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Evolutionary psychology (EP) purports to explain how and why humans act the way they do today. It is a framework that assumes that certain mental/psychological traits were useful in the EEA (Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness) and thusly were selected for over time. It assumes that traits are adaptations then “works backward” by reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is the process of figuring out the design of the mechanism based on its function. (Many problems exist there which will be covered in the future; see also Evolutionary Psychology: The Burdens of Proof by Lloyd, 1999). But let’s discuss snakes and other animals that we have fears of today; is there an evolutionary basis for said behavior and can we really know if there was?
Fear of snakes and spiders
Ohman (2009: 543) writes that “Snakes … have a history measured in many millions of years of shaping mammalian and primate evolution in important respects” and that “snakes … are promising tools for probing the emotional ramifications of deep evolutionary heritages and their interaction with the current environment.” Are they promising tools, though? Were there that many snakes in our EEA that made it possible for us to ‘evolve’ these types of ‘fear modules’ (Ohman and Mineka, 2001)? No, it is impossible for our responses to snakes—along with some other animals—to be an evolved response to what occurred in our EEA because the number of venomous, dangerous snakes to humans and our ancestors was, in reality, not all that high.
Ohman and Mineka (2003: 5-6) also write that “the human dislike of snakes and the common appearances of reptiles as the embodiment of evil in myths and art might reflect an evolutionary heritage” and “fear and respect for reptiles is a likely core mammalian heritage. From this perspective, snakes and other reptiles may continue to have a special psychological significance even for humans, and considerable evidence suggests this is indeed true. Furthermore, the pattern of findings appears consistent with the evolutionary premise.”
Even the APA says that an evolutionary predisposition to fear snakes—but not spiders—exists in primates (citing research from Kawai and Koda, 2016). Conclusions such as this—and there are many others—arise from the ‘fact’ that, in our EEA, these animals were harmful to us and, over time, we evolved to fear snakes (and spiders), but there are some pretty big problems with this view.
Jankowitsch (2009) writes that “Fear of snakes and spiders, which are both considered to be common threats to survival in early human history, are not thought to be innate characteristics in human and nonhuman primates, learned.” For this to be the case, however, there would need to be many spiders and snakes in our EEA.
Philosopher of science Robert C. Richardson, in his book Evolutionary Psychology and Maladapted Psychology (Richardson, 2007) concludes that EP explanations are speculation disguised as results. He says that the stories that state that we evolved to evolved to fear snakes and spiders lack evidence. Most spiders aren’t venomous and pose no risk to humans. In the case of snakes, one quarter are poisonous to humans and we’d have to expect this ‘module’ to evolved on the basis of a minority of snakes that are poisonous to humans:
On this view, at least some human fears (but not all) are given explanations in evolutionary terms. So a fear of snakes or spiders, like our fear of strangers and heights, serves to protect us from dangers. Having observed that snakes and spiders are always scary, and not only to humans, but other primates, Steven Pinker (1997: 386) says “The common thread is obvious. These are the situations that put our evolutionary ancestors in danger. Spiders and snakes are often venomous, especially in Africa…. Fear is the emotion that motivated our ancestors to cope with the dangers they were likely to face” (cf. Nesse 1990). This is a curious view, actually. Spiders offer very little risk to humans, aside from annoyance. Most are not even venomous. There are perhaps eight species of black widow, one of the Sydney funnel web, six cases of brown recluses in North and South America, and one of the red banana spider in Latin America. These do present varying amounts of risk to humans. They are not ancestrally in Africa, our continent of origin. Given that there are over 37,000 known species of spiders, that’s a small percentage. The risk from spiders is exaggerated. The “fact” that they are “always scary” and the explanation of this fact in terms of the threat they posed to our ancestors is nonetheless one piece of lore of evolutionary psychology. Likeways, snakes have a reputation among evolutionary psychologists that is hardly deserved. In Africa, some are truly dangerous, but by no means most. About one quarter of species in Uganda pose a threat to humans, though there is geographic variability. It’s only in Australia—hardly our point of origin—that the majority of snakes are venomous. Any case for an evolved fear of snakes would need to be based on the threat from a minority. In this case too, the threat seems exaggerated. There is a good deal of mythology in the anecdotes we are offered. It is not altogether clear how the mythology gets established, but it is often repeated, with scant evidence. (pg. 28)
The important point to note here, of course, is the assumption that we have an evolved response to fear snakes (and spiders) based on a minority of actually dangerous species to humans.
The EP enterprise is built on what Gould (1978) termed “just-so stories”, borrowed from Rudyard Kipling’s (1902) book of stories called “Just So Stories” (which he told to his daughter) where he imagined ways that in which certain animals look the way they do today. These stories needed to be told “just so” or she would complain.
And the Camel said ‘Humph!’ again; but no sooner had he said it than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping humph.
‘Do you see that?’ said the Djinn. ‘That’s your very own humph that you’ve brought upon your very own self by not working. To-day is Thursday, and you’ve done no work since Monday, when the work began. Now you are going to work.’
‘How can I,’ said the Camel, ‘with this humph on my back?’
‘That’s made a-purpose,’ said the Djinn, ‘all because you missed those three days. You will be able to work now for three days without eating, because you can live on your humph; and don’t you ever say I never did anything for you. Come out of the Desert and go to the Three, and behave. Humph yourself!’ (How the Camel got His Hump)
These stories “sound good” but is there any way to verify these nice-sounding stories? One can then make the same argument for EP hypotheses: can they be independently verified? The thing about functional verification is that we cannot possibly know the EEA of humans—or other animals—and thusly any explanation for the functionality of a certain trait are nothing but just-so stories.
