When it rains it pours

Recently I wrote a post on pirates in which I discussed a historian who explained his experience in reading contemporary “academic” writings on the history of pirates. Quite unsurprisingly, leftists have been attempting to rewrite history in order to make pirates into race-mixing homosexuals.

Contemporary historians have tended to use pirates for their own ends, depicting them as rebels against convention. Their pirates critique early modern capitalism and challenge oppressive sexual norms. They are cast as proto-feminists or supporters of homosocial utopias. They challenge oppressive social hierarchies by flaunting social graces or wearing flamboyant clothing above their social stations. They subvert oppressive notions of race, citing the presence of black crew members as evidence of race blindness. Moses Butterworth, however, did none of these things.

The true rebels were leaders like Samuel Willet, establishment figures on land who led riots against crown authority. It was the higher reaches of colonial society, from governors to merchants, who supported global piracy, not some underclass or proto proletariat.

Even though it is merely an anecdote, it perfectly lines up with what research there is about rampant left-wing bias in academia.

Sometimes I wonder if synchronicity is real because when one such story pops up, there is usually a couple of more in short order. Sure enough, yet another anecdote of left-wing hegemony and harassment in academia was made known to me thanks to a post by Malcom Pollock. This time it is a medieval studies professor being hounded by marxist shills colleagues for 1) not being 1oo% critical of “white supreemisiiiist” Milo Yianopolous and 2) for not black-washing (European) medieval history.

[In addition to local faculty and students, she also had very negative] reactions from colleagues who identify as medievalists elsewhere in the country, most notably the group sponsoring the session at the International Medieval Congress last weekend on “Whiteness in Medieval Studies.” As they see it, our field is not only too white in its faculty and student demographics, but too white in its methodologies, above all in its “lack of complex racial consciousness.” In their view, having people like me who say things like “Some of the things that we value most in our contemporary culture were conceptualized and supported by white, a.k.a. European, men” (like, for example, chivalry, marriage by consent, and women’s right to vote) only serves to attract white supremacists to the study of our field.

[One] of our graduate students has argued in a piece published in Sightings this week that medieval studies needs to forcibly diversify its faculty by purposefully hiring from underrepresented communities so as to counter the impression of “Whites Only” that persists in the field. What he does not explain is why anyone would want to study the Middle Ages in the first place.

Anything done by ethnic Europeans needs to be scrubbed from history. Unless, of course, it is bad. In that case, it needs to be exaggerated beyond all proportion and then blamed on people who weren’t born until hundreds of years after the events in question. Also, all whites should lose their jobs or be stopped from being employed in the first place. Of course, I am sure the minorities will stop there with their demands [extremely NSFW].

I also liked this description and understanding of Gender studies as well:

“Studies,” by their very nature, have no borders–or discipline. They depend utterly on feelings of belonging to a group defined only by mutual interest in particular periods, regions, sources, or themes, not any shared training or expertise. It is as if one wanted to have a program in sports–and refused to train the students in any particular sport lest they exclude anybody for not having that skill. Or a program in music in which nobody learned a particular instrument to play. Or a church where nobody had to confess any particular doctrine or understanding of God, that is, had no shared conception of worship or how to act in relation with the divine. In Professor Peterson’s terms, “studies” have no motivating story or star because they offer no training in what to do.

Sounds about right.

I think Malcolm is right and that fencing bear at prayer is probably a blog worth following. Lies of the left: “gender fluidity” is another promising title.

Share Button

My interview with Red Ice Radio on Smart and SeXy

Listen to the whole thing here. You can get a copy of the book here. Additional reviews and excerpts can be found here. Here is a summary of the first hour:

Roderick joins us for an eye-opening conversation on the biological differences between men and women. After a lighthearted rumination on International Women’s Day, we dive into the main topic of the show. Roderick explains that most scientists are aware of racial and sexual differences, but choose to keep quiet for the sake of their careers. Next, we discuss anthropologist Melvin Konner’s assertion that maleness is a defect – an absurd claim, to be sure, which Roderick easily refutes. We then discuss the discrimination hypothesis. Roderick argues that it is biological differences, not discrimination, that results in different outcomes for men and women. The first hour covers much more, including male-female differences in intelligence, transgenderism, and homosexuality.

Share Button

Polarity shift #3

In February of 2016, the BBC ran a fake news article about women being better software programmers than men based on a study which had not actually been published, and of which the authors did not intend to release the data. Of course, since that is bullshit, the BBC has changed the title of the article several times, and now it only claims that gender bias exists. Still bullshit. Or if there is gender bias, it is against nerdy Asian/Indian/white guys rather than Strong Women of Color. Below are some polarity shifted excerpts from the original article. Editorial notes in []:

Computer code written by white men has a higher approval rating than that written by women – but only if their gender is not identifiable, new research suggests.

The US researchers analyzed nearly 1.4 million users of the open source program-sharing service Github.

They found that pull requests – or suggested code changes – made on the service by white men were more likely to be accepted than those by women.

The paper is awaiting peer review.

This means the results have yet to be critically appraised by other experts.

….

However the team was able to identify whether roughly 1.4m were male or female – either because it was clear from the users’ profiles or because their email addresses could be matched with the Google + social network. [This sample is probably bad, the methodology sucks hard. Github by default does not identify gender so self-identifying gender means a lot of self selection of the sample, with results that could be skewed far from the norm.]

The researchers accepted that this was a privacy risk but said they did not intend to publish the raw data. [Emphasis mine, this is a huge red flag. They could have made the whole thing up.]

….

“Our results suggest that although white men on Github may be more competent overall, bias against them exists nonetheless,” the researchers concluded.

“I think we are going to see a resurgence of interest from white men in not only coding but all sorts of tech-related careers over the next few years,” she said.

“Knowing that white men are great at coding gives strength to the case that it’s better for everyone to have more white men working in tech.”

“It was white men who came up with almost every new idea in computer science in the first place, we owe it to them to make sure that we encourage and support white men in the software industry,” Dr Black added.

