Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How half of your intelligence comes from your parents

Academics have known this for over 100 years on the basis of twin studies. But it's good to see it confirmed by DNA studies and mentioned in the mainstream press. Twin studies indicate around two thirds rather than a half is genetic but why quibble?

If you struggle with sums or can’t finish a crossword, who should you curse – your teachers or your parents? Well according to the latest evidence, you really should blame both. Researchers have found that up to half of our intelligence (or lack of it) is inherited.

They examined the blood of more than 3,500 people from England and Scotland for half a million genetic markers – tiny changes in their DNA.

Analysis of these results and those of intelligence tests completed by the study’s participants revealed that 40 per cent of the differences in ‘crystallised-type intelligence’, the ability to acquire knowledge and skills over the years, were in the genes.

So-called fluid-type intelligence, the ability to reason and think abstractly under pressure, was governed by genetics to an even greater extent. Some 51 per cent of a person’s ability to ‘think outside the box’ is down to DNA, the journal Molecular Psychiatry reports.

The research, made possible by a new type of genetic analysis pioneered by Peter Visscher of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia, points to numerous genes being involved.

Lead researcher Professor Ian Deary, of the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘Individual differences in intelligence are strongly associated with many important life outcomes, including educational and occupational attainments, income, health and lifespan.’

However, he added that the study’s results ‘unequivocally confirm that a substantial proportion of individual differences in human intelligence is due to genetic variation’. He hopes to unlock the secrets of those whose brains age well, with a view to helping others stay sharp as they get older.

‘If we can find specific genetic contributions to people’s experience of cognitive ageing, this can suggest the mechanisms by which people differ,’ he said. ‘We are studying genetics to find out how things work.’

Professor Deary added that those dealt a poor hereditary hand should not act as if their fate is sealed, as it is possible for people to overcome their intellectual inheritance.

The research may explain why humans have advanced so much further than chimpanzees, despite their genetic similarity. Simon Underdown, an anthropologist from Oxford Brookes University, said: ‘The devil is clearly in the detail. It is not necessarily that we share the same genes – it is how they interact with other genes that controls intelligence.

‘Human intelligence is a stunning product of our evolution and this brilliantly demonstrates that the genetic basis for our intelligence is not the result of a simple mutation in a single gene. ‘It moves away from the old-fashioned idea that there may be a gene or a couple of genes for intelligence. It looks as if there are lots and lots of genes across the chromosomes.’

SOURCE. Academic journal article here

That last paragraph is if anything a bit understated. I have been pointing out for years that high IQ seems usually to be the outcome of general biological good functioning. "To him that hath, more will be given him", as a very wise man once said


The "Obama Law" Devastates Impoverished People in the World's Second Poorest Country, The Congo

People are going hungry, pulling their children out of school due to poverty, and joining criminal gangs to make ends meet in the poorest region of the Congo, the world’s second-poorest country.

Residents of this African nation attribute this economic devastation to what they call “the Obama Law” — provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law backed by Obama that have created a virtual embargo on minerals produced in the Congo’s desperately-poor mining towns. As David Aronson notes in The New York Times:
The “Loi Obama” or Obama Law — as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act of 2010 has become known in the region — includes an obscure provision that requires public companies to indicate what measures they are taking to ensure that minerals in their supply chain don’t benefit warlords in conflict-ravaged Congo. . . the Dodd-Frank law has had unintended and devastating consequences, as I saw firsthand on a trip to eastern Congo this summer. The law has brought about a de facto embargo on the minerals mined in the region, including tin, tungsten and the tantalum that is essential for making cellphones.

The smelting companies that used to buy from eastern Congo have stopped. No one wants to be tarred with financing African warlords — especially the glamorous high-tech firms like Apple and Intel that are often the ultimate buyers of these minerals. It’s easier to sidestep Congo than to sort out the complexities of Congolese politics — especially when minerals are readily available from other, safer countries.

For locals, however, the law has been a catastrophe. In South Kivu Province, I heard from scores of artisanal miners and small-scale purchasers, who used to make a few dollars a day digging ore out of mountainsides with hand tools. Paltry as it may seem, this income was a lifeline for people in a region that was devastated by 32 years of misrule under the kleptocracy of Mobutu Sese Seko . . . and that is now just beginning to emerge from over a decade of brutal war and internal strife.

The pastor at one church told me that women were giving birth at home because they couldn’t afford the $20 or so for the maternity clinic. Children are dropping out of school because parents can’t pay the fees. Remote mining towns are virtually cut off from the outside world because the planes that once provisioned them no longer land. Most worrying, a crop disease periodically decimates the region’s staple, cassava. Villagers who relied on their mining income to buy food when harvests failed are beginning to go hungry.

Meanwhile, the law is benefiting some of the very people it was meant to single out. The chief beneficiary is Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, who is nicknamed The Terminator and is sought by the International Criminal Court. Ostensibly a member of the Congolese Army, he is in fact a freelance killer with his own ethnic Tutsi militia, which provides “security” to traders smuggling minerals across the border to neighboring Rwanda. . .

Most of the militias that wreaked havoc between 2003 and 2008 have since been incorporated into the Congolese Army. The two or three of any significance that remain get their money from kidnapping and extortion, not from controlling mining sites or transport routes. The law has not stopped their depredations. . .

Rarely do local miners, high-level traders, mining companies and civil society leaders agree on an issue. But in eastern Congo, they were unanimous in condemning Dodd-Frank.