Kaplan (2002: S302) argues that:
Evolutionary psychology has not yet developed the tools necessary to uncover our “shared human nature” (if such there is—see Dupre 1998) any more than physical anthropology has been able to uncover the specifics even of such clear human adaptations as our bipedalism. It is obvious that our brains were subject to selective pressures during our evolutionary history; it is not at all obvious what those pressures were.
I don’t deny that we are the products (partly, natural selection isn’t the only mode of evolution) of evolution; I do deny that these fantasy stories can tell us anything about how and why we evolved though. I don’t see how EP can develop such tools to uncover our “shared human nature”—or any other “nature” for that matter—unless time machines are developed and we can directly observe the evolution of trait X that is being discussed.
A simple argument to show that EP hypotheses are just-so stories:
P1) A just-so story is an ad-hoc hypothesis
P2) A hypothesis is ad-hoc if it’s not independently verified (verified independently of the data the hypothesis purports to explain)
P3) EP hypotheses cannot be independently verified
C) Therefore EP hypotheses are just-so stories
This simple argument shows that all EP hypotheses are just-so stories since they cannot be independently verified of the data they attempt to explain. Stories can “sound good”, they can “sound logical”, they can even be “parsimonious” and they can even be the “inference to the best explanation“, (how do you but just because these stories are “parsimonious”, “sound logical” and are the “inference to best explanation” doesn’t make the stories true. The above argument holds for one of HBD’s pet theories, too, the cold winter theory (CWT). It cannot be independently verified either, and it was formulated after national IQ differences were known; therefore CWT is a just-so story.
(I will cover this more in the future.)
Stories about snakes and spiders in our evolutionary history are likely wrong—especially if they derive from what supposedly occurred in our EEA, an environment we know almost nothing about. The fact of the matter is, regarding snakes and spiders, there is no evidence that our fear of them is an adaptive response to what occurred in our EEA. That is a just-so story. Just-so stories are ad-hoc hypotheses that cannot be independently verified, therefore EP hypotheses are just-so stories.
by Scott Jameson
Stockholm Syndrome is when you identify with people who capture and, in some cases, abuse you. I’ve heard two pretty good explanations for this phenomenon. One is that female mammals like powerful male mammals. Makes sense. The other is that abducted people are attempting to maximize their own chances of survival, and perhaps those of any children they already have. Also makes sense. Let me present a third.
Intra-female competition. Imagine that a woman from tribe B is forcibly inducted into tribe A. The women from tribe A know all of the customs of tribe A, speak the language and so on, and they have known the men from tribe A since childhood. All else equal, what does the woman from tribe B have going for her- novelty, perhaps? That’ll wear off pretty quick, likely faster than it takes for her to get familiarized with her new culture. How can she possibly compensate? How can she compete with the women from tribe A for quantity and social status of offspring?
Lots and lots of asabiyah. If she were that much more devoted to her captors, to their religion, and so on, the men may admire her, or perhaps begin to consider her truly one of “their own,” thereby reducing the disadvantage by comparison to the women from tribe A.
All of these line up with the common belief- which I cannot seem to find strong evidence for or against, but here’s a study that mentions a sample of 21 Stockholm cases wherein 18 were women– that women tend to “suffer” from Stockholm Syndrome more often than men.
It’s not a disease in the Darwinian sense, it’s a behavioral response mechanism. The more accurate term is Capture Bonding.
Any one of these three hypotheses may explain it, or perhaps any combination of the three, or maybe something else. You would have to determine selective pressures operating on women currently in a situation wherein capture bonding is common, for example determining which behaviors enabled one war bride to have more children than another. Anybody up for some field work with Boko Haram?
Is the human brain ‘special’? Not according to Herculano-Houzel; our brains are just linearly scaled-up primate brains. We have the number of neurons predicted for a primate of our body size. But what does this have to do with general intelligence? Evolutionary psychologists also contend that the human brain is not ‘special’; that it is an evolved organ just like the rest of our body. Satoshi Kanazawa (2003) proposed the ‘Savanna Hypothesis‘ which states that more intelligent people are better able to deal with ‘evolutionary novel’ situations (situations that we didn’t have to deal with in our ancestral African environment, for example) whereas he purports that general intelligence does not affect an individuals’ ability to deal with evolutionarily familiar entities and situations. I don’t really have a stance on it yet, though I do find it extremely interesting, with it making (intuitive) sense.
Kanazawa (2010) suggests that general intelligence may both be an evolved adaptation and an ‘individual-difference variable’. Evolutionary psychologists contend that evolved psychological adaptations are for the ancestral environment which was evolved in, not in any modern-day environment. Kanazawa (2010) writes:
The human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment. Burnham and Johnson (2005, pp. 130–131) referred to the same observation as the evolutionary legacy hypothesis, whereas Hagen and Hammerstein (2006, pp. 341–343) called it the mismatch hypothesis.
From an evolutionary perspective, this does make sense. A perfect example is Eurasian societies vs. African ones. you can see the evolutionary novelty in Eurasian civilizations, while African societies are much closer (though obviously not fully) to our ancestral environment. Thusly, since the situations found in Africa are not evolutionarily novel, it does not take high levels of g to survive in, while Eurasian societies (which are evolutionarily novel) take much higher levels of g to live and survive in.
Kanazawa rightly states that most evolutionary psychologists and biologists contend that there have been no changes to the human brain in the last 10,000 years, in line with his Savanna Hypothesis. However, as I’m sure all readers of my blog know, there were sweeping changes in the last 10,000 years in the human genome due to the advent of agriculture, and, obviously, new alleles have appeared in our genome, however “it is not clear whether these new alleles have led to the emergence of new evolved psychological mechanisms in the last 10,000 years.”
