I’ve continously shown you, is claimed to be a mechanism by numerous authors—Darwin included.

      That humans can differentiate coextensive traits is irrelevant and is not the objection. The objection is with how the ToNS is formulated.

      We need to dispense with the ToNS; the logic is flawed. Nevermind the fact that, as I previously stated, “Survival of the fittest” (which I know was not said by Darwin, but is still a part of “natural selection”) is a tautology.

      (4) How would you test the hypothesis that trait X is an adaptation?

      Christopher Badcock makes the same categorical mistake conflating “natural selection” and artificial selection in his book Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction.

      He espouses what many adaptationists claim about “natural selection.”

      Natural selection produces adaptations: that is, traits which serve to promote an organism’s survival and reproductive success. (Badcock, 2000: 25)

      So, according to Darwin, his contemporaries, and adaptationists today, this is what “natural selection” “does.” Your pontifications against the claim are irrelevant. Whomever talks about “natural selection” talks about it being the “mechanism” that Darwin discovered—or elucidated if you will. Michael Ruse in The Philosophy of Human Evolution, too, makes the claim that it is the “mechanism” that Darwin discovered, as well as Sterelny and Griffiths in Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology.

      Also:

      NS cannot explain all trait variation, that is admitted by it’s original propagators.

      Source? With quotes that back this specific claim.

      Like

    • King meLo says:

      (1) And?

      (2) Read my previous statement. If it’s too vague I can elaborate more, but i feel the first sentence is sufficient in proving the irrelevancy of his argument.

      (3) Right, and they’d be wrong to claim this. The aforementioned reasons outlined in my previous reply showcase that NS cannot be a mechanism, neither can it “produce adaptations” as it is natural laws and the interaction with organisms that act as mechanisms. NS is what we name this entire process. So while it’s true NS cannot be a mechanism this does not affect the core concept itself. My claim would be considered more semantic than conceptual. Though in all honesty it probably doesn’t matter, as causation tends to be holistic in biological systems.

      What you need to remember about fodor’s argument is that it only claims NS is vacuous. It does not claim NS isn’t real, it does not claim NS cannot be shown to have acted upon a trait(adaptionism), and it doesn’t even claim we ourselves cannot differentiate between coextensive traits. It basically chalks up to him saying NS isn’t what we expect from a scientific theory or explanation. i disagree, for 2 main reasons:

      (3a) For something to be scientific it only needs to be falsifiable and to make predictions, NS does both.

      (3b) Clelands paper provides reasoning for accepting Historical science
      as sufficiently empirical.

      As far as the premises go, the coextensiveness of traits is why selection(or whatever you want to call it) occurs on an individual level. Organisms cannot be coextensive to each other so we prescribe NS’ mechanisms with intensional properties so it is not inherently NS’ burden to have intentionality. We are the ones trying to differentiate coextensive traits not NS. Whether NS happens is an empirical question.

      But I can humor you. If it is NS with the burden then the simple fact that all organisms have intentionality would more or less refute Fodor’s contentions.

      (4) As I said, the paper I cited covers that extensively.

      Where exactly do I conflate AS and NS?

      (5) variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left either a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in certain polymorphic species, or would ultimately become fixed, owing to the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions.

      Charles darwin.

      I think most of your arguments are strawmen.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) Well?

      (2) Well?

      (3) I’m well aware that Fodor claims that there IS a fact of the matter about which trait is “selected”, NS cannot tell us because it does not make any predictions. We can elucidate it; the ToNS cannot.

      Adaptationist hypotheses make no testable predictions; there is no mechanism doing the selecting, so the theory makes no predictions. Furthermore, falsifiability is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for science. Adaptationist hypotheses are unconfirmable, so they’re just-so stories. Natural selection makes no predictions, falsifiable or otherwise.

      To refute the criticism, you must (1) demonstrate an adaptation hypothesis that is confirmable/disconfirmable and (2) show they are independently confirmable: that is, that they generate testable, novel predictions. Pick a trait, answer the objection.

      Testability, on the other hand, is a necessary condition of science. No adaptation hypotheses can be tested. Therefore all adaptation hypotheses are just-so stories.

      Which leads us to:

      (4) How would you test the hypothesis that trait X is an adaptation?

      (5) Darwin employed—indeed, he was the first—what Samir Okasha terms “type II agential thinking” to Darwin and his “mechanism” of NS. He, quite obviously, is wrong.

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    • King meLo says:

      (1) Well what? Can you elaborate more?

      (2) Well what? Sarkar’s argument is specifically about negative selection.

