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May 19, 2003

Odds & Ends

I've been a bit remiss in blogging recently. A variety of reasons account for this-but in sum, I've just been busy.... Thanks to David B & Jason S for filling in with some meaty pieces.

I am reading three books that might be of interest to GNXP readers. First, Journey of Man by Spencer Wells. I've read part of it already and he seems to be elaborating on the idea of a north-south split in the Out-of-Africa thesis. Then, Nature via Nurture by Matt Ridley and finally Redesigning Humans by Gregory Stock. These three books are nice together, Wells' book is more esoteric, and something that might interest those with an antiquarian streak, while Ridley speaks of the now and Stock will address the then [1].

Yesterday I read a book titled Life in the Near East. A nugget that I found interesting, it seems quite clear that much of Egyptian civilization was stimulated by cultural diffusion from Mesopatamia. Of course the speed at which Egyptians transformed themselves from hunter-gatherers to builders of pyramids is indicative of this, but there is some very specific information that points to exchange of ideas. The Early Dynastic Period saw the construction of buildings with notches-though this practice eventually disappears. In Mesopatamia notches were important to strengthen the brick buildings while Egypt with plenty of limestone did not need this. The presence of notches indicates a borrowing from the original Mesopatamiam source. I don't mean to imply that ancient Egyptians didn't produce anything of value or that they couldn't have been capable of such innovations themselves-but it seems to me that historians have swung too far away from diffusion, partially in the fear that they are devaluing the indigenous culture. Culture spread the other way too-the Indus Valley civilization, though indigenous, had clear connections to Mesopatamia. In fact there is now some evidence for an Elamo-Dravidian language family, Elam being the ancient nation that bordered Sumeria in modern day Khuzistan in southwestern Iran [2]. Along with Brahui in Baluchistan this argues for the presence of Dravidian far to the west of South Asia. Additionally archeologists have always been a bit surprised at the abrupt rise of iron wielding higher civilization in southern India. Though the fleeing of the dausas before Aryan hordes seems a bit melodramatic, the evidence is pointing toward migrations and diffusions of technique & trade in a way in vogue earlier in the century, though at that time they were connected with race theory [3].

This gets to me another point in the ideas around ethno-genesis and culture formation. Dr. Snell (the author of the aforementioned book) indicates quite clearly that the ideas of "ethnicity" and "race" were fuzzy at best in the ancient Near East-that differentiation between Sumerians, who spoke an agglutinative language unrelated to any other, and Akkadians, who spoke a Semitic language, seems to have been difficult to ascertain as an individual could pick up names of the other group through adoption. Very early on in the King's List of the Sumerians there are men with clear Semitic names as rulers. There seems little mention of the ethnic tension and modern ideas of racial or ethnic consciousness are clearly out of place. It also begs the question as to why the Sumerians faded from history while the Semitic peoples did not. On a speculative note I might wonder if an accident of location might have contributed to this. While the Semitic peoples center of gravity was to the western edge of the core of agricultural innovation and the proto-Dravidian peoples to the east, the Sumerians were located in the center. While the Semitic peoples bordered "savage" tribes who they could assimilate or out-reproduce because of their cultural superiority (at least in manipulation of grains), the Sumerians were hemmed in by groups who were only a slight notch below them and so did not have the option of expanding in such a fashion. Over time the reservoir of uncivilized Semites in the Levant tipped the balance in favor of Akkadian, and later Aramaean, as the Semitic indigenes of Mesopatamia were reinfused with fresh settlers in a way the Sumerians were not.


Moving to more contemporary issues, race & the ancient world. The fact that the Sumerians called themselves the "black headed people" has been grist for the mill of Afro-centrists. Of course the Sumerians looked like Middle Easterners, in fact, the reconstruction of the Queen of Ur looks very much like my part-Lebanese friend's sister! The ancients knew of other races, the Greeks differentiated between the brownish peoples of Egypt, India and Ethiopia as different types, something many whites of the modern age tend not to do (no GNXP readers of course!). And yet how did the ancients view themselves? Not as members of a race. The common-folk probably saw themselves as members of a village, clan or locality as they do today. Elites could identify with the city, and on some level the nation [4]. "Racism" or racialism is harder when your neighbors look just like you. Some groups, like Egyptians, lived in areas where there was a lot of phenotypic change over small areas, so they envisaged their neighbors as being of various colors, Middle Easterners as "yellow," Nubians as "black," and Egyptians as "red." Though there was no idealistic concept of race the divergent phenotypes of humanity render themselves to common-sense interpretations.

Human beings are collections of reassorting genes that act in concert to form what we see as the individual. Our consciousness seems to at least present the simulacrum of unity and so we tend to view individuals as atomic units of organization even though we are a collective of genes supported by attendent cells that might very well have developed in the process of symbiogenesis [5]. Because in the past most people mated with those who were near them, cosmetic markers, skin color, hair form, etc. were excellent proxies for someone's "race." To some extent they still are. These cosmetic markers show incredible ranges, from black skin to white, tall to short, wooly hair to straight. Though most people still mate with those of similar race, a non-trivial portion do not. These cosmetic markers are being mixed together in a fashion that makes race more difficult to ascertain, and in fact recent evidence from Brazil or among African-Americans indicates that social factors are pushing a decoupling of cosmetic markers from ancestry [6]. Additionally, because cosmetic factors have been so important in the past, and so accurate as a proxy for ancestry, complex properties that are emergent from basic phenotypes such as personality, intelligence, etc. might decouple from appearence [7].

And it is the complex features that interest me. While some have asserted that a clear & well delineated number of races can be defined by classical phenotypic traits (color, skull form, hair form, etc.)-I am more interested in complex traits that show great overlap between "races." This blog has tended to focus on "intelligence," where it seems clear to me that the mean g between various populations are naturally different, some of this overlapping with classical races. But my rejection of organic mythic conceptions of race grounded in ideal types is due the fact that complex traits that are defined by mental functions are not so sharply differentiated even if they are statistically significant. It is these higher mental functions that define our humanity despite our preoccuption with cosmetic forms.

That's all for now....

[1] A lot of Stock's stuff can be found in godless' posts. Just use google and dig them up.

[2] I have just read that Elam practiced matrilineal royal succession. This is interesting of course because matrilineal traditions exist in southern India among the Dravidian speaking people.

[3] Colin Renfrew posited that Indo-Europeans spread agriculture through demic diffusion into Europe. He left unanswered the Indian part of the equation-but the presence of Dravidian relatives near the source of the Neolithic revolution seems to make the case for Dravidian demic diffusion into India as they spread agriculture and pushed the "tribal" people into the marginal lands. It was probably the Dravidians as well would brought a more unequivocally "Caucasoid" strain into the Indian subcontinent sometime after 10,000 BP.

[4] Apparently there was a shift in ideology during the height of the Assyrian Empire. The king of kings switched from calling everyone who was in Assyria Assyrians a century or so after mass deportations has changed the ethnic make-up. Obviously on some level they understood that Medes or Israelites were not "Assyrian" in the same way as the military families that supplied the soldiers, but it took some time to internalize this difference.

[5] In short I'm alluding to the origins of the organelles in the cell as independent organisms and the subsequent specialization of tissues into organs.

[6] Elaboration-white or black physical appearence is a far weaker predictor of African or European ancestry than once thought. This might mean that a "black" American could get cystic fibrosis despite overwhelming black appearence or a "white" American could suffer from sickle cell anemia without Sicilian ancestry. The drive behind this is probably assortive mating. Though this might be dismissed as a minor occurrence I would argue that assortive mating is becoming very powerful as a driver of "race" formation and re-formation.

[7] What I'm saying is that the super-high IQ Asians, Jews and WASP are assorting by intelligence, creating a new "race" defined more by their complex phenotypes that mark them as outliers among their natural "race." Of course the heritability of these phenotypes is tenditious-though g and Plomin's work seems to indicate that there are some central root properties at work that might be highly heritable.

Posted by razib at 12:51 PM




Up out of the desert the pyramid pops, the great, the first, pyramid of Cheops, was it? 4000 B.C., 3000 B.C.? And every subsequent pyramid, a different, and lesser, animal entirely. This may seem tangental to the subject Razib has introduced, but it is as intertwined as the V. P. and his oil. Doesn't it puzzle, this chron line, drawn by archeologists so decisively on such shifting sand. A majority have decided, even when disputed by numerous and credible members of their own ranks, that nothing civilized can be older than around 4000 B.C. (7,000 if pushed), and no evidence is too solid to be explained away faster than you can say Kurt von Daniken. I'm talking strictly earthlings, but we'll never have the whole truth and nothing but the truth until archeologists--and the rest of us-- make room in our heads for a big surprise,

Posted by: MaryClaire at May 19, 2003 05:28 PM


If the pyramid builders were so advanced, then why were they building pyramids? Pyramids are essentially big heaps of stones.

Posted by: Sporon at May 19, 2003 07:52 PM


Razib: And it is the complex features that interest me. While some have asserted that a clear & well delineated number of races can be defined by classical phenotypic traits (color, skull form, hair form, etc.)-I am more interested in complex traits that show great overlap between "races." This blog has tended to focus on "intelligence," where it seems clear to me that the mean g between various populations are naturally different, some of this overlapping with classical races. But my rejection of organic mythic conceptions of race grounded in ideal types is due the fact that complex traits that are defined by mental functions are not so sharply differentiated even if they are statistically significant. It is these higher mental functions that define our humanity despite our preoccuption with cosmetic forms.

Razib, these complex traits that overlap I too find fascinating. However I think that they are sharply differentiated on a large scale. Of course there is great individual difference in traits between Nigerians, Koreans and Swedes - although in some traits there is no overlap – but when aggregated in a population of millions these differences are averaged out, leaving a distinct national character. I reject the word “humanity”, we define ourselves within the largest whole (the earth), and in relation to an other, as different civilizations, nations, races, religion, ideologies false though they may be. It may be possible to create a new Jewish-White-Oriental-Brahman uber race with the very questionable morality of draining every third world country of its intelligent people, as immigration does at present, a permanent dysgenic effect outweighing short term contributions back to families. Yet in reality we find many of these people are naturally (& allowed to be) proud of their ethnicity, and ALL but whites have homelands, which act as a persisting reference point for identity and tradition; whites have only a history that is scarely taught, and largely propaganda. Multiculturalism and continuing immigration from various different countries means there is no cultural commonality between people. There cannot be a rich culture with a shared history, mythology, values, symbols, because everyone has and it continually coming from different origins. If a school has children from ten different nationalities, all the syllabus has to be culturally neutral, drained of any meaning - necessarily culture replaced by propaganda - books, films, all subtly or explicity drumming in the importance of diversity, equality, anti-racism, feminism. Look at newspapers from 1850, 1900, 1950, 2000, see the gradual then rapid decline in standard – (also the result of false egalitarianism and democracy, but it is all interlinked). It may not be your intention, but muliticulturalism, and continuing immigration from different ethnicities must destroy the very diversity that we find interesting in the first place! A homogenized world, with little cultural or ethnic differentiation. The cultures and history that you are so admirably familiar with will be a richness lost. Of course, this won’t happen globally, because every other country outside the West understands the importance of cultural homogeneity. So, in effect, it is just about destroying the West, or more properly, the white race. Why does this matter, is the common nihilism? Why does it matter if I die, my family, or the world blows up because, there are other individuals, families, and probably other life in the Universe? It matter because it is at least 30,000 maybe 100,000s of thousands years of differentiation, and diversity lost. As well as objectively as one of the few highest expressions of life on Earth, it matters ontologically, in the loss of being, just as we cry about Pandas or whales becoming extinct. There is nothing new or outlandish about most of these conclusions: it was the common wisdom for 5000 years until last century.

Posted by: Dan at May 19, 2003 09:27 PM


godlesscapitalist:
I was being a bit tongue in cheek but I was making a point. A pyramid is an easy to conceive-of structure. I wonder if the ancient Egyptians had even thought of or tried to build cut-stone arches. (I don't know for a fact that they didn't but I've only ever seen lintil-and-post and pyramid architecture associated with ancient Egypt.)


The Romans managed to build a building with a 142 ft. diameter fully-concrete roof. Check out
ANCIENT ROMAN PANTHEON

I'm not trying to be meanspirited about the Egyptians. I guess I was challenging maryclaire's belief that they possesssed advanced technology. It is true that they managed to get some huge stones to a great height, and cut them to a high degree of precision without iron tools. How they did that is probably a mystery.

Posted by: Sporon at May 19, 2003 10:43 PM


>> But my rejection of organic mythic conceptions of race grounded in ideal types is due the fact that complex traits that are defined by mental functions are not so sharply differentiated even if they are statistically significant. It is these higher mental functions that define our humanity despite our preoccuption with cosmetic forms.

First of all, race is primarily an esthetic phenomenon. The races are recognized by observation of apparent differences and similarities. Whether or not they also differ in other respects is secondary.

Second, there are different classes of mental traits. Some of them are obviously beneficial to all humans, presumably g being an example. Other mental traits are not necessarity of this kind. For instance, if one's descended from twenty generations of Ice Age hunters, or twenty generations of city merchants, or twenty generations of island fishermen, or twenty generations of pastoralists, it's extremely likely that one might have more of the personality traits that are positively associated with these occupations.

Posted by: Dienekes at May 20, 2003 01:13 AM


Dan - all these diversities and cultures you mention matter only because there are individuals who derive subjective utility from (i.e. value) their existence. They don't matter independent of the individuals who derive value from them. How will the West best progress? Yes, it will best progress by, as you put it, braindraining the rest of the world, converting their brains over to Western ways and mingling them altogether. What is the cause of the alleged decline in standards you talk about? It is caused by the fact that the market has increased the purchasing paper of people of average or below average intelligence now whereas before media was determined by the spending power of the elites. Is this good or bad? As long as I can read GeneXP and the NY Review of the Books, do I care if people of average intellects get their fill from reading other things and watching crap on TV? No, not really, the market is just serving different tastes.

Posted by: Jason Soon at May 20, 2003 04:58 AM


that should read 'purchasing power' not 'purchasing paper'. BTW this is not an original point but was made by Mises - a lot of mass culture is crap but at the end of the day it's good that everyone (including the less intelligent) gets to read and watch and listen to what they want with their money, no?

Posted by: Jason Soon at May 20, 2003 05:01 AM


Razib: seems to me that historians have swung too far away from diffusion, partially in the fear that they are devaluing the indigenous culture.

I strongly agree, both in terms of cultural and genetic diffusion, and in pre-history as well. This ties in to Wells and OOA vs MRE, jigsaws I’ve been mulling over for a while. The continuity in East Asia (Solo to Kow Swamp) and Asia (Peiking to Present East East Asians with Caucasoid gene flow through prehistory to historic times, made sense but I couldn’t work out Europe. Now it makes sense, knowing the phenotypic continuum between early, late Neanderthals, Early then later “Cro Magnon”. Some, but not all, genetic evidence suggest OOA, but it is methodologically very questionable, and focuses on mtDNA; y-chromosomal research, by a group including Cavalli-Sforza, “distinguishes a previously unknown deep, apparently non-African branch”.
http://www.rdos.net/copies/y-study.htm
Under this scenario, being recognized by people like Fred Smith, Alan Templeton, Wolpoff, large brains Neanderthals must have hybridized with Africans periodically over a period over at least 80000 years; we know there was contact, that there would be no interbreeding is a contradiction of the basic sex impulse that exist in man and animals. Of course all this has very non-PC implications.

A fascinating and extensive site on this topic and good picture;
http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm


Jason Soong: Dan - all these diversities and cultures you mention matter only because there are individuals who derive subjective utility from (i.e. value) their existence. They don't matter independent of the individuals who derive value from them.


A nation’s culture has a value that transcends the individual, both in development and design. In development, a culture develop over many generations, relying on cumulative collective widom; no generation is wise enough to disregard the lessons of previous generations, as do today’s modernist/postmodernist deconstructionists. Often things we do are a result of cultural lessons later forgotten. In design, a culture, if to last, is constructed not foremost to provide utility or value or even protection to the individual directly, but to provide the highest cultural expression of the group, and to protect the group from internal or external destruction. These three are a compromise: the Athenians in love with their Polis maximized cultural expression; their wisdom and art lives on in their prose and verse and indirectly as a core influence in later thought, but physically - biologically and politically - they would have survived longer under a Spartan militarized society or if they had ceded some power to a larger federation. The Romans created a large bureaucratic empire, which could defend itself externally for a long period, yet the artificially of propositional citizenship was not ultimately sustainable; it denied the differences of race, and created a degenerate ruling class, who indulged rather than reproduced. Germans (Continental and Anglosphere), Lombardians and Nordics, outlasted Rome and Greece because they did not create a large mulitethnic empire with resultant dysgenic admixture and differential fertility, and so until the 20th century retained their racial character.

Jason: How will the West best progress? Yes, it will best progress by, as you put it, braindraining the rest of the world, converting their brains over to Western ways and mingling them altogether. What is the cause of the alleged decline in standards you talk about? It is caused by the fact that the market has increased the purchasing paper of people of average or below average intelligence now whereas before media was determined by the spending power of the elites. Is this good or bad? As long as I can read GeneXP and the NY Review of the Books, do I care if people of average intellects get their fill from reading other things and watching crap on TV? No, not really, the market is just serving different tastes.