General intelligence poses a problem for evo psych since evolutionary psychologists contend that “the human brain consists of domain-specific evolved psychological mechanisms” which evolved specifically to solve adaptive problems such as survival and fitness. Thusly, Kanazawa proposes in contrast to other evolutionary psychologists that general intelligence evolved as a domain-specific adaptation to deal with evolutionary novel problems. So, Kanazawa says, our ancestors didn’t really need to think inorder to solve recurring problems. However, he talks about three major evolutionarily novel situations that needed reasoning and higher intelligence to solve:
1. Lightning has struck a tree near the camp and set it on fire. The fire is now spreading to the dry underbrush. What should I do? How can I stop the spread of the fire? How can I and my family escape it? (Since lightning never strikes the same place twice, this is guaranteed to be a nonrecurrent problem.)
2. We are in the middle of the severest drought in a hundred years. Nuts and berries at our normal places of gathering, which are usually plentiful, are not growing at all, and animals are scarce as well. We are running out of food because none of our normal sources of food are working. What else can we eat? What else is safe to eat? How else can we procure food?
3. A flash flood has caused the river to swell to several times its normal width, and I am trapped on one side of it while my entire band is on the other side. It is imperative that I rejoin them soon. How can I cross the rapid river? Should I walk across it? Or should I construct some sort of buoyant vehicle to use to get across it? If so, what kind of material should I use? Wood? Stones?
These are great examples of ‘novel’ situations that may have arisen, in which our ancestors needed to ‘think outside of the box’ in order to survive. Situations such as this may be why general intelligence evolved as a domain-specific adaptation for ‘evolutionarily novel’ situations. Clearly, when such situations arose, our ancestors who could reason better at the time these unfamiliar events happened would survive and pass on their genes while the ones who could not die and got selected out of the gene pool. So general intelligence may have evolved to solve these new and unfamiliar problems that plagued out ancestors. What this suggests is that intelligent people are better than less intelligent people at solving problems only if they are evolutionarily novel. On the other hand, situations that are evolutionarily familiar to us do not take higher levels of g to solve.
For example, more intelligent individuals are no better than less intelligent individuals in finding and keeping mates, but they may be better at using computer dating services. Three recent studies, employing widely varied methods, have all shown that the average intelligence of a population appears to be a strong function of the evolutionary novelty of its environment (Ash & Gallup, 2007; D. H. Bailey & Geary, 2009; Kanazawa, 2008).
Who is more successful, on average, over another in modern society? I don’t even need to say it, the more intelligent person. However, if there was an evolutionarily familiar problem there would be no difference in figuring out how to solve the problem, because evolution has already ‘outfitted’ a way to deal with them, without logical reasoning.
Kanazawa then talks about evolutionary adaptations such as bipedalism (we all walk, but some of us are better runners than others); vision (we can all see, but some have better vision than others); and language (we all speak, but some people are more proficient in their language and learn it earlier than others). These are all adaptations, but there is extensive individual variation between them. Furthermore, the first evolved psychological mechanism to be discovered was cheater detection, to know if you got cheated while in a ‘social contract’ with another individual. Another evolved adaptation is theory of mind. People with Asperger’s syndrome, for instance, differ in the capacity of their theory of mind. Kanazawa asks:
If so, can such individual differences in the evolved psychological mechanism of theory of mind be heritable, since we already know that autism and Asperger’s syndrome may be heritable (A. Bailey et al., 1995; Folstein & Rutter, 1988)?
A very interesting question. Of course, since it’s #2017, we have made great strides in these fields and we know these two conditions to be highly heritable. Can the same be said for theory of mind? That is a question that I will return to in the future.
Kanazawa’s hypothesis does make a lot of sense, and there is empirical evidence to back his assertions. His hypothesis proposes that evolutionarily familair situations do noot take any higher levels of general intelligence to solve, whereas novel situations do. Think about that. Society is the ultimate evolutionary novelty. Who succeeds the most, on average, in society? The more intelligent.
Go outside. Look around you. Can you tell me which things were in our ancestral environment? Trees? Grass? Not really, as they aren’t the same exact kinds as we know from the savanna. The only thing that is constant is: men, women, boys and girls.
This can, however, be said in another way. Our current environment is an evolutionary mismatch. We are evolved for our past environments, and as we all know, evolution is non-teleological—meaning there is no direction. So we are not selected for possible future environments, as there is no knowledge for what the future holds due to contingencies of ‘just history’. Anything can happen in the future, we don’t have any knowledge of any future occurences. These can be said to be mismatches, or novelties, and those who are more intelligent reason more logically due to the fact that they are more adept at surviving evolutionary novel situations. Kanazawa’s theory provides a wealth of information and evidence to back his assertion that general intelligence is domain-specific.
This is yet another piece of evidence that our brain is not special. Why continue believing that our brain is special, even when there is evidence mounting against it? Our brains evolved and were selected for just like any other organ in our body, just like it was for every single organism on earth. Race-realists like to say “How can egalitarians believe that we stopped evolving at the neck for 50,000 years?” Well to those race-realists who contend that our brains are ‘special’, I say to them: “How can our brain be ‘special’ when it’s an evolved organ just like any other in our body and was subject to the same (or similar) evolutionary selective pressures?”
In sum, the brain has problems dealing with things that were not in its ancestral environment. However, those who are more intelligent will have an easier time dealing with evolutionarily novel situations in comparison to people with lower intelligence. Look at places in Africa where development is still low. They clearly don’t need high levels of g to survive, as it’s pretty close to the ancestral environment. Conversely, Eurasian societies are much more complex and thus, evolutionarily novel. This may be one reason that explains societal differences between these populations. It is an interesting question to consider, which I will return to in the future.
With all of my recent articles on neurons and brain size, I’m now asking the following question: do neurons differ by race? The races of man differ on most all other variables, why not this one?