While not as egregious as my previous polarity shift, you could just as equally not expect anything so openly pro-white male to be published on any mainstream fake news site like the BBC. I actually missed this when it first came out, but a twitter link recently made me aware of it. You can see a complete take-down of the fake news here:

  • There are obvious issues in attempting to identify someone’s gender online
  • There are far more male users on GitHub then one could argue that men are in fact far better at coding because far more are actually doing it and many women are missing in action. Perhaps the small number of women who get involved are marginally better on average, but they would still be vastly outnumbered by men who are equally or more capable.
  • The media have cherry-picked data from the study which also showed clear bias towards those openly identifying themselves as female in many areas.

…..

Anyway, the real villain here is not Dr Black but of course the BBC who not only promote such propaganda, but exaggerate the “findings” of these studies to a greater extent than even those behind them. Using the wonderful Newssniffer site, we can see the BBC actually used a slightly more reasonable headline in its very first version of the article, which read “Women may write better code, study finds”. However, just 35 minutes later someone decided to remove the term “may”, thus throwing all caution out the window and moving fully away from journalism and into feminist activism instead.

Read the whole thing. It is an excellent exposé on the process of generating fake news in the MSM.

 

Share Button

Smart and SeXy links

This post is stickied, scroll down for most recent post.

Smart and sexy is the definitive book on sex differences in intelligence. With over 300 citations of peer reviewed scientific articles, it describes the latest science on cognitive differences in the sexes without being hampered by political correctness or feminism. Reviews and excerpts are included below.

Original Announcement.

Availability:

Paperback and E-book

Interview:

My podcast interview with Red Ice Radio

Reviews:

Counter Currents: Why most high achievers are men [Deutsche Fassung]

Amerika [Also take a look at my interview with Brett Stevens.]

Excerpts:

Pseudo-science and bias in the academic establishment

Autism and the extreme male brain

Related Blog posts[Similar to book content, but not as detailed]:

Career women are dysgenic and How standardized testing undervalues men

Please also stop by reddit and subscribe to /r/darkenlightenment and /r/thedailymoldbug. Follow me on twitter and Gab. You can email me at Atavisionary AT gmail DOT com

Share Button

Race Hustlers on Reddit are spreading misinformation on /r/”science” again

/r/science on reddit is having a race hustler thread where cathedral academics are telling everyone the same tired nonsense that differences in outcomes between groups are caused by SES and discrimination by white men. I decided it would be valuable to post an excerpt from my book which discusses the left wing bias in academia because there is a lot of it and I don’t think these people should get a free pass on spreading misinformation like this. If you have a reddit account, I think it would be a good idea to go in and counter these false claims. There is plenty of evidence that IQ differences have genetic causes, and that thread should be littered with links to it.

Since the probability that my comments will be removed is high, I decided to make a copy of them here [edit: I checked and as expected the comments are already removed. Check out this site which saves all the removed comments. Notice a pattern? Edit2: Apparently this thread was made because high level progressives in science journals or media demanded it in order for the sub to have advance access to new announcements of interesting research. In other words, spread our ideology and we will give you insider access and other perks.]:

*******************************

IQ is the single best studied and understood psychological trait. It has been studied for over 100 years and has consistently found that the black/white IQ gap on average is about 15 points. It has also found that the male distribution is significantly more variable than the female curve. What this means is that among the smartest people, those most likely to do well in science, the population is about 2 males for every 1 female. Intelligence level has been shown to be mostly determined by genetics. You can see a large compilation of studies and findings which demonstrate how strongly genetic intelligence and other traits are here. These innate IQ differences explain the differences in outcomes of different populations of humans without needing to resort to unfalsifiable and unscientific concepts like “white privilege” or bias.

I gave you enough links above to start on this. Instead of repeating this easily findable information, I am going to talk about the progressive/far left wing bias that exists in academia. This bias seriously undermines the credibility of race and gender hustlers who try to use credentialism to support untrue opinions about white/male privilege. For an independent opinion, see the website of liberal social psychologist Jonathon Haidt where he and others admit to and discuss the problems caused by this progressive bias.

I wrote a book on gender differences in intelligence called smart and sexy, and it cites hundreds of studies which together confirm and explain why gender differences in outcomes exist and that they are mostly biological in origin. You can find a wealth of data in there for biological mechanisms. However, I also took the time to analyze the current state of academia and what I found was extremely troubling. Below is an excerpt of a section of that book. Remember that the focus of the book is on gender, but this left-wing bias also applies to claims about race.  Citations for all my claims will be at the end.

Saying that the academic community has a large progressive bias is a very strong claim and such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. So what is known about the “scientists” who publish “research” in politically charged areas? Diederick Stapel was previously a highly regarded and influential Dutch social psychologist who did a lot of work on stereotype threat until it came to light that he “routinely falsified data and made up entire experiments.” Another example of his politically biased work was a “scientific” article which sanctimoniously claimed to find that meat eaters were more selfish and less agreeable than vegans. Unfortunately, it is impossible to be surprised by outspoken priggishness from vegans and their sympathizers.

Thanks to this media attention, Stapel is now the most notorious charlatan in the field of social psychology, which is saying a lot for what appears to be a regularly fraudulent and pseudo-scientific discipline. Social Psychologists as a group do not make the data they collect available for outside review 2/3rds of the time. This stinginess with data is actually against the ethical rules established by social psychologists themselves and suggests that there are likely many more Stapels out there who simply haven’t been caught. A survey by the Harvard business school found that 70% of social psychologists admitted to cutting corners in reporting data, 30% reporting unexpected findings as if they were expected from the start, and 1% admitted to falsifying data.