Progress is usually shallowly defined materially, or falsely ideologically like increasing minority achievement, more female representation in typically masculine areas, wealth distribution to end poverty. Material progress - wealth, faster computers, better communication, even health - is only progress if the ends are not just hedonism, avarice, or an anesthetic existence under a therapeutic state, but real progress: a better understanding of ourselves, society, and the larger external world. Decline in writing standards is undoubtedly multicausal, but has much to Universal Democracy, TV, egalitarianism, affirmative action, Marxist teacher unions, education geared only for specialized careers, and much more. Changes in the market just reflect underlying causes. It is bad because, the very people who watch crap on TV are not, in our society, differentiated from the more industrious, intelligence, educated, and cognizant. Society once meant only the educated, intelligent, honourable, not everyone could join, now mass culture infects and drags down everyone. Politics is dumbed down, far-sighted policy is impossible, and the public - as the politicians, and the media themselves – can be manipulated. The broad historical knowledge necessary to understand the world scarcely exists, too many intelligent people are wasted working 70 hours after paying taxes to pay for the poor to profligate - all short term profit - then need to tune out in front of the TV or a pulp book. They and the nation would be better off marrying earlier, working and acquiring less, having more children, getting involved in their local community, understanding more. The nation should be the master not the slave of the market; culture should not be dictated by a market (which can be manipulated),nor to advance false ideology, appeal to simplistic emotion at expense of reason, or the basest instinct; culture should be to advance real understanding. The degradation of standards reflected in the press is part of a larger cultural breakdown not limited to the lower class, which may or may not effect us as individuals, but the dsygenic fertility, incompatible immigration, resultant crime and squalor will effect our descendents.

Posted by: Dan at May 20, 2003 12:10 PM


I have great difficulty in viewing the white race as either victimized or endangered in the world I see.

On the one hand, you have most of the world's most prosperous economies and most powerful militaries,

On the other hand, you have affirmative action, rap music, bilingual education, and Halle Berry. It's pretty clear who's winning.

Posted by: zizka at May 20, 2003 07:07 PM


>> The Romans created a large bureaucratic empire, which could defend itself externally for a long period, yet the artificially of propositional citizenship was not ultimately sustainable; it denied the differences of race, and created a degenerate ruling class, who indulged rather than reproduced. Germans (Continental and Anglosphere), Lombardians and Nordics, outlasted Rome and Greece because they did not create a large mulitethnic empire with resultant dysgenic admixture and differential fertility, and so until the 20th century retained their racial character.

Greece fell to the Macedonians because of disunity. The same reason caused the Hellenistic Kingdoms to fall to the Romans.

The Roman Empire fell because the Roman Army lost its organizational and technological edge over the barbarians. The induction of barbarians into the ranks also facilitated the final blow.

I can't see in what sense Germans outlasted Greece and Rome. Only in the sense of coming to center stage later than Greece and Rome.

Lombardians of course did not outlast Romans. After all, they speak Italian today.

The British Empire was quite short-lived by world standards. It's too short to appraise the US's role in history.

Incidentally, Germans (both continental and Anglosphere) did not retain their racial character. Britons are a hybrid (Germanic/British) group, and Germans are a hybrid (Germanic/Celtic/Slavic) group. Lombardians of course did not retain either their racial or cultural character.

Posted by: Dienekes at May 20, 2003 10:44 PM


There was a dysgenic decline in Greece, you are right in that there was also disunity, between and within the various Poleis, partly my original point, because they chose an political body that could achieve a higher cultural expression, unlike Sparta geared for war.

Rome fell because there were too few Romans left, because they became degenerate, spurned parenthood, and built an empire where Romans were a minority. It had to and did collapse.

The Germans outlasted Greece and Rome because they remained culturally homogenous and retained their genetic capability. The biological capacity of Greece and Rome declined, due to dysgenic fertility, immigration, admixture, black miscegenation. Galton’s estimate of the IQ of ancients Greeks, converted into modern terminology, was around 120 compared to their present 93 (from memory). Still there is still some capacity left, there is a Greek Doctor Evangelos G. Katsioulis who has a 6 sigma IQ; he also has blue eyes. Rome and Italy had a dysgenic decline, absorbed alot of races included many blacks, the South later occupied by Muslims with more dsygenic admixture; Rome was reinvigorated by the German Lombards settling in the North: it is no coincidence the Renaissance was in these northern cities, there still is a north south division. And yes the Lombardians speak Italian, but they kept (largely) their racial qualities, while Romans, the Patricians, where absorbed. Survival depends on retaining genetic capacity - largely but not exclusively a high average, low and maximum IQ. Once the genetic capacity of a nation drops relative to other groups, like Greece, it is impossible, eugenics aside to reach the former potential.

