Heritability and the Big Five

Regarding the heritability of personality traits. Wow, someone is wrong on the Internet!

So, I saw a remark on YouTube that stated that “if we took two identical twins, and put them in two different households one very positive and one very negative, that the two would turn out differently despite having the same genes–and that therefore environment has the dominant role in the development of personality.” They also stated that this was “common sense”
There’s a problem with this. It’s not right. Not entirely. It is true for some aspects of personality, and not for others. People don’t like to hear this. The thing that bothers me about it is that this was a comment in response to one of my own that simply stated “environment matters less than you think”.

Here’s the quote: ” If you take twins and each of them are raised in seperate households. One is constantly reaffirmed and treated well, in a happy family. While the other is constantly belittled, and abused in a dysfunctional abusive family. You must understand that one twin will most likely have many more positive traits than the other.”

Now I thought that if you knew about actual twin studies, as this person said they were familiar with them, and knew anything about the heritability of personality and behavioral traits, that you would have moved past this point in your understanding. Calling out a single case that’s an hypothetical anecdotal one at that, doesn’t disprove what we know from the actual research that’s been done on the topic. It’s an interesting thought experiment. Hey, I do those sometimes too.

As I thought about it, of course I did see where the person was coming from.

I’m not saying that people are deterministically affected by their genes. I’m not saying that environment doesn’t have an effect. I’m not saying that it isn’t the dominant effect for this or that dimension of personality. It is, for some facets. Evidence suggests has slightly more influence for most of them. What I said, was that “environment matters less than you think.” Not sure why that sounds like “environment doesn’t matter” or whatever.

So. Let’s take a look at heritability in regards to personality and behavior to make sure you understand what we’re talking about. The following is from the University of Colorado:

“The concept of heritability plays a central role in the psychology of individual differences. Heritability has two definitions. The first is a statistical definition, and it defines heritability as the proportion of phenotypic variance in a population attributable to genetic variance. The second definition is more common-sensical. It defines heritability as the extent to which genetic individual differences contribute to

individual differences in observed behavior (or what’s called phenotypic individual differences). You should memorize both of these definitions.

Because heritability is a proportion, its numerical value will range from 0.0 (genes do not contribute at all to phenotypic individual differences) to 1.0 (genes are the only reason for individual differences). For human behavior, almost all estimates of heritability are in the moderate range of .30 to .60. [note that .6]

The quantity one minus heritability gives the environmental component of the trait. “Environmentability” [sic] has an analogous interpretation to heritability. It is the proportion of phenotypic variance attributable to environmental variance or the extent to which individual differences in the environment contribute to individual differences in behavior. If the heritability of most human behaviors is in the range of .30 to .60, then the environmentability of most human behaviors will be in the range of .40 to .70.

There are five important attributes about estimates of heritability and environmentability. They are:

Heritability and environmentability are abstract concepts. No matter what the numbers are, heritability estimates tell us nothing about the specific genes that contribute to a trait. Similarly, a numerical estimate of environmentability provides no information about the important environmental variables that influence a behavior.
Heritability and environmentability are population concepts. They tell us nothing about a specific individual.

A heritability of .40 informs us that, on average, about 40% of the individual differences that we observe in, say, shyness are in some way attributable to genetic individual difference. It does NOT mean that 40% of any specific person’s shyness is due to his/her genes and the other 60% is due to his/her environment.

Heritability depends on the range of typical environments in the population that is studied. If the environment of the population is fairly uniform, then heritability may be high, but if the range of environmental differences is very large, then heritability may be low. In different words, if everyone is treated the same environmentally, then any differences that we observe will largely be due to genes; heritability will be large in this case. However, if the environment treats people very differently, then heritability may be low. [this seems to be where the commenter was going in their thought experiment, which suggests an implicit assumption on their part, maybe, that environmental differences are very large in the human populations. Their example is a distortion of the concept–one that pushes environmental influence to the fore.]

Environmentability depends on the range of genotypes in the population studied. This is the converse of the point made above.

Heritability is no cause for therapeutic nihilism. Because heritability depends on the range of typical environments in the population studied, it tells us little about the extreme environmental interventions utilized in some therapies.”

This supports my counterpoint to the claim that environment (implicitly *always*) plays a greater role and that, as you see, fully supports my statements about genes vs environment. You can see that by looking at the extreme case, that is the *very extreme* case, where you have overridden the effects of their genes.
The average, the normal, the general case is what we’re concerned about and what we see when we observe the population as a whole, becuase when looking at it for a population as a whole, that’s what we get–the general case as an average of all the various types of environments. The extreme cases aren’t common, or they wouldn’t be extremes. People do establish themselves in notably dissimilar environments in some ways. But, the environments are, in terms of a broad sense, able to support human beings. There aren’t a ton of desert dwellers nor a ton of Eskimos. Note that we’re talking about, in this person’s example, serious abuse, deprivation, etc. is a very extreme case and just doesn’t apply to hertiability in a population study. It’s a nice thought experiment, but it doesn’t describe what we’re talking about. As we said above, that scenario applies to that particular individual. If somehow that scenario became the general case, where children were treated either one way, or the other, that would be rather different. Intellectual honesty tells us that it’s not the average case.