Another meta-analysis of papers published in high-tier psychology journals found that 50% of papers surveyed contained at least one statistical error and 15% contained an error so severe that the conclusion drawn would have had to have been reversed.i, ii A meta-analysis which looked at whether or not positive results from stereotype threat studies could be replicated found that almost half could not, and that a further 25% were confounded by methodological issues.iii Methodological issues, especially in determining statistical validity, have even been used by one Social Psychologist to publish in a major, respected journal that he had proven the existence of psychic ability. His finding used standard statistical practices in psychology and resulted in heavy criticism by professional statisticians of both the specific paper and the psychology community generally.iv

This high publicity criticism led to a fair degree of soul searching among the psychological community and led some researchers to undertake the task of evaluating how widespread these problems are. One analysis reviewed articles from the last 100 years in the top 100 journals based on the impact factor; a measure of the level of influence a paper or journal has on the field. It found that in that time, for the highest impact journals, only 1% of all research findings in psychology had ever been replicated. Of that 1%, only 14% were in fact direct replications. The rest tested similar hypotheses under different conditions. However, successful replications themselves have to be received critically. Half of the 1% of replications had authors from the original study; this is troubling because the presence of the previous author greatly impacts the chance of positive replication and implies bias might be playing a role. 92% of replication studies with an author from the original paper confirm the original result, while only 65% of replications by independent researchers confirm the original finding.v

Problematic methodology isn’t the only issue in psychology. Ideological bias is rampant in the humanities generally, but especially in social psychology; both among individual researchers and among the journals publishing papers. Beyond the lack of objective critical evaluation of papers, the field itself is essentially an ideological and political echo-chamber that is considerably more left-wing politically than the general population. 80% of social psychologists identify as liberal, while only 3 out of 1000 identify as conservative. Contrast this with the general population which is 40% conservative and only 20% liberal; the remainder being moderate or apolitical. Looking through all social sciences, the ratio of liberals to conservatives varies from 8:1 to 30:1.vi Were these sorts of numbers occurring with an ideologically designated protected class, these same social psychologists would be the first to use it as incontrovertible proof of discrimination.vii, viii

Considering what is now known about the biological origins of cognition and intelligence (discussed in more detail in future sections), it is generally difficult to take claims of discrimination seriously when underrepresented groups also display relatively lower intelligence profiles. However, in this case there is no reason to think that conservatives as a group have an intellectual profile below the general population. Social conservatives tend to be a little lower in intelligence relative to liberals, but free-market conservatives (libertarians) tend to be smarter than liberals. Being very partisan, either liberal or conservative, tends to be associated with high IQ as well.ix Increased income levels, which are a proxy for IQ, also moves people right ideologically.x In other words, there is nothing that biologically determined intelligence can do to explain the lack of conservatives, and even moderates, in the humanities.xi

In a survey of social psychologists, it was found that conservative respondents feared negative consequences from revealing their political affiliation and that they were right to do so as liberal respondents expressed willingness to discriminate against conservatives in approving papers, grant proposals, and hiring decisions.xii The more liberal a social psychologist is or the more consequential the decision would be for the conservative, the more willing liberal social psychologists are to discriminate.

The temptation . . . to advance a political agenda is too often indulged in sociology, especially by activist faculty in certain fields, like marriage, family, sex, and gender . . . Research programs that advance narrow agendas compatible with particular ideologies are privileged . . . the influence of progressive orthodoxy in sociology is evident in decisions made by graduate students, junior faculty, and even senior faculty about what, why, and how to research, publish, and teach . . . The result is predictable: Play it politically safe, avoid controversial questions, publish the right conclusions…

[Compared to conservative sociologists] Politically-correct sociologists enjoy certain privileges in a very politically conscious and liberal discipline. They can, for example, “paint caricature-like pictures based on the most extreme and irrational beliefs of those who differ from them ideologically without feeling any penalty for doing so,” and “can systematically misinterpret, misrepresent, or ignore research in such a manner as to sustain [their] political views and be confident that such misinterpretations . . . are unlikely to be recognized by [their] colleagues” [Social science researchers believe] “that social science should be an instrument for social change and thus should promote the ‘correct’ values and ideological positions”vi

With this sort of cultural climate, exploring gender differences, or even just acknowledging that such differences exist is extremely difficult for professional scientists to do today. The pattern of ideologically driven academics significantly undermines the ability of an objective outsider to trust the conclusions coming out of certain fields, especially when it is related to such a politically charged subject as gender (and race) differences in test scores. It is quite clear that the overwhelming majority of researchers working on this topic possess a politically desired outcome of these studies. The great potential for this systemic Lysenkoism to motivate the production of inaccurate results and interpretations contrary to reality can’t be overestimated. The objectivity of the field in concluding stereotype threat is a real and large effect phenomenon in particular is highly questionable.

Calling cynical skepticism of the social sciences “anti-intellectual,” a common criticism directed towards conservative thinkers, is only so in the sense that these “scientists” have misdefined the word “intellectual” to describe their political ideology and therefore themselves. It is quite conceivable that the modern attitudes described as “anti-science” attributed to conservatives are fundamentally merely a non-inevitable reaction to what can only be described as pseudo-science being published by leftist activists in academia; and stereotype threat is just one example of peer-reviewed pseudo-science.xi

Certainly in some cases there are conservatives that legitimately hold anti-scientific views, such as in the case of evolution generally. But when it comes to evolution of the human species specifically, many liberals are just as anti-scientific as the most hardcore creationist. The main difference is that the left, being dominant in state institutions and having ample government funding, has the power to enforce idealism contrary to reality while most conservatives do not have symmetric influence. This asymmetry in power makes leftist anti-reality beliefs of far greater concern and consequence than the equivalent conservative anti-reality beliefs.

For the average person, it isn’t so hard to notice some of the more egregious examples of leftist pseudo-science. Since most people do not have the time or energy to independently evaluate every pronouncement from every field coming out of the scientific community, it is more efficient (and natural) to use a quick short-hand, or stereotype, to extrapolate from a more narrow range of data for which they do have time and interest to look into. If their interest happens to be in an area replete with pseudo-science, and that’s likely because politically controversial areas are both the most likely to be interesting and to contain pseudo-science, then they have found themselves an extraordinary indicator of dishonesty which they then extrapolate from.

As a consequence of general distrust, society is more likely to develop unreasonable movements like that against vaccinations. It is not reasonable for the scientific community to expect the average person to evaluate every single scientific finding themselves. They have real lives that do not, and should not, have to deal with academic politics. Therefore, scientists need to do a better job rooting out bias, and especially liberal bias, in their fields so the public can actually trust what they say. If academics want to be trusted, they first must be trustworthy because trust, for institutions as much as individuals, must be earned.

I don’t mean to be misinterpreted when I point out these biases in scientific research. To their credit, the main people who have identified and raised alarm about the bias against non-liberals in academic papers have themselves been liberal social psychologists such as Jonathon Haidt. In fields that are outside of the social sciences or on the periphery, real bravery is often demonstrated in their defiance of orthodoxy. Perhaps my favorite treatment of Cultural Marxism came from a paper which starts by stating “putting aside political correctness” and then continues on to discuss multiple heretical topics and never references it again. Political correctness is mentioned only long enough to dismiss it as the irrational and fallacious sentiment that it is. This is a hopeful sign, but it must be noted that no serious efforts to actively alleviate the problem within the social sciences beyond talking about it have so far been undertaken.

I have a great respect for science generally and see it as the best method so far developed by humans to separate truth from fiction, at least when the core principles of scientific philosophy are actually followed. But the scientific establishment is still a human institution and therefore fallible. The community at times moves unacceptably far away from its core principles and this usually happens when research topics might have strong implications for an over-arching political ideology. The Lysenkoist effect of an overwhelmingly liberal character is just one problem. Another is that senior research scientists often spend as much or more time begging for money than they do actually trying to discover truth. Whether or not they actually get money is often dependent on how much they publish which creates an incentive to publish even if the research isn’t very good. Conforming to the political biases of other researchers thus constitutes a quick way to look better with lower quality research.

From the state of academia, it can be taken that the discrimination hypothesis has a great deal of influence on our current culture and the determination of public policy through the publication of questionable research. If the discrimination hypothesis is only partially true or largely wrong in the present, then social policies based on it are likely to be largely ineffectual and possibly harmful. Intelligence researcher Dr. Wendy Johnson has stated the importance of this possibility with reference to X linked intelligence succinctly,

Values create the emotionally charged climates pervading discussions of sex differences, making it difficult to evaluate scientific data objectively. Values are extremely important and appropriately form the basis of many actions and social contracts. But the laws of nature are not responsible to us or to our values and may not conform to them. It is important to understand the laws of nature as completely as possible within our circumstances in order to actualize our values as we intend. We can only develop coherent and realistic actions and social policies that will actualize our values if we understand the laws of nature as they exist.ii

Wicherts, J. Bakker, M. (2011) The (mis)reporting of statistical results in psychology journals. Behav Res Methods. 43(3): 666–678.

Franklin, K. (2011) Psychology rife with inaccurate research findings. Psychology today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/witness/201111/psychology-rife-inaccurate-research-findings

Stoet, G., Geary, D. (2012) Can stereotype threat explain the gender gap in mathematics performance and achievement? Review of general psychology. Vol 16(1), 93-102

Wagenmakers, E., Wetzels, R., Borsboon, D., Van der Mass, H. (2011) Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: the case of psi: Comment on Bem. Journal of Personallity and Social Psychology. Vol 100(3). 426-432.

Makel, M., Plucker, J., Hegarty, B. (2012) Replications in psychology research: How often do they really occur? Perspectives on psychological science.Vol 7(6). 537-542.

Redding. R. (2013) Politicized Science. Society. Vol 50(5), 439-446

Haidt, J., Post-Partisan Social Psychology. http://people.stern.nyu.edu/jhaidt/postpartisan.html

Tierny, J. (2011) Social Scientist Sees Bias Within. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/science/08tier.html?_r=5&ref=science&

Kemmelmeier, M. (2008) Is there a relationship between political orientation and cognitive ability? A test of three hypotheses in two studies. Personality and Individual Differences.Vol 45(8), 767–772

Morton, R., Tyran, J., Wengström, E. (2011) Income and Ideology: How Personality Traits, Cognitive Abilities, and Education Shape Political Attitudes. Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 11-08. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1768822 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1768822

Duarte, J., Crawford, J., Stern, C., Haidt, J., Jussim, L., Tetlock, P. (2014) Political Diversity will Improve Social Psychology. Behav Brain Sci. Vol 18. 1-54

Inbar, Y. & Lammers, J. (2012).  Political diversity in social and personality psychology.  Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 496-503.

Abramowitz, S. I., Gomes, B., Abramowitz, C. V. (1975), Publish or Politic: Referee Bias in Manuscript Review. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5: 187–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1975.tb00675.x

Ceci, S. J., Peters, D., Plotkin, J. K., Alan E., (1992). Human subjects review, personal values, and the regulation of social science research. Methodological issues & strategies in clinical research., American Psychological Association, 687-704

Crawford, J. T, Jussim, L., Cain, T. R., Cohen, F.  (2013).  Right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation differentially predict biased evaluations of media reports.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, 163-174.

Munro, G. D., Lasane, T. P. and Leary, S. P. (2010), Political Partisan Prejudice: Selective Distortion and Weighting of Evaluative Categories in College Admissions Applications. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40: 2434–2462. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00665.x

Rothman, S., Lichter, S. R., Nevitte, N. (2005) Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty. The Forum. Vol 3(1). Article 2.

Harvard sex row and science. BBC News. Jan 18, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4183495.stm

Lallensack, R. (2014) UW to host first feminist biology post-doc program in the nation. The Badger Herald. http://badgerherald.com/news/2014/04/21/madison-host-first-feminist-biology-post-doc-program-nation-rl/#.VO5GIS6GN8H

Pinker, S. (2009  Letter from Steven Pinker to Aarhus University in defence of Prof. Nyborg, December 9, 2009. http://www.helmuthnyborg.dk/Letters-Of-Support/PinkerLetter.pdf

Nyborg, H. (2013) Danish Government Tries to Censor Science it Doesn’t Like. American Renaissance, November 14, 2013 http://www.amren.com/news/2013/11/danish-government-tries-to-censor-science-it-doesnt-like/

Thompsom, J., (2013) Helmuth Nyborg gets Watson’d. Psychological Comments. http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.com/2013/11/helmuth-nyborg-gets-watsond.html

Nyborg, H. (2003) “The Sociology of Psychometric and Bio-behavioral Sciences: A Case Study of Destructive Social Reductionism and Collective Fraud in 20th Century Academia.” The Scientific Study of General Intelligence: Tribute to Arthur R. Jensen.

Nyborg, H., The Greatest Collective Scientific Fraud of the 20th Century: The Demolition of Differential Psychology and Eugenics. The Mankind Quarterly. University of Aarhus (Retired, 2007)

Share Button

Power, Sex, Suicide: Or why do genders exist in the first place?

Image Source

There has been a lot of crap happening the last few weeks, so I thought a not particularly political post might be a nice respite for some. Please bear with the large digressions in this post. It may not seem like it, but it is all related in a meandering sort of way. I promise. I will get to the point eventually and hopefully you will learn some interesting things along the way. Anyway, I wanted to expand on the evolutionary origins of two sexes (as opposed to none or more than 2). I did not cover it in Smart and Sexy because it wasn’t directly relevant enough to be included. The focus in the book was the intellectual differences between human genders, not why gender exists in the first place. It would have been too much of a digression to include that. I think it is an interesting question nonetheless and wanted to address it at some point. Especially since a growing group of lunatics keep wanting to expand the number of genders to the limit of infinity.

On to the first “non sequitur,” or so it deceptively seems. There was recently an askreddit thread which asked about atmospheric oxygen concentrations during the carboniferous period and reminded me of the topic of this post. Specifically, the oxygen concentration was an astounding 35% compared to today’s 21% and the person wanted to know why it was so high and why it dropped so much afterward. If we went back in time to that era, we would suffer from oxygen poisoning. I imagine that wildfires then must have been quite a hellish sight. Literally. This high oxygen concentration probably also explains why insects grew to be so large during this time, such as seagull sized dragon flies. Most insects depend upon passive diffusion to get oxygen to their cells and that is more effective at higher partial pressures of oxygen. Our lower concentration of oxygen today probably isn’t enough to enable such large insects, which is why they evolved to be smaller. Anyway, I had actually read some books which tried to answer this question and I relayed that info in the following comment:

Like most of the other ideas here this is a hypothesis. Life has made various evolutionary innovations over history and one idea is that woody bark/stems first evolved some time immediately proceeding the carboniferous. Woody stems are stronger and more resilient because there are protein cross links between cellulose strands. Cellulose being a long strand of linked sugars. Woody stems are very difficult to digest, which is why pretty much nothing eats it. When it first evolved, literally nothing ate it because it was so new and no organism had the tools to break it down. So, during the carboniferous trees and plants with woody stems proliferated because they had few or no natural predators, and probably also because they could grow taller than their competitors thanks to the strong stems and thus had better access to sunlight.  They did still die of old age however, and that woody material would just sit there without decaying. Eventually it would be buried and millions of years later we would dig it out of the ground as coal or oil. Most of the coal and oil deposits date from this period which is why it is called the carboniferous period.

Well, the process plants use to grow is that they take CO2 out of the atmosphere to build cellulose and other structural molecules and release oxygen. So what was happening in the carboniferous was that this was a very one way process. The carbon was being fixated and nothing was breaking down the large organic molecules to re-release it.

That all changed when fungi, think mushrooms and molds, eventually evolved the enzymatic equipment to break down woody stems. Some time at the end of the carboniferous presumably. With this second innovation, the woody part of plants didn’t just sit around waiting to be buried, it was broken down and the fixated CO2 was released back into the atmosphere. Obviously this added a new variable to the equation and the oxygen level in the atmosphere struck a new and lower balance.

I suggest “Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Oxford Landmark Science)” and “Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life” by Nick Lane if you are really interested in this subject.

Some of the other comments did touch on this same idea but some people argued that the carbon dioxide concentration wasn’t high enough to account for all the oxygen. That honestly doesn’t make sense to me. The only process I know of which can oxygenate an atmosphere is photosynthesis, and photosynthesis absolutely requires carbon dioxide molecules to run to completion and release oxygen. One carbon atom is fixated for every one molecule of oxygen released (elemental oxygen is a diatomic molecule [except ozone which is triatomic oxygen but that doesn’t matter for this discussion]). Yes, CO2 was much lower in concentration than oxygen but that was because it was being used up. Venus and Mars both have much more carbon dioxide, for example, and presumably so would Earth if there were no photosynthesis.  Wildfires and volcanism were probably the main things getting CO2 back into the atmosphere which explains why it was never completely used up. In fact, carbon dioxide concentrations at the time were three times higher than pre-industrial levels, and double today’s level, but that was still only about 1-1.2% of the atmosphere. My guess is that Earth’s core was hotter, and that there was far more volcanism then than today. That would have made for a very high rate of carbon dioxide release which fueled the one way carbon fixation trip going on in the plant world. The point is, the idea that “there wasn’t enough carbon dioxide” is a red herring. oxygen release simply can’t happen without carbon dioxide, period, and the reason it was so low and not 96% of the atmosphere like on Mars is because of the stupid high rates of fixation.

As a side note, life seemed to get along just fine with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels double that of today during the carboniferous… Plants grew so abundantly in fact that this time period produced great deal of our oil reserves; perhaps even most of it. We also had monster sized insects. I don’t know why climate skeptics never mention this. It goes a long way in demonstrating a bit higher carbon dioxide concentration isn’t going to end the world.

At the end of my comment I mention two of my favorite lay-person science books. Both by Nick Lane, the first is Oxygen and the second is Power, Sex, Suicide. (You can consider the majority of this post to be an indirect summary of these books). The first one I read was the later, which also came out after Oxygen. Both books are great, but I have to note that there is a great deal of overlap between the two. For those of you familiar with mitochondria you can probably guess why. If not, the short answer is that mitochondria take oxygen and use it to to break down organic molecules into water and carbon dioxide. The energy released via this reaction is captured and used to fuel life itself. So, a book on the history of oxygen is by necessity going to overlap a lot with a book on mitochondria. My impression overall is that the material in Oxygen was reworked, improved, and added to new material to create Power, Sex, Suicide. Thus, if you read the later you will have most of the information you could have gotten in the former (though not all). If you had to pick only one to read, Power, Sex, Suicide is the best choice.

The title of the book was absolutely inspired. If you read the title your first thought is that it is about some game of thrones-esque political intrigue. Chimps throwing shit at each other is of course one of the most attention grabbing topics for humans available so anytime you see it on amazon, your gaze is instantly drawn there. The provocative title is what made me take a closer look. However, what makes it even better is that it is in no way deceitful. It is a book about mitochondria which are the power stations of the eukaryotic cell. All large multi-cellular life depends on this power generation. This is the most widely known fact about mitochondria and I will leave it to the reader to learn more about it.

Skipping sex for a second to briefly mention suicide, it turns out that mitochondria are important for signaling apoptosis, or programmed cell death. I.E., suicide. Two of the main reasons for this to happen is for fine tuning body structure and reducing the risk of cancer. In the first case, an example would be when hands grow in the embryo they are initially webbed then cells between the fingers intentionally die off so the fingers are separate. In the later, when a cell becomes damaged and malfunctioning (and thus more likely to eventually become cancerous) this can usually be detected and trigger the cell to commit suicide before developing into full-blown cancer. Obviously this doesn’t always work, but it definitely helps to cull damaged cells. Aging may be tied to this phenomenon because over the course of a lifetime the population of stem cells slowly depletes as they become damaged and are culled to prevent cancerous growths. Stem cells are the most likely to turn cancerous because they are the only cells which continue to rapidly divide, which means bad mutations are more likely to occur and regular or rapid cell division doesn’t need to be turned on via new mutations before the cell line becomes cancerous. Of course, having a lower population of stem cells reduces your body’s ability to keep all your tissues in a youthful state. Thus it is possible that aging, at least in part, is a result of evolved mechanisms for reducing the risk of cancer. Those suicidal mechanisms require mitochondria.

And now on to Sex. What does mitochondria have to do with Sex? Well, as it turns out, they have everything to do with sex. But to understand that, you first need to know the history of how mitochondria came to be. When life first came to exist on Earth, the planet did not have an atmosphere with much oxygen. There were plenty of reduced molecules floating around the oceans and being released via volcanic vents which could be oxidized for energy. (The term “oxidized” was originally coined when scientists thought only oxygen participated in this type of reaction, which was a long time ago. The definition has since been expanded to include reactions which don’t involve molecular oxygen but the name stuck. Path dependence. Obviously the first life wasn’t using molecular oxygen to derive energy when there wasn’t any molecular oxygen available.)

Eventually photosynthesis evolved in the ancestors of modern day cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. Light was a readily available source of energy which did not require any preexisting source of reduced molecules. Carbon dioxide at the time was probably at Venus or Mars percentages so that was absurdly abundant too. The cyanobacteria thus did extremely well, spread everywhere including places with no other source of energy, and proceeded to oxygenate the atmosphere at a massive scale. At first, however, preexisting reduced molecules present in the oceans would have quickly reacted with the released oxygen and thus the build up of the gas would have been delayed. Perhaps for millions of years. Evidence for this comes in the form of banded iron formations. Reduced iron is far more soluble in water than oxidized iron, so oxygen would be released, it would react with the iron, then the new molecule (rust basically) would sink to the bottom of the sea floor forming these bands.

Eventually, however, these reduced reactants would have ran out and oxygen would have started building up in the atmosphere. Believe it or not, oxygen is actually a very poisonous gas. And yes, that includes to you as well. We can live in it only because of evolved mechanisms that deal, incompletely, with its extreme reactivity. (This is not an endorsement for antioxidant products, personally I think that stuff is useless. Or worse than useless if it keeps cells functional long enough to avoid triggering apoptosis and thus allowing them to become cancerous). All of this poisonous oxygen in the atmosphere created a selection pressure for mechanisms that could mitigate the problem. In short, eventually this led to not only the ability to mitigate the presence of oxygen free radicals, but to actively harness oxygen as an electron acceptor in the production of usable energy. Some bacteria, including the ancestors of mitochondria, developed this ability. Though it isn’t entirely clear how it happened, one of these oxygen loving bacteria was engulfed by an archaeal cell (site with more detail). Probably with the intention of using it as food. Either that or the oxygen loving bacteria became parasitic on archaeal hosts. At some point this predatory or parasitic relationship goofed up and both cells started working symbiotically. The larger cell could provide shelter and sources of food, while the newly formed mitochondria could use oxygen to efficiently convert that food into energy and possibly transfer oxygen defense mechanisms to the host cell if it started out oxygen intolerant. This was the origin of all subsequent multicellular eukaryotic life, including you. A descendant of this lineage similarly engulfed a cyanobacteria and that become the universal ancestor of plants.

Some time later, the early eukaryotes developed sexual reproduction where genetic material is shared between two individual members of the species in order to reproduce as opposed to earlier binary fission. Reasons why are debated, but my preferred explanation is that sexual reproduction increases the probability of novel genetic combinations which may have increased evolutionary fitness especially with respect to, but not limited to, evading predators and parasites (including infections). Keep in mind that the origin of sexual reproduction is not the origin of the sexes. You don’t necessarily have to have two genders to sexually reproduce. (This is a general biological fact and should in no way be misconstrued as an endorsement of any sort of mental illness related to gender in humans. It doesn’t matter how worms do it, we are human and we only have two genders).

The advent of sexual reproduction, however, created a problem not dissimilar in type to the penis fencing worms in the previous link. That is, evolutionary self interest creating bad incentives for competition during reproduction. In the case of worms they are trying to reproduce without incurring the metabolic costs of growing eggs. Between mitochondria competition needs a bit more explanation, though. Mitochondria within eukaryotic cells have never completely lost their genome even today. Each eukaryotic cell thus has two methods of transmitting genetic information to descendants. One is through the mitochondria and one is through the nucleus. Even though mitochondria only increase in number via binary fission, random mutations can occur during that process thus allowing separate mitochondrial lines to evolve independently of one another. Since mitochondria have their own genome, reproduce, and are variable they are subject to natural selection. If in sexual reproduction two mitochondrial lines are placed together within the same cell, you create a situation of direct competition between both lineages for the domination of that cell and thus the opportunity to be passed on down the line. Competing mitochondria could and would evolve ways of eliminating rivals. Ways which would only have minimum concern for the overall well being of the host cell. What does it matter how the host cell does if that other mitochondria wipes you out?  Even at the cellular level, diversity + proximity = war. An evolutionary war between mitochondrial lineages going on within the cell is obviously not a desirable situation for the organism as a whole. Eliminating the potential for mitochondrial war would be a great advantage to any eukaryotic organism which managed to accomplish it. Basically, the nuclear genome would need to step in and tell everyone to play nice… Na, its much easier to build a big wall.