      (3) If adaptionist hypotheses could not make predictions we could not elucidate it. Us beings with intentionality create theories. As I iterated earlier, Observations of an interaction are independent of the conceptual meaning we tie to them. You read Ross, correct?

      Winther’s thesis satiates both conditions you laid out. Falsification and confirmation are two sides of the same coin. Something that is not testable is also unfalsifiable.

      Which leads us to:

      (4) I already know what you’re talking about, you don’t have to repeat it. I’m just waiting on you to read the article.

      (5) Ok?

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      (1) To identify hallmark of adaptation, you first need to identify a function of the so-called adaptstion in question. But to identify a hallmark, you need to work backwards, meaning, reverse engineer, which, as I’ve argued before, is not tenable.

      (2) Where’s the error?

      (3) Not a sufficient response.

      (4) How would you test the hypothesis that trait X is an adaptation? If you “already know what I’m talking about” then you would be able to syzye how you would test the hypothesis that trait X is an adaptation.

      (5) “Natural selection” isn’t real. It’s not a mechanism. It can’t distinguish between coextensive traits. It doesn’t predict anything.

      Like

    • King meLo says:

      I apologize for the late reply my computer had broken.

      (1) What is fallacious about reverse engineering?

      (2). Whether there’s an error is irrelevant to my point. Sarkar’s argument could be completely true and it still wouldn’t refute adaptationism. The argument does not support your contention. It’s vacuous.

      (3) K.

      (4) Asking if an adaption occurred is a different question than how it occurred. I’ve provided sources that elucidate both.

      (5) As I said I get what you’re saying but it doesn’t matter. NS itself does not have to make predictions for us to create accurate accounts of selection. Both you and fodor have admitted this. The reason this issue has gone unnoticed for 150 years is because it does not have severe repercussions. Fodor’s criticism would have more weight if NS was alone. It’s not, it’s supplementary to other theories.

      Fodor’s thesis clearly proves NS can not be intensional as it does not have a mind(except for other organisms, but you won’t address that) so what is it a property of? Us.

      NS can only predict that organisms get selected because entire phenotypes are what is the object of selection.

      NS was never meant to explain all variation. That’s just obvious.

      Like

  3. While I disagree with your views on natural selection, well done for distancing yourself from the “HBD” movement, especially hereditarians like Lynn – who are cultish pseudoscientists.

    Now prepare for HBDers to start the ad hominem calling you a cultural Marxist, Antifa or Jew. Have had that done to since 2013 when I started debunking HBD crap.

    Like

    • Race Realist says:

      you have not “debunked” anything. based on your comments all I see from you is rammplings about “pseudo-science” and “neo Nazism” that is the ENTIRETY of your responses. “racist” “Nazi” “pseudo scientist” you are a typically egalitarian air head who loves to label people who do not believe in your blank slatist race denial all the while calling them “intellectually dishonest”.

      You do not agree with his views on Natural selection because you are not a rational person. hence why you edit Irrational.wiki in your spare time.
      you are not fooling anyone and you have not debunked anything in that embarrassingly bad piece of “racialism” which ends with “An Irony that “Jews and east Asians score higher one IQ tests and that this somehow disproves Racialism”

      And by the way I never bought that fake agnosticism of yours.

      Like

    • Astrology > egalitarian creationist pseudoscience. says:

      You are a silly paranoid SJW. Sad!
      You debunked nothing, kid. Sad!

      Cf. http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?page_id=7034

      Like

  4. ggfewefg says:

    this blog is worthless. change your name. “Notpollticalycorrect” does not describe you, you are..,., Politically correct.

    Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      Don’t read the blog then. I obviously chose the name almost 4 years ago when I held, what I’d say, were more hereditarian views. I’m not changing the name.

      Like

    • I suggest reading a paper written by C. Loring Brace that shows the opposite of what you’re saying.

      “Brace contends that the entire system of hierarchically arranged races, with their assumed differences in cognitive capacity, is the product of a long-continued tradition of political correctness.”
      – Brace, C. L. (1995). Race and Political Correctness. American Psychologist, 50(8), 725-726

      HBD looney-tunes are the PC idiots.

      Like

    • Race Realist says:

      “Brace contends that the entire system of hierarchically arranged races, with their assumed differences in cognitive capacity, is the product of a long-continued tradition of political correctness.”
      – Brace, C. L. (1995). Race and Political Correctness. American Psychologist, 50(8), 725-726

      Right so because some randomly chosen academic states that recognized racial hierarchies in cognitive ability are the “real” product of “political correctness” therefore the ENTIRE Race Realist position is “politically correct” and it is in fact the blank slatists who are the “real” “nonpolitical correct” group right?