Now again, I do see where this person is coming from, it almost makes sense. If you aren’t familiar with the science, and are just thinking through it in your head. If you haven’t studied the field, you’d just think you were right. One way people tend to look at it is like it would be with cloned plants, but it’s a poor metaphor for something like personality. This one comes up a lot. The plants have identical DNA, but one is raised with poor light and soil. It’s scraggly and small. The other is raised in optimal conditions. It’s big and strong!
The thing is, the one raised in optimal conditions won’t go beyond the maximum attributes coded for by its DNA. Very poor nutrition might make one twin not as tall as the other if they were raised separately, but excellent nutrition isn’t going to make the twin that got that nutrition 10 feet tall. They’ll grow as tall as their genes code for them to be.

So, with the plants, maybe they both get the same amount of light and fertilizer, but one gets more of a trace element, or you pinch the nodes on one. Not severe damage, just a little. For those, one may be bushier than the other. The bushy one is only going to be as bushy as it’s genes allow. But it will be different. This is a better analogy I feel. It shows that of course environment makes a difference, and it can surely make significant differences–but the organism isn’t going to go “out of bounds” on how it can potentially develop.

Animal and especially human behavior is complicated. We need to leave this analogy and move on. So, have I proved this other person right, wrong? Anything? I don’t think so. I never said, remember, that there was no effect, or only a small effect. I said that environment mattered less than you think. When positing these examples, the danger in drawing conclusions is the same as in that person’s original “common sense” conclusion.

Note that the science on this heritability of personality traits is pretty easy to look up, and really ought to have given that person pause, when they saw numbers like the ranges published, specifically that .6. I’d think anyone even having the conversation would recognize that that’s more than half, and therefore is the “dominant” influence in the general case, for that aspect of personality.

Yet again, I never said that overall, for all aspects, that environment was the lesser influence, that it didn’t matter, that it was deterministic, or anything remotely like that. What I said, once again, and I hope it’s clear now, is that:
Environment matters less than you (probably) think.

Reference: http://psych.colorado.edu/~carey/hgss/hgssapplets/heritability/heritability.intro.html

And next, let’s look at a twin study.
Heritability of the big five personality dimensions and their facets: a twin study.

Jang KL1, Livesley WJ, Vernon PA.
Author information
The genetic and environmental etiology of the five-factor model of personality as measured by the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) was assessed using 123 pairs of identical twins and 127 pairs of fraternal twins. Broad genetic influence on the five dimensions of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness was estimated at Neuroticism 41%, Extraversion 53%, Openness 61%, Agreeableness 41%, and Conscientiousness at 44%, respectively. The facet scales also showed substantial heritability, although for several facets the genetic influence was largely nonadditive. The influence of the environment was consistent across all dimensions and facets. Shared environmental influences accounted for a negligible proportion of the variance in most scales, whereas nonshared environmental influences accounted for the majority of the environmental variance in all scales.

Small N, but this is all the way back in 1996, tons of research has been done since then that backs this up.

Now come on. Really. Think about that. Those numbers are higher than you likely thought, if you weren’t already aware of them, no? Note that two of the five are over fifty percent, which of course means that they are the dominant factor, where genes matter MORE than environment! (Once again, in terms of the population, not the individual) The others are all pretty close. The rest are in the 40’s.

Look: Openness is 61%. Wow. Unless you already knew that, I’m pretty sure that’s an effect that’s “more than you would think.”


A response to comments on Genes Influence Culture

I’d like to address some criticisms found in the comments on my video “Genes Influence

One common and rather expected comment is that what I’m talking about is “pseudoscience”. This is the most straightforward to address. The components of my argument, the pillars of it, are based on valid and sound arguments based in mainstream and accepted science. There is a lot evidence supporting those. The conclusions based on that evidence are not in the realm of whether or not they are supported, but by “how much”.
General cognitive ability is heritable. This is not in question for anyone even remotely aware of the facts and evidence available from modern science.

Even direct experience, (although anecdotal) and having as small a data set as a single person could discover in their daily life, supports this conclusion. We would likely consider it “common sense.” While this debate went on for decades, there is no longer a reasonable conclusion that general cognitive ability is entirely, mostly, or in the majority based on environment. While environment is a factor, neither we nor the enormous body of research suggests that is not the case. The question now in research is “how much” impact it has.

What we’re discovering is that environment matters less than you think it would. The
heritability of intelligence is high. Arguments against this tend to involve moving goalposts, redefining terms, or are fallacies called “arguments from ignorance” or “of the gaps.” Let’s not spend too much time on that. The heritability of general cognitive ability is at least fifty percent, with evidence that heritability increases to between seventy and eighty percent on reaching adulthood. Again, this is material taught at at the very least at the graduate level in current university courses. Hopefully at the undergraduate level.

The next point is that if the trait is heritable, that it would vary within a population. This
should be obvious, both from any basic understanding of genetics and from direct observation.
This is so common-sensical I hardly fathom why I have to mention it. Whether it were one allele variant, ten, one hundred alleles with multiple variants, or one thousand that
contributed to some trait, the combinations that contribute to the expression of that trait
differ in their distribution throughout a population.
We do know that for some cases, a single gene is responsible for differences in expression in the phenotype. Just one. For other traits, the expression of that trait is moderated by one or more other genes, or masked by them. It is the case that sometimes differences in a single gene are responsible for distinct and important phenotypic differences–ones that then are more or less prevalent in a group or population, as well as more or less prevalent in one population or another.
So, even though observation of a single SNP, a single allele variant, or a single chromosome might not tell us enough to know which of two (or more) groups a subject fit into, it does tell us something. Odds, for example, of being in this or that group, but with no certainty.