As we would have it, there are racial differences in total brain neurons.In 1970, an anti-hereditarian (Tobias) estimated the number of “excess neurons” available to different populations for processing bodily information, which Rushton (1988; 1997: 114) averaged to find: 8,550 for blacks, 8,660 for whites and 8,900 for Asians (in millions of excess neurons). A difference of 100-200 million neurons would be enough to explain away racial differences in achievement, for one. Two, these differences could also explain differences in intelligence. Rushton (1997: 133) writes:
This means that on this estimate, Mongoloids, who average 1,364 cm3 have 13.767 billion cortical neurons (13.767 x 109 ). Caucasoids who average 1,347 cm3 have 13.665 billion such neurons, 102 million less than Mongoloids. Negroids who average 1,267 cm3 , have 13.185 billion cerebral neurons, 582 million less than Mongoloids and 480 million less than Caucasoids.
Of course, Rushton’s citation of Jerison, I will leave alone now that we know that encephilazation quotient has problems. Rushton (1997: 133) writes:
The half-billion neuron difference between Mongoloids and Negroids are probably all “excess neurons” because, as mentioned, Mongoloids are often shorter in height and lighter in weight than Negroids. The Mongoloid-Negroid difference in brain size across so many estimation procedures is striking
Of course, small differences in brain size would translate to differences differences neuronal count (in the hundreds of millions), which would then affect intelligence.
The ability to plan for the future, a significant function of prefrontal regions of the cortex, may be key indeed. According to the best definition I have come across so far, put forward by MIT physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, intelligence is the ability to make decisions that maximize future freedom of action—that is, decisions that keep most doors open for the future. (Herculano-Houzel, 2016: 122-123)
You can see the difference in behavior and action in the races; how one race has the ability to make decisions to maximize future ability of action—and those peoples with a smaller prefrontal cortex won’t have this ability (or it will be greatly hampered due to its small size and amount of neurons it has).
With a smaller, less developed frontal lobe and less overall neurons in it than a brain belonging to a European or Asian, this may then account for overall racial differences in intelligence. The few hundred million difference in neurons may be the missing piece to the puzzle here.Neurons transmit information to other nerves and muscle cells. Neurons have cell bodies, axons and dendrites. The more neurons (that’s also packed into a smaller brain, neuron packing density) in the brain, the better connectivity you have between different areas of the brain, allowing for fast reaction times (Asians beat whites who beat blacks, Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 240).
Remember how I said that the brain uses a certain amount of watts; well I’d assume that the different races would use differing amount of power for their brain due to differing number of neurons in them. Their brain is not as metabolically expensive. Larger brains are more intelligent than smaller brains ONLY BECAUSE there is a higher chance for there to be more neurons in the larger brain than the smaller one. With the average cranial capacity (blacks: 1267 cc, 13,185 million neurons; whites: 1347 cc, 13,665 million neurons, and Asians: 1,364, 13,767 million neurons). (Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 265, table 3) So as you can see, these differences are enough to account for racial differences in achievement.
A bigger brain would mean, more likely, more neurons which would then be able to power the brain and the body more efficiently. The more neurons one has, the more likely it it that they are intelligent as they have more neuronal pathways. The average cranial capcities of the races show that there are neuronal differences between them, which these neuronal differences then are the cause for racial differences, with the brain size itself being only a proxy, not an actual indicator of intelligence. The brain size doesn’t matter as much as the amount of neurons in the brain.
A difference in the brain of 100 grams is enough to account for 550 million cortical neurons (!!) (Jensen, 1998b: 438). But that ignores sex differences and neuronal density. However, I’d assume that there will be at least small differences in neuron count, especially from Rushton’s data from Race, Evolution and Behavior. Jensen (1998) also writes on page 439:
I have not found any investigation of racial differences in neuron density that, as in the case of sex differences, would offset the racial difference in brain weight or volume.
So neuronal density by brain weight is a great proxy.
Racial differences in intelligence don’t come down to brain size; they come down to total neuron amount in the brain; differences in size in certain parts of the brain critical to intelligence and amount of neurons in those critical portions of the brain. I’ve yet to come across a source talking about the different number of neurons in the brain by race, but when I do I will update this article. From what we know, we can make the assumption that blacks have less packing density as well as a smaller number of neurons in their PFC and cerebral cortex. Psychopathy is associated with abnormalities in the PFC; maybe, along with less intelligence, blacks would be more likely to be psychopathic? This also echoes what Richard Lynn says about Race and Psychopathic Personality:
There is a difference between blacks and whites—analogous to the difference in intelligence—in psychopathic personality considered as a personality trait. Both psychopathic personality and intelligence are bell curves with different means and distributions among blacks and whites. For intelligence, the mean and distribution are both lower among blacks. For psychopathic personality, the mean and distribution are higher among blacks. The effect of this is that there are more black psychopaths and more psychopathic behavior among blacks.
Neuronal differences and size of the PFC more than account for differences in psychopathy rates as well as differences in intelligence and scholastic achievement. This could, in part, explain the black-white IQ gap. Since the total number of neurons in the brain dictates, theoretically speaking, how well an organism can process information, and blacks have a smaller PFC (related to future time preference); and since blacks have less cortical neurons than Whites or Asians, this is one large reason why black are less intelligent, on average, than the other races of Man.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past two years, you should have come across the Alt-Right movement somewhere on the Internet. What is driving the rise of the Alt-Right and Nationalism in the West? Simple answer: Selfish Genes. We are, at the end of the day, bags of meat trying to replicate our genes and have more children as to increase our genes’ copies of themselves. This rise in the Alt-Right is due to continued demonization of whites. For instance, a Rutgers professor was quoted as saying “All white people are evil, some are only ‘less bad’ than others“. Statements of this nature, said over and over again towards a population that’s about to become a minority (I won’t use any of the estimates as the TFR for populations constantly changes, but it will happen eventually) will eventually have the open-minded ones become sick of what is occurring to people who look like themselves. I hypothesize that more ethnocentric people have higher levels of the brain peptide oxytocin, which in turn leads to higher rates of ethnocentrism. From the article:
Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one’s group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we conjecture that ethnocentrism may be modulated by brain oxytocin, a peptide shown to promote cooperation among in-group members.
Results show that oxytocin creates intergroup bias because oxytocin motivates in-group favoritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group derogation. These findings call into question the view of oxytocin as an indiscriminate “love drug” or “cuddle chemical” and suggest that oxytocin has a role in the emergence of intergroup conflict and violence.
Oxytocin is known as ‘the love drug’. We can then stretch this to ‘love of one’s race/ethny’. Since political beliefs are heritable (though environment is “still key”, we know that we make our environments based on our genes), I hypothesize that those who are genetically more prone to leaning conservative and ALSO have higher levels of brain oxytocin would be more likely to be ethnocentric and follow a movement such as the Alt-Right. Conversely, people who are genetically more prone towards liberalism (neo-liberalism, not old-fashioned real American liberalism) also have higher levels of oxytocin, except instead of directing their altruistic behaviors towards genetically similar co-ethnics, they direct their altruism towards the out-group. Oxytocin as well as which political ideology one is genetically disposed to, can more than likely be the culprit for these current phenomena that we see in America with both right-wingers and left-wingers.
Some excerpts from my article from earlier in the year Altruism and Ethnocentrism:
We can see ethnocentrism in action in our very own society today. Black Lives Matter is one (extreme) definition of ethnocentrism. La Raza is yet another extreme example. The KKK is another. We can see that in these groups, the motivation to be altruistic to one’s own kind far outweighs being altruistic to those of a different race/ethnicity. Altruism/ethnocentrism is a huge part of the woes of America today.
Which finally brings me to this: why exactly do whites in America not have this same altruistic/ethnocentric behavior towards their own?
Rushton answers this question in one of his AmRen talks: Genetic Similarity Theory and Ethnic Nationalism.
He says that he has really thought about it before and has no definitive answer. But, we are a species who ‘follows the leader’ so to speak. He says to look at individual psychology and not anything to do with being more spineless. That we want to be liked and not disliked. We learn many of our social attitudes (social learning). So we look to people who are similar to ourselves (names some Presidents and others), and that those people tell us things, and since they are high status, we believe it. It’s difficult to go against what those at the top of our society say.
He says what is right and wrong is basically what our neighbors are doing. One outstanding example he gives is how when those at the top say “open your borders and allow more immigrants in” since we are social animals we take to it and want to do it because we ‘follow the leader’. With the majority though right now in America (liberalism/leftism/Marxism), that is the ‘societal norm’ for the country. Therefore, everyone follows that one societal norm, for the most part.
The mass media plays a huge role in this, as I have noted in my previous article on what is going on in Europe and why. Telling whites to hate themselves, that whites are the cause of all evils in the world, makes one begin to hate themselves, their families and, of course, their race/ethnic group. Rushton says many people have said that the media is the cause for many whites with the self-hate that they have. He says back in earlier times, the Jews were self-hating in their identity, because they have assimilated some of the disdain for the wider community. He says the black groups have historically hated themselves because they identified with the conception they have of themselves of the white slave masters/white majority have of them.
Though there is a genetic desire to construct (hi social constructs. =^) ) an identity, the positive cues of that identity has to be picked from the culture (notice anything?).
Finally, David Duke asks Rushton “How would one increase ethnic solidarity and ethnic nationalism”. He says it’s common sense when Goebbels had complete control of the media in Germany, ethnic nationalism shot up, ethnic solidarity increased, out-group hatred increased and the German birth rate shot up. He said the images being displayed on television is the cause for the rise in the aforementioned points. He says, for instance, if you show a lot of blonde haired, blue eyed white babies and women being happy with those white babies in the media, showing women that are happy being stay at home mothers and not working in turn, more women will want to go out and have more babies and be stay at home mothers. He says what you see portrayed on TV, what is portrayed by people who look like you in the media, will make you take to it more.
How is our media today? I noted, very briefly in my previous article, that the media is anti-white. Showing things to bring down the morale of American whites is a huge cause of the lack of altruism and ethnocentrism in American whites.All of these anti-white articles you see in the media daily, all of the anti-white things you see on TV every day, all compound to have what we have in our society today: Marxist whites who go along with groups such as BLM, going completely against their genetic interests, because of media socialization.
Rushton’s AmRen talk on ethnic nationalism should be on your list to view. Media socialization plays a huge part in the self-denigration of whites in America. Being told you’re ‘racist’ just because of your ancestry, to being told that you should be “so sorry” for things that transgressed hundreds of years ago (never mind the fact that the chance that a white person who currently lives in America today most likely has no familial ties of any type of slavery that occurred in the beginnings of this (once great) country. Things like this, when told to someone over and over again, will eventually have them embrace ”’radical”’ ideologies (radical in this sense being far outside of the American norms).
This rise in ‘identity politics’ (hate that phrase, both sides do it) has led to the rise of both the far-left and far-right. But, when you really think about it, ‘identity politics’ is a way to show altruistic behaviors towards genetically similar others. Rushton’s genetic similarity theory (based off of Dawkins’s (1976) theory of selfish genes) explains why these differences how our altruistic acts manifest themselves physically. According to Rushton’s theory, we are more likely to help others who share a similar set of genes. That’s not to say that liberals showing altruistic behavior towards non-co-ethnics refutes the GST theory; on the other hand, it strengthens it.