      This is the Standard definition of “Political correctness”

      political correctness ►
      n. Avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.
      n. The result or product of being politically correct.

      The fact that are even able to think that that is somehow a valid argument just shows how much of a moron you really are/

      ‘HBD looney-tunes are the PC idiots.”

      that has got to be the stupidest thing I have herd in a while

      You can shout from the rooftops that “HBD” and “pseudo scientist racists” have been “debunked” all you want but anyone with an even remotely rational perception (something you clowns over at Irrational.wiki don’t) , can easily see through your slander, arguments from consensus, incessant personal attacks which you ironically claim your opponents of doing, flat out straw manning and arguments from authority.

      You are a joke. I am done replying to your ridiculously bad responses over at this blog. Call yourself a “debunker” all you want, you aren’t fooling anyone.

      Like

  5. Race Realist says:

    looks like race realist deleted my long response to the race denying leftist who edits irrational.wiki

    What a joke.

    Like

    • Race Realist says:

      never mind he did not.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      Use the same name/email and your comments won’t need to be approved after the first one.

      Like

    • Just look on a census form dummy. Scientifically obsolete “race” categories are still there such as “White” or “Black” as they were 100 years ago (its embarrassing), furthermore there is institutionalised racism in most Western societies. So Brace’s point that racialism or what you HBD crackpots call “race realism” – is a long-continued tradition of political correctness. You people aren’t modern day Galileos fighting against an orthodox view, but the very opposite, you’re arguing for a long-continued orthodoxy that has been scientifically discredited.

      Like

    • Race Realist says:

      “Just look on a census form dummy. Scientifically obsolete “race” categories are still there such as “White” or “Black” as they were 100 years ago (its embarrassing), furthermore there is institutionalized racism in most Western societies. So Brace’s point that racialism or what you HBD crackpots call “race realism” – is a long-continued tradition of political correctness. You people aren’t modern day Galileos fighting against an orthodox view, but the very opposite, you’re arguing for a long-continued orthodoxy that has been scientifically discredited.”

      Thank you for confirming that you do not have IQ about room temperature.
      the fact that you even stated that “), furthermore there is institutionalized racism in most Western societies.” just confirms my suspicions.

      ” So Brace’s point that racialism or what you HBD crackpots call “race realism”
      -Ad hominen
      -Appeal to authority

      The only crackpot here is yourself. and its pretty damn hilarious . welp, what did i tell you? They call it “Irrational.wiki” for a reason. Its really quite amusing how you think your augments (if you could even call them that) hold any water.
      You could shout from the rooftops all you want about how “racialism has been discredited” all you want. it changes nothing.

      Whats embarrassing is how you think you have any real “scientific” arguments against the reality of races other than just slander and cherry picked data that can somehow “disprove” generalizations of human groups.

      Like

    • Race Realist says:

      For anyone reading this, go take a look at this and hit “talk” section as well, its pretty fucking funny

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Racialism

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism

      Like

  6. George Hanwo says:

    “RaceRealist”, you are a joke.

    It seems that you are a leftist who tried to masquerade as an HBDer, to then completely change your position in order to indoctrinate people who believe in HBD to a more egalitarian view. This is not going to work.

    You would get ripped apart if you tried to debate someone like Alt Hype, something that you will never do because you know that he’s going to ridicule you like never before.

    Infact, I challenge you to try debating Alt Hype. Let’s see how well you will do.

    Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      I’m not a leftist; I’m right wing. Just because I refute BS just-so stories from Rushton et al doesn’t make me a leftist. You’re saying “Anyone who disagrees with me holds the opposite political opinions I do.” Does althype defend these types of just-so stories?

      I also don’t know why you put “Race Realist” in scarequotes. I’m a biological racial realist in the same vein as Michael Hardimon and Quayshawn Spencer.

      Like

    • George Hanwo says:

      Does althype defend these types of just-so stories?

      He defend facts supported by evidences, science and statistics. Just take a look at his videos. Recently he completely destroyed JF Gariepy and Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

      I also don’t know why you put “Race Realist” in scarequotes. I’m a biological racial realist in the same vein as Michael Hardimon and Quayshawn Spencer.

      Both of these man aren’t scientists but philosophers, so I don’t really know how they would be more relevant than the “just-so story tellers” you are insulting who are actually scientists. Another thing is that they are (interestingly) both of Negroid ancestry, which could indicate a bias in their perception of race realism.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      IQ is BS. Read my articles on here.

      I never said that Hardimon and Spencer were scientists. The existence of race is a philosophical matter. Psychologists aren’t scientists. Psychology isn’t science. That Hardimon and Spencer are black is irrelevant to the arguments they put forth. Appeal to motive.

      Like

    • George Hanwo says:

      IQ is BS. Read my articles on here.

      I read them(“The Non-Validity of IQ” notably) and I watched that Alternative Hypothesis video, and his arguments are muuuuuch more convincing than yours and Taleb’s against IQ. Taleb’s arguments against IQ are completely ridiculous.

      I never said that Hardimon and Spencer were scientists. The existence of race is a philosophical matter. Psychologists aren’t scientists. Psychology isn’t science.

      If by your standards psychology isn’t science because of replicability rates, you can throw out biology and neuroscience too off the “science” category.

      Also, I think people who talk about “biological race realism” like Hardimon and Spencer, should at least have an experience in “biological” things. It seems instead that their experience is in “philosophical” things. So I wouldn’t trust their words on things “biological”.

      That Hardimon and Spencer are black is irrelevant to the arguments they put forth. Appeal to motive

      The fact that they are Black is relevant because HBD proves that their people are, on average, inferior to others in many things, so their perception of race realism may be sugar coated. This is also an interesting coincidence that BOTH of them are Black. May I ask, what is your ethnicity?

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      How are the arguments “muuuuuch more convincing”?

      There can’t be a science of psychology because there can’t be psychophysical or psychological laws.

      Hardimon’s and Spencer’s arguments are sound. How about you identify a flaw in their reasoning?

      “The fact that they are Black” is irrelevant; “inferiority” and “superiority” are anatomical terms and only anatomical terms. Speaking of those terms in regard to biology makes no sense.

      My ethnicity is wholly irrelevant to the arguments that I make, but if you must know, I’m Italian.

      That you think Hardimon’s and Spencer’s race has any bearing on their arguments is interesting. Why can’t I make the claim that althype is biased towards proving “European superiority” and, thusly disregard his arguments as “biased”, the way you disregard Hardimon’s and Spencer’s? Just identify an error in their reasoning and stop with the irrelevant attacks.

      Like

    • racialist says:

      don’t bother with this guy. he denies IQ. However i do agree with him in that consciousness is not in the brain rather than a staunch materialist approach

      Like

    • George Hanwo says:

      There can’t be a science of psychology because there can’t be psychophysical or psychological laws.

      IQ is THE most well supported psychometric EVER, and survived more opposition than any other psychometric.

      Hardimon’s and Spencer’s arguments are sound. How about you identify a flaw in their reasoning?

      Philosophy is not science. The argument P1 is not sound, you can’t base your understanding of race solely on visible physical features. It’s superficial, not “biological” at all.

      That you think Hardimon’s and Spencer’s race has any bearing on their arguments is interesting. Why can’t I make the claim that althype is biased towards proving “European superiority” and, thusly disregard his arguments as “biased”, the way you disregard Hardimon’s and Spencer’s? Just identify an error in their reasoning and stop with the irrelevant attacks.

      You can’t because there is nothing indicating that Alt Hype is biased towards proving such things. He is 1/16th Black and recognize the higher IQ of East Asians and Jews, etc.. alongside Europeans. If anything, all we see from him is that he’s absolutely objective and honest, and not biased because of emotions. The level of intellectual honesty he has is simply incredible.

      Like

    • RaceRealist says:

      IQ is THE most well supported psychometric position EVER

      This doesn’t mean that psychophysical and psychological laws exist. Psychology—and all social “science” is not science.

      Philosophy is not science.

      I never said it was.

      P1 is not sound

      Phenotype isn’t biological? You most definitely can base race solely on phenotype, along with geographic ancestry and location.

      He is 1/16th black

      So what? That doesn’t mean he’s not biased toward his position.

      recognize the higher IQ of East Asians and Jews

      So what? So do Lynn, Rushton, Kanazawa, Murray. Doesn’t mean they’re not biased either.

      If anything, all we see from his is that he’s absolutely objective and honest, and not biased because of emotions. The level of intellectual honest he has is simply incredible.

      OK now you’re trolling. Just because one doesn’t show “emotions” doesn’t mean they’re not biased. I’m not making the claim that he is biased. I only brought it up due to your appeals of motive to Hardimon and Spencer based on their race to disregard their arguments. It’s irrelevant. Address the strength of the argument on the premises qje conclusions, not the race of the individual making the argument. I don’t care if althype is half black, full Chinese, or whatever. It doesn’t matter to me.

      Like

  7. Race Recognizer says:

    hey, RaceRealist, what is your opinion on the classification of European Caucasians into 3 sub races: Nordic, Mediterranean and alpine? from what i have done it continued by forensic anthropologists into the late 90s. what is your view on the matter? could it still be used.