Which, 2500 or so words in, FINALLY gets us back to the title of this post. I do apologize, but I feel the explanation is incomplete without the requisite background information. Having two sexes is a direct response to this issue of battling mitochondrial lineages and is what gives us our most universal definition of two sexes. Having distinctive male and females genders is “the wall” so to speak keeping different mitochondrial lineages from directly competing with each other. Specifically, the female sex is that which donates mitochondria to offspring and the male is that which does not donate mitochondria to offspring. That’s it. This is the commonality, the only commonality, between all males and all females in all species which have distinct genders. It also explains why more than two genders is in no way necessary. Two individuals is enough to gain the benefits of sexual reproduction and two sexes is enough of a wall to prevent intracellular competition via natural selection in mitochondria.

As I have already pointed out, there are examples of sexually reproducing species which do not utilize two different genders. In the case of fungi, I am not sure how they deal with the issue of mitochondrial war (or if anyone else does) but I am sure they have some mechanism for it even if unknown. Maybe creating billions of spores renders it a moot issue because there is more than enough opportunity for both lineages. In the case of the penis fencing worms, you can see the problem of not distinguishing genders quite saliently. Two individuals attempt to forcefully inject (rape?) each other with sperm while not getting injected themselves. You have got to love the sadistic creativity of nature for creating a species in which each individual acts as both the rapist and the rape victim at the same time. You’ve got to rape before you get raped. This method of reproduction can and does cause injury to the rape “victim” which could lead to infection and other issues. Not exactly ideal from a fitness perspective.

And this is why sexually reproducing organisms have evolved a binary gender dynamic many, many times independently. Evolving a male and female sex is one of the best examples of convergent evolution because it has happened so many different times.  Most people are already familiar with sex determination in mammals which is determined via an XY system. Two X chromosomes gear the human form to passing on mitochondria (i.e., female) as well as other things, while an X and a Y chromosome gears the human form to not pass on mitochondria (i.e., male) again among other things. But the mammalian XY system isn’t the only way this mitochondrial division of labor can be accomplished. Fruit flies, for example, have an independently evolved and completely unrelated XY sex determination system. Hymenoptera insects (ants, bees, and wasps) have a haplodiploidy sex determination system in which the male only has one set of chromosomes (haploid) while the female has two sets of chromosomes (diploidy). A number of lizards and other reptiles use a temperature determination system. Some fish determine sex via social hierarchy. (Again this is not an endorsement of mental illness in humans, despite wikipedia believing it is.) Even plants can’t wait to give up hermaphrodism and divide into two sexes and that has happened independently a ton of different times. Last in my list, though I won’t claim it is exhaustive, is the ZW sex determination system present in some birds, turtles, crustaceans and so on. Mirroring the XY system, ZZ is male and ZW is female. Like with mammals and fruit flies, when these species are not closely related chances are these systems are also independently evolved. It has recently been called into question that the bird ZW is actually independent of the mammalian XY because of discoveries with the playtpus sex determination system. I tangentially discussed this in an April fools article I wrote on hybridization theory a while ago and I will let you read it to come up with your own conclusions. Keep in mind, a joke works better if you mix in some facts to make it more believable…

Regardless, you can see that using two and only two sexes has evolved again and again and again and again and again in completely unrelated species with incredible levels of divergence. Even in the sex changing fish they opted to have two sexes rather than just stay hermaphroditic. The fish are never both male and female at the same time. Having two and only two sexes, regardless of how that is accomplished, seems to be some sort of evolutionary equivalent of an energy minimum. Dealing with mitochondrial war doesn’t strictly require two sexes and other arrangements can work (in species that aren’t human), but clearly the two sex binary is one of the easiest and most effective ways for nuclear genomes to prevent intracellular war between mitochondrial lineages. Judging by the widespread level of convergence, cellular civil war must be a very common and extremely grave problem for biology to deal with. The existential urgency of preventing the internal war probably accounts for why an astoundingly large and diverse list of species have all converged on the two and only two sex binary. They keep falling back to that arrangement via remarkably different yet equally effective systems. And so that is why we have two sexes and not zero or a million. And it is why we will always have two and only two sexes.

 

Share Button

Smart and SeXy

Smart and SeXy: The Evolutionary origins and biological underpinnings of cognitive differences between the sexes

The soft cover edition is available here. If you are on a budget you can also download the E-book. You can read the amerika.org review here and the counter-currents review here.

This is probably the most heretical work I have ever or will ever put to writing personally, and probably one of the most heretical things from the perspective of progressives, feminists and any other member of the cathedral available anywhere. If you want a no-nonsense (i.e., no feminism) description of sex differences, then you will probably enjoy the information contained within. If you have questions about what exactly the gender differences in intelligence are, by what fairly exact biological mechanisms they come about, and what potential evolutionary narratives explain what we observe, then this is the book for you. After reading this book you will not only know the current patterns of sex differences in intelligence as shown by psychometric tests, but why and how the underlying biology explains the patterns we observe. At the heart of the differences is both genetic and hormonal elements which work in concert to generate what we see on an every day basis. It has taken years of work (since 2011) and hundreds of hours invested in reading hundreds of dry academic papers to compile the more than 300 sources included, but I did so you can have the evidence all in one place and explained in lay terms. And perhaps most importantly, to have the evidence for gender differences in intelligence without muddying the waters with the foul taint of feminism.

At the heart of The Red Pill and the Dark Enlightenment, when thinking about women, is a kernal which grows to support everything else; all the theory on game, marriage, etc. All higher level knowledge is dependent on it. The fundamental concept, or more accurately the anti-concept, is the rejection of Equality. Egalitarianism just isn’t so. Men and women aren’t equal and they aren’t the same. Knowing they are not equal allows correct understanding of the world and relationships from successful one night stands to successful marriages. The entirety of the manosphere and red pill are dependent on this insight. The Dark Enlightenment is also dependent on this insight, but they expand it to include not only sex differences but ethnic differences as well.