The Germans in Britain did essentially retain their character. The genetic difference between the Celts, Belgae, Anglo-Saxons, Norseman, and Normans was not great, and it was the Nordic Saxons who were most numerous and the English still express this character. The Welsh and Irish reflect mostly the Iberian character, a mixture of Mediterranean with some Alpine; the Celts were a ruling class, and had less genetic input, although the Celtic language was to dominate. The Scots gene expression comes the Picts, some Celt and a lot of Viking blood, and Anglo-Saxon in the lowlands. The character of Britain, as an aggregate, falls in the Germanic northern European Group, different to Mediterranean. The English/American Empire has been dominate for 350 years, and England regionally strong for several centuries earlier. This is pretty successful (in one sense), but I agree that history will judge its sustainability, and in that I am fearful.

Posted by: Dan at May 21, 2003 06:35 AM


Just a reminder -- like the Chinese Empire in its various manifestations, the Roman Empire should be on the short list of success stories. From the rise of the Roman Republic to the fall of Byzantium was about 2,000 years. (Byzantium was Roman/Greek and can be used as evidence for Greek success also). China has been Chinese for a minimum of 3500 years, with various periods of unity and foreign rule, but with a net record of expansion.

I just say this because China, Rome, and Greece are frequently used (for example, by my Sunday School teachers 50 years ago) as examples of failure, based mostly on the last five centuries or considerably less. As Chou En-lai said in a related context, "It's too early to tell" about the triumph of the Anglosphere.

Posted by: zizka at May 21, 2003 07:54 AM


Zizka I agree; this is no end of history.

Posted by: Dan at May 21, 2003 08:54 AM


dan, it would be nice if you included some sources/logic instead of baldly stating 'facts' about the racial/ethnic makeup of ancients, and even the IQ of them. for instance, i'm re-reading "the g factor," and even jensen dismisses galton's "estimates" on ancient IQs (they were what we call today hunches). and btw, i don't know many ppl outside the white racialist movement that the ancient patricians were a racial group-perhaps a conspiracy theory? the prevelance of many etruscan elements (social importance of women, funery traditions, gladiators, and even historic etruscan kingship) suggests a synthetic emergence of etruscans.

Posted by: razib at May 21, 2003 10:27 AM


Razbi says


"dan, it would be nice if you included some sources/logic instead of baldly stating 'facts' about the racial/ethnic makeup of ancients, and even the IQ of them"

He is a kempian, if you want to see his sources, I recommend you that you read www.white-history.com, in that page, the white supremacist Kemp (His mentor) says a lot bullshit on the fall of several European nations, this fall according to Kemp is due to the miscegenation with blacks and Middle Easterns (when don't exist any genetic data that show black admixture in Europe)!

Slayer

a Spaniard from Malaga

Posted by: Slayer at May 21, 2003 10:53 AM



I recommend the reading of thi article to understand why the white supremacist like Dan and Kemp are so obsessed with the Iberian Peninsula:

Why is Portugal (and Spain) such a good target for the white supremacists?

http://www.geocities.com/refuting_kemp/portugal_target.html


Slayer

Posted by: Slayer at May 21, 2003 11:36 AM


>> There was a dysgenic decline in Greece, you are right in that there was also disunity, between and within the various Poleis, partly my original point, because they chose an political body that could achieve a higher cultural expression, unlike Sparta geared for war.

That does not agree with the facts. "Dysgenics" is too easily used as a cause for historical developments. I wonder how the dysgenic decline of classical Greece can account for the continued cultural pre-eminence of the eastern part of the Roman Empire for 1,000+ years after the supposed 'decline'.

>> Rome fell because there were too few Romans left, because they became degenerate, spurned parenthood, and built an empire where Romans were a minority. It had to and did collapse.

The Romans were a minority ever since they conquered Italy. But, I agree that the barbarization of the northern provinces may have facilitated the incursions that would ultimately lead to the fall of the Western Empire.

>> The Germans outlasted Greece and Rome because they remained culturally homogenous and retained their genetic capability.

'Genetic capability' for what?

>> The biological capacity of Greece and Rome declined, due to dysgenic fertility, immigration, admixture, black miscegenation.

There was no 'black miscegenation' in Greece and Rome worth speaking of. But, I really wonder why the dysgenically declined Romans experienced a Dark Age when they were invigorated with supposedly eugenically sound Germanic leadership.

>> Galtonís estimate of the IQ of ancients Greeks, converted into modern terminology, was around 120 compared to their present 93 (from memory).

Moder Greeks have an IQ of 99.4. 'Estimates' about the IQ of dead people are useless.

>> Still there is still some capacity left, there is a Greek Doctor Evangelos G. Katsioulis who has a 6 sigma IQ; he also has blue eyes.

Interesting yet irrelevant detail.

>> Rome was reinvigorated by the German Lombards settling in the North: it is no coincidence the Renaissance was in these northern cities, there still is a north south division.

Well, the immediate cause of the 'invigoration' was cultural decline. Only one thousand years later, when the 'invigorating' elements had been thoroughly Italianized was there a cultural resurgence. I wonder why the Renaissance did not take place in the Baltic, the vigorous cradle of these invigorating elements where they preserved their 'genetic capability'.

Posted by: Dienekes at May 21, 2003 02:08 PM


Razib: dan, it would be nice if you included some sources/logic instead of baldly stating 'facts' about the racial/ethnic makeup of ancients, and even the IQ of them. for instance, i'm re-reading "the g factor," and even jensen dismisses galton's "estimates" on ancient IQs (they were what we call today hunches). and btw, i don't know many ppl outside the white racialist movement that the ancient patricians were a racial group-perhaps a conspiracy theory? the prevelance of many etruscan elements (social importance of women, funery traditions, gladiators, and even historic etruscan kingship) suggests a synthetic emergence of etruscans.

Razib, I never said the Patricians are a different racial group. According to Livy, “The Early History of Rome”, the Patricians were created from 100 clan heads who descendents were the Patricians. I know Livy’s work is partly Mythological, but regardless of their origins a ruling class through eugenic marriages can raise capacity. British aristocracy were not different racial group yet were more intelligent and capable of ruling, yielded more great minds than the lower class. I quoted Galton as supporting not conclusive evidence; I think he does have a point about the large number of great minds from such a small population; certainly Greek Drama was so sophisticated as to require an intelligent and learned general population. Who knows Romes precise origins, of course there is the mythology of fleeing Troy but we can hardly prove or believe this; I agree there was much Etruscan absorption, probably culturally and genetically, and the Etruscans were evidently capable people as seen by their sophisticated artwork. A conspiracy you say? In a left wing (for lack of better definition) society people always condemn all to the right, condemnation encouraged by propaganda and resultant social pressure and self-censorship encourages. Most people believe race difference in IQ is a white conspiracy theory, yet with the falsification of Lysenko, Boas and Gould the conspiracy was in its suppression; conspiracies are never monolithic, and only wrong when false; there was a communist conspiracy.


Slayer, I am not a white Supremacist, you show the same closeness of mind that has made most people condemn those who believe in racial difference in IQ (most people on this site) as racist. I don't want supremacy over other groups; such Imperialism has been the cause of much of our problems. I don't even think whites now on average are necessarily objectively genetically superior; the more collective high visuo-spatial IQ Orientals with their homogenous homeland are better placed for long term group survival. I read your Portugal link, I didn’t find it convincing. It claimed there was little Negroid paternal DNA in Portugal, without a source, - no time at moment but I can find a source - while most black genetic influence probably was maternal. I’m sure some white Nordic supremacists discount Iberian or Mediterranean ability; I have seen no evidence that they were not capable. Arabic genetic capacity has been reduced through admixture and consanguineous breeding; this would have been passed on to the areas conquered by the Moors. I am familiar with Kemp and his history. I was not thinking of him or his site when I wrote those previous comment. He is absolutely not my mentor, just one of many sources I look at, that balances sociological history. There is much I agree, and disagree with him. He loses objectiviy sometimes and sees everything through a White Nordic prism; a lot of what he says stands up, other parts don’t, others I’m not sure. Remember many of our objections can be based on false premises.

>>Dienekes: That does not agree with the facts. "Dysgenics" is too easily used as a cause for historical developments. I wonder how the dysgenic decline of classical Greece can account for the continued cultural pre-eminence of the eastern part of the Roman Empire for 1,000+ years after the supposed 'decline'.


