sábado, 17 de mayo de 2014

The danger of human biodiversity to traditionalism

Comented in the Bonald post about the danger of human biodiversity to traditionalism: about how the increase in IQ and the decrease of violence delegitimate the traditions and the thinkers of the past.

The increase on IQ as well as the decrease of violence may not be due to genetic changes, but to early age imprinting and epigenetics.

The first means that the brain grows more and the connections among neurons increase when the child perceives more attention from their parents so that their lifespan will be longer, since elaborated thinking only pays under this perspective. If that is not the case, it is better to have a set of automated behaviours. Low IQ and a small brain is an adaptation for a dangerous life. but either low and high IQ may be the phenotypic result of the same genotype under different situations of infantile stress.

epigenetics are genetic switches that are passed from parents to children and are switched on and off depending on the conditions that the parents have lived. It carries out the same information and has the same purpose but it comes from the past generation.

According to this it is clearly possible that these increases on IQ in affluent societies in the past have been produced. It may not be the case that ancient greeks had lower IQs than us. Probably in hundred of years of prosperity, they managed to have very intelligent generations because they had this IQ drift too.

In the other side, as the New Testament says, It is often that the wishdom is not given to intelligent people, but to very mean ones. Many of the great figures of antiquity, saints and kings and even philosophers which influenced their time, had no formal education, and they lived in harsh conditions. That may be explained because the most important knowledge, is instinctive, and everyone, even the least intelligent ones have. That is logical from the point of view of evolution. what is important and and is useful in any condition, becomes instinctive.

It is the intelligence the obstacle for wisdom in many cases, since the ideological elaborations of the intellect, made for temporally convenient purposes, can hide the atemporal truth that is instinctively in all of us. That is why revolutionary ideologues can convince easily middle class and intellectuals, but have a very hard time trying to convince workers and low class people.

Thanks Mr Bonald.

In the other side, it is certainly possible that the european jewish population had enough pressure to incorporat at least some genes for higher intelligence .The pressure was the investment of the jewish in the european society in money and knowledge, this also determined by the fact that they were goods easily portable under persecution.

All human groups fluctuate around his own mean IQ value.  The fluctuation is dictated by the individual environment and the mean value, by the history of the group along thounsands of years. That was studied by Rushton. The more predictable, the more pays to be intelligent. The less predictable, the better to react fast and think less. The brain is also a spensive tissue that need a lot of calories.

But intelligence does not make people more moral or with more wisdom. a more predictable environment could mean that what would be  physical conflicts in less predictable environments are translated to conflict of power in the social arena. That means that the intelligence is spent in the elaboration of Machiavellian deception of other and oneself, maybe with elaborated ideological constructions, instead on searching for the universal knowledge that is in all o us.  On the contrary people with no habit to think, are more close to  common sense and they have no incentive to lie themselves and others. The catholic doctrine, the Bible and the Greek philosophy (anamnesis and nous) is full of insight about how the wisdom is in anyone and available to everyone that look (sincerely) for it.

In the other side, the "theory of evolution" should be called "theory of tradition" since  almost 100% of the information comes from our ancestors, only a very, very small part of what is inherited has changed. evolution is an ideological name made with the intention to focus the attention on this tiny variational aspect.

This is a very good presentation about how a genotype can produce different phenotypes depending on early environment:

http://oyc.yale.edu/ecology-and-evolutionary-biology/eeb-122/lecture-8

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