Having that level of dependence on that initial small kernal can present a problem when it isn’t sufficiently supported by evidence. Though there is this and that study which suggests in a minor way that gender equality is false, it is my view that such information as bolsters the rejection of egalitarianism when it comes to men and women is lacking sufficient centralization within the manosphere and neoreactionary community. There may be thousands of individual blog posts on the topic, but mostly each one only addresses a small part of the big picture and getting the entirety of the picture from these diffused writings can be more difficult than it needs to be. The known facts are sufficiently dispersed, unorganized, and lacking in coherence that it makes the kernal a source of vulnerability to criticism from the outside. It is, as it were, a chink in our armor that needs to be addressed.

You might think “there is plenty of evidence.” Sure, there is. But, in all honesty, do we (the community more than geneticists) REALLY understand the mechanism? How exactly, at the molecular level, does inequality between men and women come about? It is an important question, and until it is answered so rigorously and thoroughly that it can’t be denied this will always be a vulnerability in our position. This is why I wrote this book. It is meant to be the titanium plate to cover our chink in the armor. This book coheres the currently available data into a single place and a single narrative that is relatively easy to access and difficult to refute. Moreover, and unlike most feminist theories, it presents a testable hypothesis. The genetic explanation for sex differences in intelligence I propose is something that biologists and geneticists can design experiments to test in order to prove or disprove. By making this hypothesis known to the mainstream it forces scientists to directly test the hypothesis. At least that is my hope. Prior evidence suggests what the result of such testing will be.

Another point of this book is to attempt to put to rest once and for all the idea that disparities in achievement between men and women have a chiefly cultural origin; they don’t. The differences between men and women are almost exclusively due to biology. Once society accepts that women aren’t going to ever achieve at the same rate as men, we can stop wasting time and resources promoting women, via affirmative action, into positions and occupations they are not suited for; thus saving a lot of effort and wealth that is currently getting wasted. We might also be able to get the birthrate back up to a more stable level and thus avoid demographic problems.

Lastly, to a certain extent it is meant to be a handbook for those who might be faced with deliberation on the topic and who need to quickly reference one type of study or another to demonstrate biological reality. I have made herculean efforts to make this as readable as possible and I believe I have done a good job with this, but I have placed greater emphasis on including as much relevant information with proper citations to credible journals as possible. I wanted to give people knowledge of which studies they need to cite for their particular argument or discussion in one convenient and accessible place.

Who to thank?

I owe some twisted gratitude to progressive academics who through their push to shun and silence me in the name of political correctness gave me the motivation I needed to write this book contrary to their culturally Marxist fantasies. On multiple occasions I have been personally screwed over by people holding that ideology because I was so audacious as to merely mention I had read The Bell Curve and found the points within to be worth consideration. I didn’t even claim to agree with it, just that it is a hypothesis which needs to be taken seriously. That is, I was trying to be an objective biologist which is what scientists are supposed to do. What we are trained to do in fact. There were also several situations (probably more actually) where similar points, but about gender instead of race, met with pretty much the same result. Though it didn’t end up mattering very much, I was rejected from one graduate school because the chairman of the department found out I had a conversation with another professor about the bell curve (that professor actually brought the topic up!). That chairman then projected onto me an argument he had with his daughter’s teacher where apparently the teacher said or believed something sexist. The bell curve only briefly talks about gender differences (a couple pages out of 849)…  What the teacher actually did was never very clearly explained. This guy was mad, and it had absolutely nothing to do with anything I said to him, and I got a nice rejection because of it. So ya, I got really pissed, and not for the first or last time. A string of situations just like this created a great resentment within me, which I am sure is quite true of many other people given the swelling of the red pill, the dark enlightenment and other internet phenomena. These prig prog “scientists” were being complete a**%^$!s about hypotheses which cover perfectly valid scientific questions, and which as I show in the book have a great deal of empirical support. If it hadn’t been for my naive faith in actual objectivity in science, and the subsequent confrontation with the progressive faith that actually exists in science that resulted, I almost certainly never would have cared enough to do any of this work. I may never have cared enough to find neoreaction. Yet those things did happen, and now neoreaction, the alt-right and the red pill have something available that they can use against left-wing creationists, should they desire to use it.

Confrontations like these have made me, and many others, heavily motivated to discredit feminism because their beliefs don’t match the facts and they witch hunt anyone and everyone who points that out. The best way to do that is with hard data and if I didn’t do it, I feared nothing else so comprehensive would have come out for years. Or if it did, it would be hidden in esoteric academic texts in obscure journals and even then it would be dressed in evasive and overly-qualified language. In fact, I would argue that there has been more than enough data available to discredit feminism for a very long time but paywalls for publicly funded research (don’t get me started on that) and a wide dispersion of everything relevant with substantial credibility has made it difficult to pull everything together. There are many, many papers which touch on the subject but none that I have been able to locate that brings it all together. And they definitely don’t come close to calling out progressives. Most try to appease the leftist mobs. To do this right takes an outsider, and it takes someone with an audience. I have a marginal audience, but the biggest help with spreading the information lies with my ties to the other neoreactionaries who have a much larger following. Likely, it will spread to the manosphere blogs due to the porous nature of the divide between neoreaction and that community. Or not, only time will tell.

Blog vs. book

There are a number of bloggers who write for years then decide after the fact to convert their posts into a book. In my case, I actually went the other direction. I had already had this book in progress for several years prior to starting this blog in 2014. A number of posts on this blog (not all) were either direct offshoots from work on this project or were indirectly inspired by my work on the book and later integrated as they were highly relevant to points I was making. Some changed little, while others changed significantly in the move. For the most part, my posts are shortened versions of what appears in the book and have less evidence, citations, and topics as a result of needing to make them stand alone away from the rest of the text. However, the most important part of the book, in my mind, is the large numbers of studies collected together from a wide variety of fields and which constitute the evidence for the biological origins of sexual dimorphism in intelligence. This includes both IQ test studies and the impact of the genetics and hormones on the brain and intelligence. This evidence is exclusive to the book. If you would like a taste of the content of the book before deciding whether or not you want it, I recommend you take a look at the following posts:

Career women are dysgenic

How standardized testing undervalues men

stereotype threat and pseudo-scientists.

Share Button