Americans of mixed ancestry made up for ethnic dissimilarity by matching up on the more heritable traits, whereas the correlation is lower for those traits that are more influenced by the environment. Since the correlation is higher for heritable traits, i.e., BMI, personality, alcoholism, aggressiveness, criminality, psychiatric disorders and so on. Since the correlations are higher than in the environmentally mediated traits and since mixed-race couples match on more heritable traits than on the traits more influenced by the environment, this shows us that even though they are marrying outside of their race/ethnicity, they still match up on the more heritable traits and not the traits more influenced by the environment. So even a liberal’s altruistic actions towards non-co-ethnics shows that GST is still in effect.
The main point is this: our genes are selfish AND they want to produce similar genes. Who is more likely to be genetically similar to yourself? A co-ethnic. This is why nationalism is rising—it works!! Nationalism is rising because the people themselves—the vast majority of ‘vehicles’—are in danger of not being able to ‘replicate’ (their genes). So since the ‘vehicle’ is in danger, the ‘replicators’ have one be more altruistic/ethnocentric to a co-ethnic; oxytocin is the mediator of ethnocentrism as a whole. I’d love to see a study conducted on ethnocentrists and non-ethnocentrists to see what the average level of oxytocin in each group is. I’d bet a large sum of money that the ethnocentrists have higher levels of brain oxytocin while the non-ethnocentrists have a statistically lower amount.
Some of the most distinct genes of individuals will, of course, be found in close family—mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, first cousins, etc. However, against the worldwide variance, the average similarity between people within a single population is on the magnitude of second cousins, so I posit that those with higher levels of brain oxytocin will be more likely to be ethnocentric over others with less of this hormone. See, there is a reason for so-called ‘racist’ (ethnocentric) behavior: since the average similarity between people within a single population is on the magnitude of second cousins against the worldwide variance, this shows why ethnocentric behavior arises.
The rise of nationalism in Europe follows these same patterns. When looking at diversity in the social context, we can see the negative effects of said diversity in neighborhoods (net negative effect, even with the positives that Putnam cites). Knowing the effects of diversity within a homogenous population, we can see the exact cause for the rise of the Alt-Right.
For some people, diversity decreases social trust (this is my opinion) because they see how the out-group acts: increased crime, not assimilating fully to native culture, how many benefits the out-group receives, etc. Then, since it’s drilled into them that ‘we are all the same in the brain no matter where our ancestors evolved for tens of thousands of years’, that all genetically isolated groups must act the same on average. This then causes what Putnam calls ‘hunkering down’—avoiding engagement with the community. This ‘hunkering down’ leads to less social interaction with neighbors and the community as a whole, causing the social trust that Putnam found in his research. Since one of the ways we match on genetic similarity is by culture, when out-groups move in and begin changing the native culture, the ‘hunkering down’ begins to lessen the one way that population propagates its genes—by masking the native culture—which arose for the sole reason of ensuring that the gene made copies of itself with genetically similar others. The increased diversity changes the average person’s perception of their own people since it’s drilled into them that we all have the same mental capacities and behaviors on average (with deviations from said average due to average individual variation; not any inherent genetic racial/ethnic differences).
On the other hand, for one who is more predisposed to lean right who has a higher amount of brain oxytocin on average, sees the negative effects of diversity along with their countrymen getting hurt, negative (natural) feelings then arise. Moreover, seeing how sections of formerly once nice neighborhoods deteriorate when the out-group moves in further drives these feelings. This is one small example from Putnam’s data that shows how diversity negatively affects societies. I’d be interested in a study on racial/ethnic diversity in third-world countries/the East.
This rise we have seen in the Alt-Right is due to the increase of mass immigration to third-world countries. We want to be around genetically similar others—to propagate copies of our genes. With the gene being ‘selfish’, it wants to make copies of genes like itself. Who’s more likely to share similar genes? Parents, brothers, uncles, sisters, brothers, grandparents, first cousins, second- cousins, and third cousins. Since we are related to co-ethnics on the magnitude of second cousins, this shows how and why ethnocentrism evolved. It was beneficial to be more altruistic towards your ‘clan’, and to derogate the out-group since they are genetically dissimilar. This then extends to today in regards to out-groups being derogated—no matter if they’re genetically similar others or if they share the same personalities or hobbies. We want to be around people like ourselves, to better help out members of the ‘team’. The ‘team’ can be anything from race, ethnicity, baseball team, basketball team, football team, hockey team, etc. To understand ethnocentrism, we must understand human evolutionary history. That’s how you understand the rise of far-right or left politics. Genetic similarity theory is that road map to discovering how and why we act the way we do in regards to out-groups.
Any organism strives for the betterment of its group. Any organism will defend that group. Genes cause people to construct ideologies to improve genetic fitness. That one sentence pretty much sums up the rise of the Alt-Right, and along with the negative effects of diversity, you have the recipe for a new right-wing movement.
This growth of “white survivalism” and militant “Christian Identity” groups such as the Aryan Nations, and the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, represent a more extreme response to these perceived threats to the AngloSaxon gene pool. If this overall analysis is correct, one might expect similar correlations in deviations from both genetic and ideological norms in other groups. Preserving the “purity” of the ideology might be an attempt at preserving the “purity” of the gene pool. Are ideological “conservatives” typically more genetically homogeneous than the same ideology’s “liberals”?”
The rise of the Alt-Right shows, in my opinion, one of the main facets of human nature—ethnocentrism. It’s seen with the Ashkenazi Jews and Arabs, to Europeans, Africans, and the pretty much isolationist East Asians. The world is beginning to become more ethnocentric—and selfish genes are in the driver’s seat.
