Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Another lame attempt to wriggle out of the Race/IQ correlation

It's not much of a guess to say that stupid people are not very good at looking after their health and -- though lack of precautions -- may get a lot more disease than smarter people. And when you have got a whole nation of dumb people, the chances of them having good public health measures -- such as providing reticulated sewerage and clean drinking water -- must also be rated as low. So a finding that stupid people get a lot more illness is not remotely surprising.

And that is what the authors of Parasite prevalence and the worldwide distribution of cognitive ability by Eppig, Fincher and Thornhill found. Rather bizarrely, however, they reverse the causal link. They say that poor health causes low IQ! They do end up admitting that they have no proof for their "reversed" chain of causation so their work proves nothing but it is nonetheless amusing to note a few things about their study.

The whole point of the paper is of course to show that Africans have low average IQs not from genetic inheritance but because they are worm infested. And there is no doubt that Africans in Africa do carry a heavy burden of worm infestation -- mainly due to the great lack of public health measures there.

Where it gets amusing is that Eppig et al. did their study in various regions of the world and in 5 out of 6 regions, the correlation held. The exception was South America. The correlation collapsed completely there. Why? Because the South American region included several Caribbean nations almost wholly inhabited by Africans! So why were the results there different from the rest of South America? Could it be a racial difference?

Oh no! Eppig et al say: "It is possible that local parasites ... are causing these outliers". In other words, they abandon the obvious in favour of a totally vague and unfounded speculation!

Two other reasons why the perverse theory of Eppig et al is wrong: They pinpoint nutritional deficit as the mechanism by which parasite load inhibits brain development. But if poor nutition lowers IQ, how do we explain the famous Dutch famine study? In the closing phases of WWII, Nederland experienced a severe famine. So all the Dutch kids born during the famine should be real dummies, right? The reverse happened. They were of higher average IQ than other Dutch cohorts. Only the very healthy survived and, as we have seen, good health and high IQ correlate.

And a second very obvious disproof of the perverse Eppig et al. theory is that black Americans have very similar health environments to white Americans but are still a whole standard deviation lower in average IQ. The Eppig et al theory is, in other words, arrant and transparent nonsense


President Reagan, Our British Friends, and the 4th of July

In 2001, Kiron Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson edited a superb book that all friends of freedom, and of President Ronald Reagan, should read. Titled Reagan in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America, it published a selection of Reagan’s daily radio broadcasts between 1975 and 1979.

Reagan composed and wrote these broadcasts himself, and the book reproduces them just as he wrote them. They provide indisputable proof that Reagan gave lengthy, serious thought to the major issues of the day, that he had a clear and consistent vision for America and the world, and that he was a wide reader and a hard worker. Anyone who doubts this should try writing over a thousand radio scripts – and much else – in four years.

All of Reagan’s scripts are worth reading. But this 4th of July, one is particularly appropriate. In a broadcast on September 21, 1976, “The Hope of Mankind,” Reagan returned to one of his favorite themes. As the editors put it, “Reagan believed . . . that America is unique among nations – ‘the hope of mankind.’ He felt we had a duty to protect what we had inherited. . . . In these essays, . . . the guiding star is always individual liberty, how lucky we are to have it, and how to preserve and protect it.”

To that end, Reagan quoted Ferdinand Mount. Mount later ran the Policy Unit in Number 10 Downing Street for Margaret Thatcher in 1982-83, and wrote the tremendously successful Conservative manifesto for the 1983 general election, when Lady Thatcher won her most smashing victory. On July 5, 1976, Mount wrote a memorable column for the Daily Mail. Here, as quoted by Reagan, is what Mount thought it important to say, that day after the 200th 4th of July:
What the world needs now is more Americans. The U.S. is the first nation on earth deliberately dedicated to letting people choose what they want and giving them a chance to get it. For all its terrible faults, in one sense America is still the last, best hope of mankind, because it spells out so vividly the kind of happiness which most people actually want, regardless of what they are told they ought to want. We criticize, copy, patronize, idolize insult but we never doubt that the U.S. has a unique position in the history of human hopes. For it is the only nation founded solely on a moral dream. A part of our own future is tied up in it and the greatest of all the gifts the Americans have given us is hope.

Reagan closed with three sentences of his own: “Thank you Mr. Mount – we needed that. This is Ronald Reagan. Thanks for listening.” Thanks indeed – to Mount, to our friends around the world, and to President Reagan for recalling their faith, and the faith of the Founding Fathers that inspired us all.



The Founders’ Most Important Idea

Some opinions:

Jamie Radtke, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation:

In my opinion, one of their most significant achievements was the idea of a written constitution. Our U.S. Constitution was designed to serve as a limitation on federal powers, which is what makes it unique and powerful. It provides for a federal separation of power among three branches of government as was advocated by the French philosopher Montesquieu in his work, The Spirit of the Laws. Thus, unlike a parliamentary form of government, power is divided among an independent legislature, a chief executive and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the Bill of Rights guarantees the fundamental rights of the people and the states and further defines the boundaries of power of the federal government. This brilliantly composed document struck a remarkable balance of affirming our natural rights while establishing justice, safety, and a well-ordered society.

The Founders were sensitive to government’s proclivity to usurp the power of the people and therefore were very intentional in how they crafted these constitutions to safeguard our individual liberties. It is now our responsibility to preserve the original intent of the Constitution, restore federalism, and protect the unique treasure that was given to us by our Founding Fathers.