    Like

    • No it was discontinued decades earlier. Even Carleton Coon had abandoned the old race typology junk by 1970s. I think “Nordic” and “Mediterranean” could only be retained in dermatology and are still used in the Fitzpatrick skin typing test or related skin colour classifications that distinguish on average the darker skin of southern inhabitants of Europe to north, particularly Scandinavia and British Isles. But this has nothing to do with race and under this classification northern and southern Europeans do not belong to the same “Caucasian” race at all which has long been discredited.

      Like

  8. @ RaceRealist

    “Hardimon’s and Spencer’s arguments are sound. How about you identify a flaw in their reasoning?”

    If you’re using phenotypic characters – the problem is (unlike whole genome sequencing) there’s no way to quantify total similarity i.e. determine overall relatedness. So for example, when it comes to physical anthropology that uses cranial metrics & non-metrics, you run into the problem of what characters (measurements of the skull and/or non-metric traits) to use.

    As far as I’m aware Hardimon and Spencer never answered this difficulty.

    Read the following paper:

    Sierp, I., & Henneberg, M. (2015). Can ancestry be consistently determined from the skeleton?. AnthropologicAl review, 78(1), 21-31.

    “This study used 20 cases of skeletons of varied provenance to test whether the nine published methods of ‘race’ determination, using a range of various approaches, were able to consistently identify the ethnic origin. No one individual was identified as belonging to just one ‘major racial class’, e.g. European, meaning that complete consistency across all nine methods was not observed. In 14 cases (70%), various methods identified the same individual as belonging to all three racial classes.”

    So do you see this problem? If you arbitrarily select a bunch of cranial characters, you can classify an individual belonging to say “Black”, but if you use a different set of cranial characters, they can be classified as “White”, etc. Sierp & Henneberg tested 9 different sets of characters and in 70% of cases the same individual skull was classified as “White”, “Black” or “Mongoloid”. Now what?

    Like

  9. Jason B. says:

    Aside from being a race denialist (sub species denial) he also denies anything above the species level as “arbitrary”.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/oliveratlantis/status/1088265087872311296

    This is the same guy telling us races are “arbitrary” and that we can’t denlinate race from phenotype becasue “there are so many methods of classification and in anthropology and that “70% of methods identified the individual as being all three race categories” instead of coming to the logical conclusion that 70% of methods must be wrong then he uses this is “evidence” that we “can’t classify race ” is such nonsense. We can come up with all sorts of erroneous methods at delineating species , gender, origin And then use these eronous methods as evidence that all of these are “inconsistent” but wait no we can’t because that would be retarded.
    this guy is just mentally ill.

    Like

    • You’re a lowbrow poster and don’t know the basics about taxonomy. Every taxonomist knows higher categories/taxa above the species are arbitrary.

      “Beyond this stage of completed speciation, it becomes especially arbitrary how to group species at higher levels into genera, tribes, families and so on.”
      – Mayr & Diamond, 2001: 145

      To put it bluntly, you’re the retard.

      Like

    • What I said, is using different phenotypic characters leads to separate race classification, hence race is invalid because a skull can be classified either as “Mongoloid”, “Negroid” or “Caucasoid” depending what characters are chosen. You’ve not rebutted this point, but posted ad hominem.

      “There are many different, equally valid procedures for defining races, and those different procedures yield very different classifications.”
      http://discovermagazine.com/1994/nov/racewithoutcolor444

      Like

  10. I suspect “Jason B” and some of the other screen-names above replying with ad hominem are Mikemikev https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Coombs

    If not, it’s just some other crazy troll. Regardless, I don’t have schizophrenia nor any mental illness, nor was I “kicked off” Metapedia. Your sources on me are made up nonsense and lies hence they’re deleted. Why not use a real link? Because after I showed up and demonstrated those claims about me aren’t true – the website owners removed them and in some cases even apologised.

    Also nothing you just posted rebutted Sierp & Henneberg’s criticism of race.

    Like

  11. Sierp & Henneberg’s criticism of race is a broader problem of classification in general. RR claims to be into philosophy; he should check out the ugly duckling theorem:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_duckling_theorem

    “Suppose that one is to list the attributes that plums and lawnmowers have in common in order to judge their similarity. It is easy to see that the list could be infinite: Both weigh less than 10,000 kg (and less than 10,001 kg), both did not exist 10,000,000 years ago (and 10,000,001 years ago), both cannot hear well, both can be dropped, both take up space, and so on. Likewise, the list of differences could be infinite… any two entities can be arbitrarily similar or dissimilar by changing the criterion of what counts as a relevant attribute.”

    Like

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