I don’t post about politics here because this is a HBD and evolution blog, but I figured I’d weigh in on Trump and ethnic genetic interests (EGIs) since the election is today. My co-writer and I proved the existence of EGIs back in May (see comments for discussion) so we know that EGIs exist. Does Trump exhibit EGIs? Yes, he does. But for who?
Donald Trump, in his own words, “is a big fan of Israel” and boasted about being the first celebrity to endorse Bibi Netanyahu. This is very telling for his EGIs, however, he isn’t Jewish so how does this help his EGIs?
Easy. His daughter converted to Judaism back in 2009, and had a child by Jew Jared Kushner. Most Jews don’t look at converts the same as those who were born Jewish, i.e., those who have a bloodline to Israel. However, in a generation or two, no one will know that Kushner’s child is a non-Jew genetically.
Donald Trump has been very critical of Obama who is very anti-Netanyahu. Trump says about Obama:
“I think President Obama is one of the worst things that’s ever happened to Israel. I think he’s set back [Israeli] relations with the United States terribly, and for people and friends of mine who are Jewish, I don’t know how they can support President Obama. He has been very bad for Israel.”
Yes, very bad for Israel. This was said last September before he knew he was going to run. Trump loves Israel and the Jewish people. In his own words:
“I know so many people from Israel. I have so many friends in Israel. First of all, the Israelis are great businesspeople. They have a natural instinct for business and their start-ups are fantastic. I deal with the Israelis all the time, and I deal with people who are Jewish all the time, whether they are Israeli or not.”
Now, you have his daughter who converted to Judaism and married a Jew. Judaism is passed down through the mother, so the fact that she converted before she had her babe means that the kid is officially a Jew.
Moreover, his son, Eric Trump, married a Jewish woman back in 2014. Knowing this—that his adult-aged children have wed Jews—would you say that he has EGIs for his people (Scots-Irish/Germans) or for Jews?
Trump has had contradictory statements regarding the German Chancellor Angel Merkel. A month and a half ago he compared Hillary Clinton, his opponent tonight, to Angela Merkel. However, he recently said that Angela Merkel is “his favorite leader”. But back in August, Trump said “Germany will never be the same again“, alluding to this ‘migration’ crisis.
Back in March, Trump assured that his election would be “good news for Israel“. So knowing all of his comments on Israel as well as his children’s marriage choices, where do Trump’s EGI loyalties lie?
With Israel. I’ve shown that he loves Jews; that two of his children have married Jews; and I’ve shown that, while having contradictory statements against Jews (telling Jewish donors that he doesn’t want their money), can you say that Trump has EGIs for his ethnicity OR his family’s new ethnicity—Jewish?
Finally, back in July, his son-in-law Jared Kushner wrote an op-ed in the Observer, the online webzine that he owns, called “The Donald Trump I Know“, in which he says:
My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite.
This is not idle philosophy to me. I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors. On December 7, 1941—Pearl Harbor Day—the Nazis surrounded the ghetto of Novogroduk, and sorted the residents into two lines: those selected to die were put on the right; those who would live were put on the left. My grandmother’s sister, Esther, raced into a building to hide. A boy who had seen her running dragged her out and she was one of about 5100 Jews to be killed during this first slaughter of the Jews in Novogrudok. On the night before Rosh Hashana 1943, the 250 Jews who remained of the town’s 20,000 plotted an escape through a tunnel they had painstakingly dug beneath the fence. The searchlights were disabled and the Jews removed nails from the metal roof so that it would rattle in the wind and hopefully mask the sounds of the escaping prisoners.
My grandmother and her sister didn’t want to leave their father behind. They went to the back of the line to be near him. When the first Jews emerged from the tunnel, the Nazis were waiting for them and began shooting. My grandmother’s brother Chanon, for whom my father is named, was killed along with about 50 others. My grandmother made it to the woods, where she joined the Bielski Brigade of partisan resistance fighters. There she met my grandfather, who had escaped from a labor camp called Voritz. He had lived in a hole in the woods—a literal hole that he had dug—for three years, foraging for food, staying out of sight and sleeping in that hole for the duration of the brutal Russian winter.
The fact is that my father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. His support has been unwavering and from the heart. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds, at his companies and in his personal life. This caricature that some want to paint as someone who has “allowed” or encouraged intolerance just doesn’t reflect the Donald Trump I know. The from-the-heart reactions of this man are instinctively pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Just last week, at an event in New Hampshire, an audience member asked about wasting money on “Zionist Israel.” My father-in-law didn’t miss a beat in replying that “Israel is a very, important ally of the United States and we are going to protect them 100 percent.” No script, no handlers, no TelePrompter—just a strong opinion from the heart.
It seems that every Jew has a Holocaust story that “they’ve never told before.” The Holocaust is really beyond the scope of this blog, however, you can check this out from CODOH on the Novogroduk “graves”. Moreover, here’s a nice thread from CODOH that talks about another “Holocaust miracle” where Trump’s son-in-law says that his Grandfather “lived in a hole in the ground in Russia for three years“. This is all I will say on the matter and I hope you do your own research into these claims from Jared Kushner.
The video that Kushner alludes to is here. The man spoke the truth about Israel. We DO waste our military on behalf of the “Zionist” Israelis. Trump shoots back and says “We will protect them 100 percent.” He calls them “our true friend.” It was just announced back in September that we will be giving Israel 38 billion dollars over the next ten years. OF COURSE they think of us as a “true friend”. We send our people to the Middle East so they can die for Israel in their quest to expand for Greater Israel—war is realizing the Israelization of the world.
Now, PumpkinPerson believes that Trump shows his EGIs through wanting to build a wall and keep out illegal Mexican immigrants. However, I’ve shown above that while he “”MAY”” have the best interests of the American people in mind, he has far more loyalty and allegiance to Israel and the Jewish State.