What we do know, is that when we sample many many SNPs from across the genome of two subjects, we can tell with more than 99% accuracy what that subject’s ancestry is. We can tell a great deal about the subject, including what geographic ancestral populations are present or absent in their heritage.
Oh, oh, you say–that doesn’t matter, because reasons. No, no, we’ve just outlined above why is does matter. If you don’t see that yet, let’s take a look at it.
We can identify membership in a population at a very coarse and at a fine level as well. At a regional level, there is plenty of mixing at boundaries, to be sure, and mixing that has gone on due to historical migrations, and due to modern travel. However, it is very clear from the current science that we can still identify the component historic populations and ancestors.

Otherwise, 23andMe and Ancestry.com wouldn’t be able to do what they do.
One critic for some reason mentioned that a variant for sickle cell could show up across
populations. While it could, there are two different variants that arose, and having one vs the other tells us something about the likelihood of having ancestry from one population or the other. That plus a selection of other gene variants and we can be rather sure what the subject’s heritage is.
In short, the more of the genome and the more variants you examine for a given subject, the more certain you can be what the various ancestral contributors were. You know the regions. If we leave it at region and population, and not that other word that is so charged and distracting, perhaps that will help.

The distinctions we make, the labels we apply to these populations are not arbitrary in the sense that they don’t have descriptive, explanatory, or predictive power. We can determine many things about a subject regarding health and risks for diseases, and other likely and potential present properties. This is crucial to understand. This destroys the social construct argument. If you don’t see how, start over.

Not all members, because of variation, will have the traits that are more prevalent. Hopefully it’s clear that I’m not saying that–I don’t think anyone is saying that. Membership in a population is not deterministic for these traits. It just means the probability is higher as the traits are found more often in the population, as those gene variants are more often present, whether one variant or more in combination. This is well understood and is why it’s not a “social construct” when applied in health care. Your ancestral population or populations matter.

An attempted critique was that “at the level of an ethnic group, this breaks down.” I found this extremely peculiar as a claim for several reasons. Most importantly that the science of genetics shows almost exactly the opposite. We can identify these smaller groups very well, and make the same sort of predictions based on membership in that group.
Second, although my video did address culture, I would not have suggested that an “ethnic group” was a coherent population from a genetic perspective. Multiple genetically distinct populations can be members of the same ethnic group. This would actually be a fascinating thing to study.

Now, it may not be just one gene or one variant, as we’ve discussed, that an expressed trait is coded by. The same apparent or effective result might occur because of more than one variant. Something you observe might not have the same cause across one population. Some of those variants might be present in another population, but not be expressed in the phenotype due to the presence of other genes or variants thereof. In this way, you can have variation that’s larger in one population, and have some smaller number of those variants in another population, but still have distinct differences in phenotypic expression and criteria to distinguish the populations from one another. This is key. The populations can still be classified differently. They are distinct.
The classifications into major groupings are not arbitrary. They are not just labels, as I’ve
already said. They are labels, yes, but we label many things and the labels have utility. They are useful. They have descriptive power, predictive power. Life and death predictive power, in the field of health care.

Given what we’ve discussed, hopefully you see that the there is no sane way to accept the criticism that “at a genetic level, there is no such thing as this categorization of these populations.” That is absurd.

All that we have discussed so far is solid science. Valid and sound.
It is the next bit, the fusion of the two, that seems to rankle and rile up our detractors the
most. We know that intelligence is a heritable trait. I would hardly suggest that Steven Pinker is an evil racist Nazi. At a popular science level, he tells us, “All traits are heritable. Environment matters less than you think.”

Since we know from study of the genome that there is variation between populations, it is possible for intelligence to vary between populations. And the evidence shows that it, in fact, does. Whether we do or don’t know if it’s one gene (it’s not), ten, one hundred, or one thousand, with dozens of variants each, the fact is that intelligence varies between
populations of different geographic ancestry. The average level of cognitive ability is
different between different groups. The most generous estimate available for the anti-hereditarians from studies, primarily from pre-adult subjects, is that only fifty percent of the variance is due to environment. The other fifty percent, in this case, is due to heredity. I personally find the evidence of a heritability of .7 to .8 on reaching adulthood to be more compelling, which makes things rather worse for the environmental side of the argument. Fluid when young, more fixed when older. Not really surprising.

We know intelligence is heritable. We know that it varies between populations (as well as within them–of course).

I’d hope the critics would not argue that intelligence has no impact on culture. Clearly if a population has a larger number of bright and brilliant individuals that will have an effect on the cultural achievement of that population.

Some populations do have more intelligent members than others, as those populations have a higher average intelligence. I don’t have to know what genes, how many variants, or anything like that, because for our purposes all we need to know at the moment is that it’s heritable.

It is. There is no question. Genes influence intelligence. Average intelligence varies between populations. Intelligence influences culture. Therefore, a population’s genetic makeup influences their culture. To some extent. How much remains a question. But genes influence culture. Q.E.D.

There is no pseudoscience here. No religiosity. No a priori racism. Just the truth. What we do with this truth is an entirely different matter.

Demography: How to Make America White Again

At first glance our demographic future doesn’t look good. Here’s a hopeful trend:

Conservatives breed way more than liberals do.

The reasons for this must be manifold. Perhaps it’s because liberal women are ugly. Maybe it’s because population density has a negative association with fertility. Maybe it’s because liberal women are ugly. It could be because liberals are less likely to get married. Or it possibly just boils down to the fact that liberal women are ugly. Who can say?

Jokes and explanations aside, this effect is pretty profound, and it gives us a much better outlook than if we only take the racial data into account.

Besides the obvious- that our electorate may stop its general leftward shift thanks to higher conservative birthrates- we see a more hopeful picture for the future of Whites in America. Importantly, there may be White American populations which breed above replacement rate.

Conservative women have 2.08 children on average, and unless there are some populations of highly conservative and fecund Blacks or Hispanics, this must mean that conservative Whites in particular are having a lot of kids. Using party ID as an estimate for the proportion of conservatives who are Black or Hispanic, and assuming that conservative Blacks and Hispanics have around the same birthrates as their respective racial averages, the number of kids per conservative White woman doesn’t really change; this estimate pegs it at 2.09.

This means that White liberals should have abysmally low fertility rates. This helps us. Even Blacks, well known within the US for their fecundity, are below replacement rate, and the Hispanic fertility rate is also falling to below replacement.

Ultimately, much of it should come down to where people live. Cities have been population sinks, everywhere you find them, for a long time- perhaps even since the first cities were built in Mesopotamia. The urban populations are below fertility rate and are gradually replaced by rural people who move to these cities. (One lesson to learn from this is don’t move to a big city.) Juxtapose this trend with the fact that, in the US, 80% of Whites live outside of inner cities, but around 70% of minorities do live in or near the inner cities.

Another fortunate detail is that these fertile White conservatives are also less likely to race-mix, which of course keeps their trait values high for things like IQ.

I’m imagining White rural populations boiling over into the cities, where the blood of Blacks, Hispanics, White liberals, and so on is mixed and then progressively cut with more White blood over time. Three ingredients are needed for this to take place:

  1. We must pursue policies that increase the already-higher fertility of people living in suburbs and farms and so forth. I actually think that Trump’s childcare plan is a step in the right direction because it cuts taxes for parents instead of sending them money; this means that it disproportionately benefits tax payers.
  2. We must pursue policies that increase population density in cities. Doing so under the guise of combating urban sprawl makes sense.
  3. We must pursue policies that keep nonwhites in these cities.

2 and 3 can overlap substantially; “two birds, one stone” is more elegant than it sounds. My solution is to engage in aggressive urban planning. Create decent quality, low rent, high density apartments in these cities. They’ll be where lower IQ people can afford to live, particularly if we can strip affirmative action and college entrance biases.

Of course, other measures must be taken. We would want to build the Wall, deport all illegals, retain Roe v Wade, and reduce welfare benefits (worth a shot). If we get our jobs back we can build low-fertility communities next to where we put the jobs; with reduced welfare benefits and possibly a smaller black market economy (thanks to the Wall and perhaps racial profiling) there could be even more financial incentive to go where the jobs are than there is now.

It could be possible to Make America White Again- to what degree of success I don’t know, but we can take steps. I wonder if similar things may have happened in the past.

I believe that if we line up our geographical and economic stars just so, we can improve our situation going forward. The next thing to do is to create a list of policies that are likely to achieve these specific effects, campaign for them independent of one another and, when possible, do so without rousing accusations of racism. If you campaign for low cost, high density housing for example, you can say that you’re combating urban sprawl, and nobody will know that you’re actually doing a demography scheme.

I don’t know if White genocide was a deliberate plan in the beginning, although I can say with a high degree of confidence that genocide is what motivates Barbara Spectre and others like her. What they didn’t do was to simply kill everyone they didn’t like; far from it, they attempted to slip their scheme under the radar, lying about the demographic implications of the Hart-Celler act for example. It worked. The same can be done in reverse, and I consider this solution more likely to happen, more humane, less expensive, and less messy than deporting, sterilizing, or killing millions of people. At a minimum, these soft-segregation policies will reduce the negative impacts of having these people around. A further advantage to this plan is that we can get started on it today.

That’s just America, though. I believe that Europe has a different path, likely a race war and subsequent mass deportations.


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The Catastrophic Failure of the Left

They had every advantage: the media, the education system, the megadonors, the political machines, and even many Republicans like John McCain and Paul Ryan.

You could attribute it to popular support on Trump’s part, but that’s wrong. His overall voter turnout wasn’t that much larger than Romney’s, and he also didn’t crush Hillary through sheer numbers since the popular vote was effectively a tie.

The monster vote may have been real in the Rust Belt, but it wasn’t a full-on “silent majority” scenario. The two candidates’ support was close enough that Trump could have lost under different circumstances. I believe that, in an act of great folly, the DNC threw this election by accident.

And they did so by manipulating the primaries in Hillary’s favor. To compare Bernie and Hillary as candidates:

  1. Bernie would’ve gotten higher turnout with millennials, like Obama did.
  2. Bernie would’ve gotten more votes in the crucial Rust Belt using his stronger positions on trade.
  3. Bernie is less hated than Hillary across the political spectrum. On a related note, he’s an outsider, which is in vogue right now.
  4. Unlike Bernie, Hillary was plagued by nonstop scandals, including the DNC collusion- a problem that the DNC created for their own candidate, with their own hands.
  5. Nominating Hillary caused 1.2 million leftists, mostly former Bernie supporters, to flock to Jill Stein. Stein had such respect for Sanders that she offered to give him her ticket, and so I believe that she would have dropped out and endorsed Sanders; furthermore, I believe that Hillary supporters would have been more willing to vote Sanders than vice versa. It’s possible that this is redundant with point #1.

Nominating Hillary caused rifts between leftists and people who hate corruption; between leftists and people from the Rust Belt; and even between leftists and other leftists.

I could be wrong. Norpoth believes that Trump would have crushed Bernie, and I concede that the guy is a radical. But Bernie seems to have been better off along all of the areas where Clinton failed the hardest.

The DNC wanted an Establishment leftist over a populist leftist. It’s possible that they could’ve won two of the three branches of federal government (President and, subsequently, Supreme Court) with someone they dislike in the Oval Office, but now they have zero of three branches and someone they hate as President. Worse yet: he’s likely to prosecute them and their friends, and he’s likely to deport a million or more potential fraudulent Democratic voters.

On some level, they probably even understand that this will cause American culture to become less liberal as well. Trump’s policies will decrease the number of Hispanic, Arabic, and African second generation immigrants to be born in America, most of whom would have voted Democrat. Trump doing well as President and accomplishing his goals may shift the Overton Window to the right. And by winning the Rust Belt, Trump has flipped one of the last groups of White people who still voted Democrat, and I think that they’re going to continue supporting the new Conservatism if Trump gets them their jobs back.

This is a catastrophic failure for the Left, and they had it coming; things would’ve gone better for them if they weren’t such a cancerous presence in American politics and culture. Expect them to continue shooting their own feet.


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The Chopping Block

Trump’s presidency is, among other things, a test of predictive power. If you believe that Trump is going to do x, and he does y, then your understanding of the situation was flawed. Remember that. The more and larger flaws you see in your worldview, the worse you will be at making decisions (like voting).

I’m going to throw a few things out there and see if I’m right:

#1: Obama will spend a significant percentage of his remaining time in office taking actions that he believes will protect his allies and policies from the traditional fate of those who cross Trump: “you’re fired.”

#2: If Trump does anything dumb, it will be his advanced age or his sleeping habits that caused it. Not his ideology. This one is shakier because causality is tough to parse out, and also because I don’t expect him to do very many dumb things.

#3: The FBI will charge Hillary Clinton with a crime between January 20 and February 20 of 2017. Don’t expect to hear a peep out of them until Trump is in office- as per #1, Obama would just pardon her, and the FBI are smart enough to know that.

#4: Trump will stop funding and support of the “moderate rebels” (read: terrorists) trying to overthrow Syria. This will prevent a very uncomfortable and unnecessary conflict with Russia.

#5: To make his administration more effective and, in the eyes of normies, credible, Trump will pick moderates, comparatively trustworthy insiders, and guys without iconoclastic personalities for all kinds of positions. I bet that the more honest members of “the establishment” will be crucial to Trump’s administration; contrast that with the idea of bringing in an entire new upper crust. It’s going to be a sort of Hegelian dialectical between Trump and the Establishment, and I predict that the Synthesis will be an effective team.

#6: George Soros and his cronies will act in an extremely counter-productive manner to their own cause. After he failed to prevent Bush’s re-election in 2004, he slinked off and donated a few million bucks to the ACLU, but now he has an actual army of white ants willing and ready to burn down whatever city he tells them to. If he makes a miscalculation and ends up looking like a nuisance, it would severely discredit leftists. And I believe that he or his followers will do exactly that.

#7: Related to point #6, I believe that true, full-blown racial politics have finally made landfall in America. Until the last few years, Democrats could always expect some support from college educated Whites, White women, young Whites, and lower class Whites, and so forth, but in this election, Trump swept the board with Whites, winning Whites of both genders, all ages, and all education statuses, with the only White demographic to vote Hillary being specifically White women who had a college degree. Democrats also lost with ethnic Cubans; this is relevant because, compared to more left-leaning Hispanics like Mexicans, Cubans are more likely to identify as White, are more likely to own a house, are more likely to attend college, learn faster in grade school, have a greater proportion of White DNA than most Hispanics, and, in the case of Cuban Americans in particular, are Whiter still. Cubans are demi-Whites in virtually every regard.

All of this leads me to believe that you could build a statistical correlation between percentage of White ancestry and propensity towards voting Republican; at a minimum, this standard would work for Whites (~100%), Cubans (70+%), other Hispanics (~50%), and Blacks (~20%). Better yet, you could build a correlation between autosomal genetic distance from Whites and likelihood of voting Democrat, accounting for tertiary variables like personality differences between races, income, educational attainment, and population density. This is a fancy way of saying that I predict that the more genetically similar you are to White people, the more likely you are to vote Republican (but that there are other factors involved as well).