Dygenics is stronger in explaining why Rome fell, with Greece there much of the dysgenic immigration, admixture, migration was after 400BC and explains differences between modern and ancient Greeks. Constantinople was declining for its last five centuries; I don’t know how much genetic impact the Norseman had there, perhaps but maybe not completely insignificant. Greece until early 19th C and Constantinople had been under Islamic yoke for centuries, this surely furthered the dysgenic decline. The Greeks should be praised for keeping their culture and language alive during this period.

>> The Germans outlasted Greece and Rome because they remained culturally homogenous and retained their genetic capability.
'Genetic capability' for what?

For high intellectual ability, ability for a high level of civilization, understanding themselves and the world. Consciousness. With none we are animals, with little the Congo, then looting in Iraq.

>> The biological capacity of Greece and Rome declined, due to dysgenic fertility, immigration, admixture, black miscegenation.
>There was no 'black miscegenation' in Greece and Rome worth speaking of. But, I really wonder why the dysgenically declined Romans experienced a Dark Age when they were invigorated with supposedly eugenically sound Germanic leadership.

They experienced a Dark age because the Germans were at a lower level of civilization, but they had great genetic potential. Civilization is just accumaled learning; the Germans were attached to the land, they spurned civilization for long time, but they had the intelligence (like Romans and Greeks, Orientals, Jews etc disclaimer). Baker in Race, I think in the Aboriginal section states Anglo-Saxons invaders as having much higher cranial capacity. When culturally “Italianized”, in Political small states that encouraged innovation, the Lomabard’s high genetic capacity came though with the Renassiance.
>Modern Greeks have an IQ of 99.4. 'Estimates' about the IQ of dead people are useless.
I am not statitician, but I don’t understand how the standard deviation in these studies can be in the 20s and 30s; surely that either implies a very small sample size to be useless or massive (impossible) numbers in the very high and low IQ ranges. I think Lynn’s estimate more accurately reflects the GDP average of Greece, given historical circumstances and its political system.
>> Still there is still some capacity left, there is a Greek Doctor Evangelos G. Katsioulis who has a 6 sigma IQ; he also has blue eyes.
>Interesting yet irrelevant detail.
Not really, there appear to be very few groups of people in the world who are capable of 196 IQ; this suggests a very high intellectual potential in at least a constituent part of the population.
>> Rome was reinvigorated by the German Lombards settling in the North: it is no coincidence the Renaissance was in these northern cities, there still is a north south division.
>Well, the immediate cause of the 'invigoration' was cultural decline. Only one thousand years later, when the 'invigorating' elements had been thoroughly Italianized was there a cultural resurgence. I wonder why the Renaissance did not take place in the Baltic, the vigorous cradle of these invigorating elements where they preserved their 'genetic capability'.
The world “capacity” is the equally operative word. The Renaissance occurred in North Italy because of the cultural and geographical closeness to Rome, the dynamism of small states. High genetic capacity part-Germans were able to achieve great works of art and learning, because they had been culturally absorbed into Italian regions and became civilized. I suppose if 10,000 Balts migrated to Florence in 1000, and surely 10000 Swedes , their descendents would have played a role in the Renaissance, though weren’t the Balts Slav Alpines, I am just not sure about their characteristics, but certainly they would have achieved a higher cultural level, grafting on to earlier learning.

Posted by: Dan at May 21, 2003 10:50 PM


>> I am not statitician, but I donít understand how the standard deviation in these studies can be in the 20s and 30s;

Cattell tests have a SD of 24.

>> High genetic capacity part-Germans were able to achieve great works of art and learning, because they had been culturally absorbed into Italian regions and became civilized.

'High genetic capacity' can be partially gauged by achievement. Now, northern Europe is perfectly capable of sustaining civilization, as it is obvious in the modern age. During antiquity, the Germans had political independence in their northern homelands - certainly a prerequisite of achievement. Now, it's fairly problematic that 'high genetic capacity' people did not develop anything bearing a semblance to civilization under such circumstances. Perhaps other reasons held them back, who knows? I will certainly not go to the other extreme and claim that they had a 'low genetic capacity', even though that would agree better with ancient lines of evidence, as in e.g., literary appraisals, sale prices in the slave market, etc. In any case, this 'high genetic capacity' works in mysterious ways, manifesting itself only after its cultural and genetic makeup is diluted with dygenically affected Italians, and only after centuries of such dilution takes place.

Posted by: Dienekes at May 22, 2003 01:51 AM