Does Donald Trump show EGIs? YES! But while he does show EGIs towards his own people, he clearly shows his EGIs more towards the people who his children have chosen to marry. Also, Lion of the Blogosphere, who is a Jew, is voting for Donald Trump, which is protecting his EGIs.
And before anyone asks—yes I voted for Trump. I just hope he does what he says for us and doesn’t pull an Obama and be Hope and Change 2.0 on us.
Genetic Similarity Theory states that we seek out similar others in order to give our genes the best chance to produce copies of themselves. As Richard Dawkins says in The Selfish Gene, it is genes that survive to the next generation with more copies being found in siblings and related co-ethnics. Therefore, the theory goes, by benefitting genetically similar others, we are benefitting copies of our genes. Speed daters match on genotype, which shows evidence for ability to detect genetically similar others. On a subconscious level, we have the ability to detect genetically similar others.
Assortative mating is a form of sexual selection in which those with similar genotypes and phenotypes mate with each other more often than in would be expected under a random breeding model. One of the numerous ways we match by genetic similarity is phenotype. If the phenotype is similar, more often than not, the genotype is as well. This is what drives friendships and marriages, as well as being the cause for ethnocentrism.
Rushton (1987) showed that humans are able to detect degrees of genetic similarity in others, and prefer those most similar to themselves for friends and spouses than less genetically similar individuals, which is the basis for ethnocentrism. A husband and wife are, on average, as close as fourth cousins. Due to matching by GST, spouses should also match on heritable traits such as IQ, body measurements and personality traits. As McCrae et al (2008) write:
Altruism, Modesty, and Tender-Mindedness are characteristics that most people desire in a spouse (cf. Buss, 1986), but people are most likely to find a mate with these characteristics if they have them themselves. This is an instance of the principle that people with desirable qualities have more options in seeking a desirable mate. At the same time, it seems likely that there is a sense in which disagreeable people may actually prefer the company of their own kind, like the haughty Duke in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” who disposed of his wife because she was too indiscriminately nice.
Everyone has the perfect spouse in their head that they dream of. However, the type of spouse we end up with will, more often than not, be genetically similar to ourselves. Even spouses who are not of the same race or ethnicity match up on heritable traits such as The Big Five, IQ and physiological measurements.
Divorce is also influenced by genetic factors. Jockin, Mcgue and Lykken (1996) found that 40 percent of the variability in the heritability of divorce comes from genetic factors that affect the personality of one spouse. Traditionalism, extraversion and neuroticism (2 of the Big 5 Personality Traits) are causes for divorce. A few reasons I can think of for neuroticism and extraversion being personality traits correlated with divorce is highly neurotic people are more likely to be stressed, anxious, have hypochondria (the worry of contracting an illness) and obsessive behavior. This can put extra strain on a marriage, leading to both of the spouses not being happy in their marriage, leading to divorce. With extraversion, more extraverted people are more open to meeting others and are more social and talkative. This will lead to feelings of jealousy, causing a strain on the marriage.
The genetic and environmental influences responsible for marriage are different from those that are responsible for divorce. Evidence exists that after mate selection, there may be some protective factors for the couple, such as religion. While other factors that place couples at risk for divorce, such as alcoholism, are also genetic in nature.
Trumbetta and Gottesman (2000) suggested endophenotypes with one being oriented to pair bonding and the other to mate diversification. Pair bonding, obviously, leads to a happier marriage as both spouses are monogamous, whereas mate diversification is associated with multiple marriages. It sounds to me like those who pair bond are more introverted whereas those who have diversity in marriage partners are more extraverted, leading to high divorce rates due to jealousy and cheating. The conclude that there are significant genetic influences on both endophenotypes with unique environmental factors accounting for the rest of the variance,
Spouses, as well as friends, sort on characterisitics such as race, socioeconomics, physical attractiveness, level of education, family size and structure, IQ and longevity. This is the Selfish Gene in action. By seeking out copies of itself (which would be in co-ethnics in higher frequencies), the gene is able to ensure its survival onto the next generation.
Even in couples who are not the same race or ethnicity match on other heritable characteristics. Rushton and Nicholson (1988), tested predictions from genetic similarity theory and found that spouses select each other on the basis of more genetically influenced cognitive tests. It’s known since The Bell Curve came out in 1994 that spouses select each other based on IQ. What Rushton and Nicholson noted in the study was that estimates of genetic influence calculated on Koreans and Canadians predicted assortative mating in European Americans in Hawaii and California. Americans of mixed ancestry made up for ethnic dissimilarity by matching up on the more heritable traits, whereas the correlation is lower for those traits that are more influenced by the environment. The observations on genetic selection were weaker but still had a positive correlation, when the g factor was taken out of the equation. This suggests that we choose mates based on the general intelligence factor. This effect is seen in, for instance, white women who date black men. They, more often than not, have lower average IQs than the mean (100).
Pan and Wang (2011) showed that spouses are similar in academic achievement as well as IQ. 6 out of the 8 traits tested (reading, spelling, arithmetic, vocabulary, verbal and full-scale IQ) showing evidence of spousal correlations.
Humans have a natural instinct to marry genetically similar others. Whether the traits are environmentally or genetically influenced, spouses will match on traits with the highest correlations (BMI, waist size, arm size). Genetic Similarity Theory proposes that these phenomena is not by chance, but was how we evolved. Sexual selection, which is natural selection arising through preference by one sex for certain traits in individuals of the other sex, is the driving factor here. Through sexual selection, we humans were able to gain higer intelligence (for men) and gain higher verbal abilties that allowed to care for children (women). These differences remained even when controlling for geographic location. Spouses and friends being as similar as 4th cousins is no accident, in fact, it is evolution in action.