Prediction #7 is, more specifically, that these effects are going to get even clearer. The Democrats have abandoned poor Whites, young Whites, White women and so forth in order to pursue their racial form of Marxism, finalizing the movement towards Democrats being “the anti-White party.” If they were smart, they’d extend the olive branch and strive for unity and moderation with the goal of winning back these left-leaning White demographics. But I predict that they will eliminate their last vestiges of White support by, as always, doubling down when they are wrong. Specifically, they will riot, they will shame White women for voting Trump, and they will pressure the electoral college to subvert the Presidential election. These acts of hate and desperation, and their failure to admit that their electoral defeat was their own fault,  will drive the last remaining White voting blocs to the Republicans.

That’s all the prognostication I’m willing to do, for now. I encourage you to make your own predictions, and see how many come true.


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Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote by a razor thin margin of one million votes, a tiny fraction of the number of dead people and non-US citizens registered to vote. In fact, the number of illegals who vote in Presidential elections may be up to 2.8 million, and during this particular election it was likely 3 million.

What I’m saying is, I doubt we’ll ever know which candidate really got the plurality of all legitimate votes, or in layman speak “won the popular vote.” Particularly since voting is anonymous.

But that won’t stop people from claiming that it was Clinton who won the popular vote, and calling me a conspiracy theorist for pointing out the fact that we don’t know that and probably never will.


For more unorthodox discussion on philosophy, politics, economics, biology, anthropology, human behavior, technology, and general tomfoolery from an unapologetic White American perspective, check out our YouTube channel, and if you want to know what we’re like when we’re cranky, check out our Twitter feed.

Snakes, and other slithering beasts

I have these snakes where I live, quite a few species, but the dangerous ones where I live are the ones with rattles. Specifically, Crotalus oreganus, but that’s not important.

They bite things. That’s what they do. Like all pit vipers, their skulls are specifically designed to inject venom into other animals. One of them bit my dog once. Others have tried to bite me. This typically ends with a decapitated rattlesnake and another tail in my collection.

I’m confident that there are people who would blame me for all of that. The vipers are in their natural habitat, or maybe they wouldn’t bite if we didn’t agitate them. But we are here, and the conflict will continue no matter what people kvetch about on the sidelines. Even if I simply avoided them, my dog is less safe because they’re around.

There are certain groups of people who, like these snakes, seem to have a natural inclination towards messing up other peoples’ days. We can blather on about this being a self defense mechanism if we wish (more accurate for the snakes than the people, but it really doesn’t matter). We can blame the victims for having colonized or enslaved them in the past, or try to pretend that if we didn’t arrest them so much, they wouldn’t commit so much crime.

But I think it’s more productive to point out that the people who make excuses for Africans and Muslims are often the same people who don’t want me to protect my family from literal pit vipers.

Cladistics of Human Peoples

To define different human races, people typically use genetic distances and the variation in phenotype between groups.

However, cladistics have become popular among evolutionary biologists and for good reason. For the uninitiated, cladistics are quite simple; groups are related insofar as they have a common ancestor, to the degree of how recent that ancestor lived. I’ll quote myself from the comments section of a Pumpkin Person post on the Big Three racial groups:

To define human races you could use cladistics, genetics, or phenotype.

From a standpoint of cladistics, Australoids, Bushmen, Caucasoids, and Mongoloids are all monophyletic groups with a set of common ancestors that are exclusive to their own kind. The same is probably true for pygmies and Hadza. The remaining African Negroids are a catch-all for everybody else: they have no common ancestors shared with one another that are not shared with Europeans, Asians etc. The only reasons that Congoid African groups resemble one another more than they resemble Europeans or Asians is that they had similar selective pressures and that they interbred.

I’m leaving admixture out of this. Australian Aboriginals for example are share some genes with Europeans, but the Aboriginal racial group has a founding population separate from Europeans. Just because two streams are reunited, doesn’t mean they didn’t split.

Next I compare the cladistic model of categorizing human races with the genetic distance model:

From a standpoint of genetics (most of which may be neutral genome as you suggest) the biggest autosomal genetic distances are between Africans and non-Africans, Caucasians and Asians, and between various African groups (http://www.pnas.org/content/108/13/5154/T1.expansion.html) such that pygmies, Hadza, Bushmen etc are roughly as genetically distinct from one another and from Congoids as Europeans are from Asians. So that lines up with the cladistics. These data would be clearer if someone cross referenced them with admixture analyses: the genetic difference between San and Bantu peoples for example would be even larger if you accounted for the fact that there has been admixture. That said, homozygosity can inflate these distances.

The reason that these two line up is that genetic distances are used to determine, say, whether and when the Bushmen split from other Africans. They’re two different models of the same reality, and sometimes the same data.

This makes it all sound useless: just look at the genetic data, you may insist.

But it adds perspective. Genetics tell us that the Micronesians and Africans are very different, but judging by phenotype you would consider them similar. Cladistic models built with genetic data tell us that Micronesians share a set of ancestors with all non-Africans that they do not share with Africans; they may look similar and act similar, but they’re on a different branch of the family tree.

The question ultimately comes down to whether you’re more concerned with phenotypes or with evolutionary relationships.

Yes, Polls Underestimate Trump

I’ve heard some claims from fellow Trump supporters that our guy’s support is underrated by the polls. This is a likely possibility and not even necessarily the result of bias, because all polls sample the people who the pollsters believe are most likely to vote; if a candidate comes in and pulls new voters with them, they’ll be underrated. I cross referenced Trump’s support in the Republican primaries this year with the polls to see whether they really did underestimate his support.

Scroll down to the first sentence with big letters if you don’t care to read about my methods.

To look into it I did a statistical meta-analysis of RealClearPolitics Republican Presidential primary polls at the state by state level for the 2016 Republican primaries. My null hypothesis was that the polls were equal to or greater than the actual Trump support, and my alternative hypothesis was that Trump support was significantly greater than the polling averages predicted.

The analysis covered 94 polls in 25 states. The rest either had no data, small sample sizes, were outliers, or were months old at the time of the primary election in their respective state. Caucus states were categorically excluded.

I found that the polls underestimate Trump support by 3.2% on average.

Mind you, this is even when they do everything right; recent polls with large sample sizes, averaged with other such polls, should give a pretty accurate result. But they generally fall below the mark.

The only important caveat is that my p value was 0.26. This means that there is, in theory, a 26% chance that the effect I observed is actually due to chance and not a reflection of flawed polling methods.

In practice, I’m willing to bet that the odds of this being a coincidence are less than that. Importantly, my standard deviation for predicted Trump support was massively, artificially inflated by the fact that I went state by state instead of looking at national polls, since primaries are done on a state by state basis. The fact that different states have different opinions about The Donald means that my standard deviation was higher than it would be for Trump support in general, and that means that my p value will also be higher.

Furthermore, there are other instances of this sort of thing happening. A similar effect was observed in Great Britain earlier this summer, with Brexit pulling ahead despite the polls placing them behind. Notably, Farage attributed this effect to a failure to sample new voters. If that effect explained Trump’s support being slightly greater than anticipated, then we would expect an uptick in voter turnout as these new voters rush in to make their mark. Trump got the most votes of any candidate in a Republican primary election in history, and by a wide margin at 30% more than the runner up.

A similar profile characterized Obama’s run in 2008: he was an “outsider” candidate (according to his marketing, anyway), it was assumed that he couldn’t win, but a bunch of people came out of the woodwork and he won with more votes than anyone before him.

Ryan Faulk found that Trump overperformed the primary polls by 3.3% when he did a similar analysis. He also discusses the possibility that the pollsters aren’t reaching Trump supporters proportionally.

The other explanation for this phenomenon is the Shy Trump hypothesis, for which the Morning Consult found some evidence; according to their findings, college educated Republicans are much more likely to admit to supporting Trump over the internet than over the phone.

Regardless of why it happens, however, the takeaway is that there is at least a 74% chance that Trump will do better in the general election than predicted. That chance is higher when you consider my mutant standard deviation.

For my next trick, I’ll see whether polls affiliated with or done by organizations implicated in the DNC leaks peg Clinton support significantly higher than other polls do. Stay tuned.


Genetics Influences Culture vs. Science Is Wrong Because Racism

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=582ZE6cEtWw


Let’s leave race out of it for now. Just don’t think about it. Ignore it.

Let’s take a series of observations. If they are correct & accurate, and are empirical and we can independently verify them, we can call them facts. Data.

We’ll call that evidence. If they’re wrong, they’re not facts anymore, so we’ll try to ensure they’re correct.  For some things that are fuzzier, harder to pin down, or are observations and subject to different interpretations, we’ll call them “observations”, opinions, anecdotal evidence, etc. This won’t mean they aren’t valid; we’ll just need to treat them differently. We can use both of these, but need to be sure we’re applying them properly.

From our general observations, and data collected already we can make a hypothesis.

Then we’ll collect more data, confirm the data where we can. Find established facts where we can.

Then, if we find the data supports our hypothesis, we may come up with additional hypotheses.

We repeat the process: collect more data, see if it does or doesn’t support our hypotheses.

If we do enough of this, and get a set of hypotheses that have supporting data, we can then come to one or more conclusions based on our hypotheses, and have ourselves a theory.  “noun –

A system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.”

In cases where the above is more rigorous than we can easily accomplish, we can make a series of assertions based on our observations, get agreement on the truth or falsity of those observations. Then using logic, we can derive a conclusion, and we have, as a result, an argument in support of a position we hold. This is what we find in the realm of philosophy and debate generally. Opinions unsupported by facts, or statements where their truth-value is undefined, are not an argument.  (Mollymeme)

“A discussion in which reasons are put forward in support of and againsta proposition, proposal, or case; debate. (Sometimes pl) a point or series of reasons presented to support or oppose a proposition”

OK, here’s a proposition: Culture has a genetic component. I’m going to make an argument for it.

Let’s start rather far away from this broad and maybe difficult to swallow argument, and look at discrete components.

I intend to defend some of the component positions in my argument with facts, data, hypotheses and theory, other aspects are going to be more broad and wide assertions that I’ll use the logic to back up.

Is a culture an emergent property of the actions of many many individuals, working more (or less) in concert? This is one of those broad statements. I ask you just to think about it. Do you accept this definition of “culture”?

“The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively

We may agree (hopefully) that there are several ways an individual might contribute to the overall culture.

So, let’s look at individuals.

  1. Intelligence is heritable. Whether the heritability is .5, .8, it’s heritable. Use common sense if you like. (Demonstrate this from adoption studies, twin studies, and obvious other conclusions.)
  2. Genes influence behaviors (not just intelligence). (Behavior is heritable) Don’t think so? Think it’s all nurture? Really? Behavioral Genetics has its own Wikipedia page… and look. Nature has a beginner article. Nature is pretty much the top tier science journal out there. Can’t say it’s fringe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_behaviour_genetics

http://web.stanford.edu/~wine/202/g-and-b.html Older, but explains a bit.

Here’s a really good one: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/07/21/genetic-influence-on-behavior/7237.html

“Researchers at Brown University and the University of Arizona have determined that variations of three different genes in the brain (called single-nucleotide polymorphisms) may help predict a person’s tendency to make certain choices.”

And from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012675

“The results suggest that the pattern of results emerging in psychiatric genetics is generally consistent with the findings of behavioral genetics in simpler organisms.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012675

  1. Environment can only do so much, (affects the outcomes of 1 and 2). The converse of “well of course your genes have an effect, but environment is important, is that since genes are important, environment has a finite effect. This again is common sense but also has science supporting it. We can find frequent discussion of this in the literature. There is a LOT of back and forth on how much, and the role of nature vs nurture. I hope you see the point that genes always have some influence.
  2. Therefore, (socioeconomic) life outcomes of individuals and their subsequent behaviors have a genetic component (from 1, 2, and 3). Of course environment plays a role. But if you agree to the validity of the previous points, we agree that there is a genetic influence.
  3. Groups of individuals living together create group outcomes. Intentionally or not! Often there are intentional outcomes. Clearly. Group outcomes contribute to the passing on of behaviors, learned techniques, handed down rules, common activities, and stability (or not), etc. Socioeconomic groups have (or definitely can have) different cultures. (This is what the counter-argument actually is! That it’s a “social construct” or that you can transplant people into our culture and they just enculturate and contribute.)
  4. 1 and 2 vary between population groups, not just within them. This affects 4. We won’t spend the time here to go through the entire debate and re-hash the facts regarding population differences in behavior and intelligence. It’s real, it’s there, have some links.



I realize that detractors attack these scientists as racists and claim that their work is biased. Even if it were true, that doesn’t make them wrong. There are so many studies and so much evidence, that the quality work overshadows the few studies that weren’t great. And, we don’t find quality work that is replicable and that invalidates the results of all this work. There are good “refutations of the refutations” here:


  1. From the above, (1-4 affecting 5, and then considering 6) we conclude that population genetics influences behaviors and that the behaviors will vary between groups. And that the behaviors contribute to culture, as discussed in #5. Likewise, intelligence varies between groups and intelligence is an influence on culture and socioeconomic success of the group.

Therefore, to some extent, genes influence culture. QED.

Notice I did not say anything about “race” here until point 6. The above could apply with a random mix of people of all sorts of ancestry, various combinations, or an ethnically homogeneous population, etc. The above argument I believe valid independent of bringing race into it. You may say, “Well, obviously, that’s what you’re getting at! That was always your next move! You racist!”

Frankly: so what? That ad hominem attack doesn’t make the argument wrong. Even if the person making that argument is racist, that doesn’t invalidate the argument or change the facts, data, logic, or anything else.

The uncomfortable truth comes in when we align “populations” with the concept of geographic ancestry and DNA. When we bring “race” in as a population differentiator. (RACIST!)

So again, let’s leave the word race out then… yet again, if you have to.

Genes vary between population groups. The effects of these genes vary within and between populations. Genes affect behavior. Group behaviors are a defining component of culture. Population genetics affects culture.

Even if you scream “there’s no such thing as RACE!” that’s irrelevant to this argument, as majority ethnic groups in cultures share genetic makeups and those genes present across those groups in the combinations present have emergent properties in phenotypes OBVIOUSLY. This chant was started by very few people, some of whom have retracted their original statements, and picked up by non-scientists and hammered into us ad nauseam, ignoring the facts. Here’s a good explanation of what I believe is the truth of the matter: http://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/04/15/human-race-are-real-race-is-a-valid-scientific-category/

Hopefully somewhere in your mind you recognize, even if you still don’t want to, that behavior is part of those emergent properties of our genes. Do I assert that our behaviors derive entirely from that? No, I didn’t say that. Can a dominant cultural pattern influence or override undesirable behaviors? Can one culture dominate another? Have we seen that historically? What seems to happen? What about when cultures mix? How do they change when ethnicities mix? What does History show us?

Population Genetics Influences Culture. I think I’ve shown this as a solid argument, and perhaps even a theory. How much influence exists remains to be seen. I ask that you keep in the back of your mind the conclusion that there IS a genetic influence when someone blames “Culture” for undesirable behavior. (“It’s dey culcha”)

P.S. Consider that groups might be more susceptible to the influence of biology (genes) in cases where a learned cultural behavior isn’t “overlaid” and replaces whatever default or “gene influenced” cultural behavior might be. Think it doesn’t matter. Consider something innocuous like handedness. There’s a predisposition (genetic) for right-handedness. Some people with a biological (genetic) left-handed preference were taught to use their right hand. The culture has this small, seemingly unimportant behavior of being “right handed” and that contributes to “reads left to right”, etc. Harmless seemingly irrelevant, etc. But consider that some cultures write in other directions (up down or right left) I don’t know offhand but I wonder about the rate of left-handedness in those or whether they are or aren’t pushed to use their right hands. Anyway, we can see that clearly a biological (genetic) definite behavior is overridden by cultural preferences.