Dodd-Frank’s conflict-minerals provisions will also damage U.S. industry to the tune of billions of dollars. It will impose massive compliance costs on automakers and others, as Washington Legal Foundation, Carter Wood, and the National Association of Manufacturers have noted. NAM notes that it will harm the automakers and their suppliers, and estimates that it “will cost U.S. industry between $9-16 billion to implement.”

Its economic harm to the Congo’s poor people was entirely predictable. It was predicted by observers like Laura Seay, a professor of political science at Morehouse College, who recently noted that “because it is almost impossible to verify whether minerals sourced from the [Congo] or its neighbors are truly conflict-free, electronics companies now have a strong incentive to source minerals elsewhere, leaving Congolese miners unemployed.” She pointed out “the near-impossibility of creating a reliable tracing scheme in a place where almost every public official can be bribed” and its inevitable consequence, “a de facto boycott on minerals from” countries like the Congo.

This is just one of countless economically-destructive provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank law, which is a 2315-page laundry-list of special interest giveways that contains little real reform, and instead contains a vast array of payoffs and favors for special interest groups like trial lawyers.

Civil rights commissioners and economists criticized it for containing racially discriminatory provisions. Dodd-Frank did nothing to reform the biggest bailout recipients, the government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even though Administration officials like Treasury Secretary Geithner later admitted they were at the “core” of “what went wrong” in the financial crisis. Major provisions of Dodd-Frank have been criticized for violating the constitutional separation of powers, equal protection, and property rights.



Newsweak tries to take down Michelle Bachman and even NOW is pissed

Her eyes don't look crazy to me -- she looks more like she's amused or amazed by the Leftist idiots, as well she might be --JR

The National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill called the cover 'sexist' and referred to a simple test by the group's founder Gloria Steinem to explain how they got to that conclusion - would the magazine do the same to a man.

'Who has ever called a man "The King of Rage?" Basically what Newsweek magazine - and this is important, what Newsweek magazine, not a blog, Newsweek magazine - what they are saying of a woman who is a serious contender for president of the United States of America…They are basically casting her as a nut job,' O'Neill said.

MailOnline revealed on Monday how conservative commentators believe there is a conspiracy among the liberal media to discredit the Tea Party-aligned congresswoman from Minnesota by making it look like she's nuts.

Fox News Channel contributor and conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote on Monday: 'Seriously, Tina Brown? Yes, I’m talking about you, Oxford University-educated Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown. 'You’ve resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures and their enraged “crazy eyes?” Really?'

Miss Malkin said the liberal media has a fetish for demonising conservative women and their looks which goes back years. She cited USA Today altering a photo in 2005 of then-GOP Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to demonise her eyes.

'Under the editorial control of Tina Brown, the rice paper magazine barely struggles against its bias towards conservative women to view them with anything other than contempt.'



Lying propaganda has turned a small GOP victory into a big defeat

In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?"

That seems to be the pained reaction of the Obama administration to the financial woes that led to the downgrading of America's credit rating, for the first time in history.

There are people who see no connection between what they have done and the consequences that follow. But Barack Obama is not likely to be one of them. He is a savvy politician who will undoubtedly be satisfied if enough voters fail to see a connection between what he has done and the consequences that followed.

To a remarkable extent, he has succeeded, with the help of his friends in the media and the Republicans' failure to articulate their case. Polls find more people blaming the Republicans for the financial crisis than are blaming the President.

Why was there a financial crisis in the first place? Because of runaway spending that sent the national debt up against the legal limit. But when all the big spending bills were being rushed through Congress, the Democrats had such an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress that nothing the Republicans could do made the slightest difference.

Yet polls show that many people today are blaming the Republicans for the country's financial problems. But, by the time Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, and thus became involved in negotiations over raising the national debt ceiling, the spending which caused that crisis in the first place had already been done -- and done by Democrats.

Had the Republicans gone along with President Obama's original request for a "clean" bill -- one simply raising the debt ceiling without any provisions about controlling federal spending -- would that have spared the country the embarrassment of having its government bonds downgraded by Standard & Poor's credit-rating agency?

To believe that would be to believe that it was the debt ceiling, rather than the runaway spending, that made Standard & Poor's think that we were no longer as good a credit risk for buyers of U.S. government bonds. In other words, to believe that is to believe that a Congressional blank check for continued record spending would have made Standard & Poor's think that we were a better credit risk.

If that is true, then why is Standard & Poor's still warning that it might have to downgrade America's credit rating yet again? Is that because of the national debt ceiling or because of the likelihood of continued runaway spending?

The national debt ceiling is just one of the many false assurances that the government gives the voting public. The national debt ceiling has never actually stopped the spending that causes the national debt to rise to the point where it is getting near that ceiling. The ceiling simply gets raised when that happens.

Just a week before the budget deal was made at the eleventh hour, it looked like the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives had scored a victory by getting the President and the Congressional Democrats to give up the idea of raising the tax rates -- and to cut spending instead. But now that the details are coming out, that "victory" looks very temporary, if not illusory.

The price of getting that deal has been having the Republicans agree to sitting on a special bipartisan Congressional committee that will either come to an agreement on spending cuts before Thanksgiving or have the budgets of both the Defense Department and Medicare cut drastically.

Since neither side can afford to be blamed for a disaster like that, this virtually guarantees that the Republicans will have to either go along with whatever new spending and taxing that the Democrats demand or risk losing the 2012 election by sharing the blame for another financial disaster.

In short, the Republicans have now been maneuvered into being held responsible for the spending orgy that Democrats alone had the votes to create. Republicans have been had -- and so has the country. The recent, short-lived budget deal turns out to be not even a Pyrrhic victory for the Republicans. It has the earmarks of a Pyrrhic defeat.



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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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