Matthew Mayer: President of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions:

Without a doubt, the single greatest idea of the Founders is the system of checks and balances established in the Constitution. From 1787 to 1913, this amazing system allowed America to rise from a largely agrarian country to one of the world’s powers on the eve of World War I. During those 126 years, the federal government really was largely constrained and the states played dominant roles in the lives of their citizens. All of that changed in 1913 when Americans unwisely passed the 17th Amendment that fundamentally changed the balance of power between the states and the federal government. With the direct election of U.S. Senators, states lost the only real check they had on the growth and usurpation of power by the federal government. That seemingly insignificant change made to reduce corruption at the height of the Progressive Movement, ironically has resulted in an unchecked federal government with almost limitless powers and the attendant corruption that comes with great power.

ObamaCare illustrates this reality perfectly as states are left to try to undo what their own senators voted for/rammed through despite the costs ObamaCare will pose on states. Now, states desperately cling to the pre-1937 interpretation of the Commerce Clause—it only took 20 years or so for the federal government to realize the power it gained in 1913—and senators ignore the wishes of their constituents—the states, not the people in the states—knowing that the diffusion of the cost is outweighed by the concentration of the benefit. If we want to get America back on course, we should repeal the 17th Amendment, thereby making state legislative races far more important than they are today.

Matthew J. Brouillette, President of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives:

America’s founding was shaped by the radical declaration that our right to private property was and is inherent and inalienable. This hostile idea, embodied in our Founding documents, challenged the historical practice of man’s rights being determined, limited, and granted by the state. This reorientation of the grantor of rights—from our Creator rather than those in authority—dramatically redefined who was sovereign while simultaneously placing chains on the powers of government. The state would now be the protector—rather than the arbiter—of man’s inherent and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the fruits of his labors.

Ginni Thomas, President of LibertyCentral.org:

While the Founders understood that men were not angels, they also recognized the inherent danger of powerful, centralized government. The simultaneous recognition of both of these principles is remarkable and formed the philosophical foundation for our system of limited Constitutional government. This foundation provided for the greatest degree of individual liberty within a robust independent civil society that could form, naturally, a just and successful society.

Thomas J. Gaitens, Florida Tea Party Leader:

The phrase “Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” has to be the most significant idea, revolutionary idea. This simple yet profound idea is the seed by which LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS spring. Furthermore, it is this principle that brings us the irreplaceable conclusion that “Governments are instituted among men …” This concept of unalienable rights, known as the rights of man is the building block of Liberty. Our Hale rallying cry, of “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” embodies this and has been our chief export for 233 years. Failure to understand this byproduct of our Founding is failure to understand American Exceptionalism.




The 4th of July: "The 4th of July is a dedicated day of remembrance. A day not only to remember the sacrifices our forefathers endured to free us from the yoke of tyranny, but also for us to recall how significant our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were for all of humanity. These documents, even with all the flaws of human nature self evident, were the strongest declaration of individual freedom ever created. Because of the freedom these documents provided, America became the wealthiest nation in the world.”

Celebrate race relations? "On my first Fox News Special, What’s Great About America, which airs this weekend, I argue that one of the things we should celebrate about America is American race relations. Yes, America has a history of slavery, then Jim Crow, then segregation and today, there’s still some racial hatred. But for a country that one generation ago had a presidential candidate (George Wallace) declaring ’segregation forever,’ race relations in this country are remarkably good. According to one poll, 81% of Americans have a ‘fairly close personal friend’ of another race. This kind of tolerance is rare in the world.”

Why is the Gulf cleanup so slow?: "As the oil spill continues and the cleanup lags, we must begin to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions. There does not seem to be much that anyone can do to stop the spill except dig a relief well, not due until August. But the cleanup is a different story. The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies.”

If the US won’t drill oil offshore, other nations will: "If the United States commits to bypassing offshore drilling at depths greater than 500 feet, we will be cutting off our collective noses to spite our collective face. Spain, China, Venezuela and other nations will continue to exploit potential reserves of fossil fuels, wherever they may be found. As a result, more of the world’s supply of crude oil and natural gas will fall into the hands of unfriendly nations.”

Crude oil falls as US payrolls slip, factor orders decrease: "Crude oil dropped for a fifth day after a U.S. government report showed that employment slipped in June for the first time this year and factory orders declined more than forecast. … Crude oil for August delivery fell 81 cents to $72.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since June 8. Prices slipped 8.5 percent in five days, the biggest weekly drop since the week ended May 7.”

US economy stuck in misery: "The middle class is dead. The US has produced a self-sustaining two-class society. Most Lower Class Americans are in bad or uncertain economic shape but the rich and powerful Upper Class crowd keeps making and spending money as if there has been no recession. Talk about a possible double-dip recession misses the larger reality: For many millions of Americans the first recession is still here; there has been no recovery for them.”

CA: Court okays Governator’s cuts to state employees’ pay: "The governor has the authority to lower most state workers’ pay to the federal minimum wage if a state budget isn’t in place, a state appeals court ruled Friday, the second day of California’s 2010-11 fiscal year. The ruling came one day after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the state controller to cut pay for about 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The court case began in 2008, when Schwarzenegger made a similar order. Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, defied the demand and was sued by the Republican governor, but a budget was approved before the case was resolved.”

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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