Monday, April 24, 2006


The study partially summarized below is of considerable interest in its own right but has broader implications as well. It does of course once more show that environmental effects on intelligence which were once thought important are not in fact important but, as well as that, it shows large holes in the research procedures of previous birth-order studies generally. The notorious Frank Sulloway is of course known for his frantic pursuit of the quite absurd claim that birth-order determines your politics. According to Sulloway, my younger brother should be a leftist -- because he is a younger brother. Like another younger brother among my relatives, however, my younger brother is "so far Right he is almost out of sight". But Sulloway did not take all the precautions in his research that have been shown as important below so it is no surprise on those grounds alone that he came to strange conclusions. ALL the existing birth-order research must now be considered to be of negligible worth

A recent study provides some of the best evidence to date that birth order really doesn't have an effect on intelligence. The findings contradict many studies over the years that had reported that older children are generally smarter than their younger siblings. This new study, based on a large, nationwide sample, suggests a critical flaw in that previous research, said Aaron Wichman, lead author of the new study and a teaching fellow in psychology at Ohio State University.

Most previous studies compared children from different families, so what they were finding were differences between large and small families, not differences between siblings, according to Wichman. "Third- and fourth-born children all come from larger families, and larger families have disadvantages that will impact children's intelligence," he said. "In reality, if you look at these larger families, the fourth-born child is just as intelligent as the first-born. But they all don't do as well as children from a smaller family.".....

But then the researchers analyzed the data using a variable that could take into account environmental differences between families. That variable was the mother's age at the birth of her first child. "Mother's age encapsulates many variables that could negatively effect the child-rearing environment. The younger a mother was at the birth of her first child, the lower we would expect intelligence scores to be within a family," Wichman said. That's because younger mothers would tend to have less education, more children, lower income, and other factors that would negatively affect the intelligence of their children. When the researchers controlled for mother's age at first birth, the effect of birth order on intelligence was nearly eliminated.

The results, though, are clear, Wichman said. "Birth order may appear to be associated with intelligence, but that's only because larger families don't have the advantages of smaller families," he said. "When examined within families, there is no evidence of any significant association between birth order and intelligence. It's not your birth order that is important - family environment and genetic influences are the really important factors."



Blacks protest against illegals: "Some African American groups plan to join members of the Minuteman Project tomorrow to protest illegal immigration, which organizer Ted Hayes called the "biggest threat to blacks in America since slavery." The protest is to start at 1 p.m. today in Leimert Park and is organized by Hayes' Crispus Attucks Brigade and the American Black Citizens Opposed to Illegal Immigration Invasion. Hayes, a homeless activist, said most homeless people in Los Angeles are black and that illegal immigration compounds the problem because African Americans refuse to work for the "slave wages" that many illegal immigrants accept."

Bizarre! Australia welcomes Al Qa'ida fellow-travellers: "Australia has granted asylum to five men who claim their membership of an organisation accused of ties to al-Qa'ida would expose them to persecution in their home countries. The men from Syria, Egypt and India sought protection on the basis of their membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned in Syria and is considered the father of terrorist groups including al-Qa'ida. Osama bin Laden's right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri adopted the organisation. And earlier this month, The Weekend Australian revealed that one of the five asylum-seekers, Ahmad al-Hamwi, who arrived in Australia 10 years ago, was a senior al-Qa'ida bagman linked to 1993 World Trade Centre bomber Ramzi Yousef. US terror expert Steven Emerson said the practice of allowing Muslim Brotherhood members into Australia was "extremely dangerous"."

YMCA booted out by HAMAS: "The leadership of a West Bank Palestinian city now controlled by Hamas has warned a local Young Men's Christian Association to close its offices and leave town or face likely Muslim violence, WorldNetDaily has learned. The move highlighted long-standing fears Hamas would use its win in last January's Palestinian parliamentary elections to impose an anti-Christian, anti-Jewish hard-line Islamist regime in the West Bank and Gaza. "The face of the new Hamas government is coming to the forefront now that they finally took over and have a lot more confidence. They want to create a territory free of Christians and Jews," said a Christian leader associated with the YMCA in Qalqiliya, a West Bank town under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority."

Fox news increases the GOP vote: "Using a data set of voting data for 9,256 towns, we investigate if Republicans gained vote share in towns where Fox News entered the cable market by the year 2000. We find a significant effect of the introduction of Fox News on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000. Republicans gain 0.4 to 0.7 percentage points in the towns which broadcast Fox News. The results are robust to town-level controls, district and county fixed effects, and alternative specifications. We also find a significant effect of Fox News on Senate vote share and on voter turnout. Our estimates imply that Fox News convinced 3 to 8 percent of its viewers to vote Republican".

Conservative Australian Anglicans thrive: "Moore Theological College, which trains clergy for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, is expanding so quickly it will soon outgrow its Newtown premises. The college's director of property planning, Doug Marr, said the rapid growth in trainee minister numbers had forced a search for new premises. The preferred option is the Lindfield campus of the University of Technology, Sydney. There have been discussions about the college buying it, although it would need to sell its premises on Carillon Avenue. "We've had huge growth in the last 20 years," Mr Marr said. "The number of ministers in training has grown enormously . . . we're running out of space." The number of full-time, undergraduate students this year is 314. That has grown from 303 last year, 287 in 2004 and 235 in 2001. Strong demand for training at the college comes as other denominations find it difficult to attract people to vocations. The state's biggest Catholic seminary, The Seminary of the Good Shepherd, at Homebush, has 42 seminarians"

"Carnival of the Vanities" has been having troubles without Sid's steadying hand on it but the latest edition is just up here



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.


No comments: