Why can't leftism be genes?
3 common misconceptions people have about the genetic nature of political change
Last time, we built the character of the unbiased layman. He has the following traits:
He is not innately biased against hereditarian hypotheses
He is not brainwashed against hereditarian hypotheses because he does not trust data he doesn’t fully understand
He is a pure layman with no serious exposure to data
The purpose of this character is to isolate the audience for this set of essays. People who do not satisfy 1 are impossible to reach. People who do not satisfy 3 should be reading the literature on their own, making blog posts like these redundant. Many who satisfy 1 and 3 may not satisfy 2; the purpose of the last post in this series was to get them to satisfy condition 2 by clearpilling them.
If someone does not satisfy condition 2, they either have to be moved into expert territory so that he fully understands all the data in the domain, or he must be clearpilled. Moving someone into expert territory is a full education-complete problem, so I opted to attempt to clearpill these people instead.
This post assumes you are an unbiased layman. If you are an expert, you should just read this instead to see that leftism is most likely caused by mutational load.
What does an unbiased layman think about the shift left?
Last time, our unbiased layman observed economic differences between races on an alien planet. He started with neutral priors, and shifted toward hereditarianism with basic information. This time, it makes sense to start with neutral priors. But basic information might bias the layman toward non-hereditarianism. This does not violate condition 2 of his character because it isn’t data, it’s personal experience.
For this article, I did a little bit of light-hearted research. I’ve identified 3 major misconceptions an otherwise unbiased, non-credulous layman is likely to have:
Genes don’t matter much for politics
Genes don’t change that much, that quickly
Leftism couldn’t be genetic change because of some alleged feature of leftism
Misconception 1: Genes don’t matter much for politics
I suspect people think this because they have experienced themselves or others changing their view.
But the heritability of liberalism-conservatism is 60-70%, which looks like the plot above. On the x-axis is a hypothetical gene score, and on the y axis is a politics score. People might wiggle around the red line a little bit in their lives, but based people are usually always based. Thus, most based people experience going from normie conservatism or libertarianism to basedness.
Folk wisdom has long held that people become more politically conservative as they grow older, though several empirical studies suggest political attitudes are stable across time … Consistent with previous research but contrary to folk wisdom, our results indicate that political attitudes are remarkably stable over the long-term.
The study also found that when people do change views, they don’t change much. Moderates might change between the two major US parties on rare occasions, but extremists practically never do, because they are wiggling around their end of the red line.
The red line is their genes. Think about this, if you held this conception, you likely became “based” after already being some flavor of radically right wing.
Like many, I was a libertarian when I started paying attention to politics. I instinctually never wanted black kids to touch my Pokemon cards in elementary school, and when I learned about race and IQ I joined the “IQ right” or whatever you might call it.
Misconception 2: Genes don’t change that much, that quickly
I’m not sure where people get this exactly but I think it may have to do with their grandparents and physical differences between the generations. I am working on a study involving face-feature differences between generations predicting greater leftism in more recent generations. If you pay attention, modern people all look kind of soft and melted — it’s not just body fat. Their facial features are mutated compared to people 50, 100, and 200 years ago.
The fact is that it is a well-replicated result that genes can change very quickly.
Decades ago, it was common for people to claim that evolution did not effect modern humans. Selection pressures were so small that they only produce significant phenotypic effects over thousands of years. In the 2000s and 2010s, the median view seemed to progress to to one where evolutionary pressures could produce differences over several hundred, or maybe a few thousand, years. Genetic changes could explain differences between Rome and the British empire, but not between 1920s American and 2020s America.
This view is still inaccurate. The fact is that selection pressures are often significant enough to produce social changes over 3 or 4 generations, sometimes less. Here, we will show this by computing contemporary selection pressures on different social relevant traits. We will conclude that pressures are significant enough to produce observable changes from as recently as the 1950s. Therefore, when explaining political changes since that time, it is crucial to not ignore evolutionary pressures and genetic change.
A 2018 meta-analysis found that the correlation between IQ and fertility is -0.11. Using the formula from the last article in this series with a fertility SD of 1.35 and a fertility mean of 2.35, as well as an h^2 of 0.66, we get a selection pressure on IQ of 0.6 points per generation. That means after 100 to 120 years (about 5 generations), the mean IQ will drop 3 points due to selection pressure.
This reduces the amount of people over 130 IQ per capita to 60% of what it is today. In other words, if this pressure were like this since the 1920s, and there were 3 million 130+ IQ people back then, there would only be 1.8 million such people today, assuming no population growth. If, say, 130+ IQ people (by 1920 measures) were the sole producers of innovation, the innovation would be almost cut in half.
Something like this model is approximately true. It’s called Smart Fraction Theory, and in essence the amount of people over 125 IQ (by 2020 Western standards) is what predicts key national economic variables.
From just selection pressures alone, in Henry Kissinger’s lifetime the population mean can decline by 5 points, which is about the gap between men and women on IQ. Today’s men are yesterday’s women when it comes to general intelligence.
Mutational pressure is even more rapid in times like now, when selection pressures are comparatively very weak. This produces even more rapid genetic change.
Furthermore, Smart Fraction Theory is a special instance of a general principal posited by E.O. Wilson: the multiplier effect.
“A small evolutionary change in the behavior pattern of individuals can be amplified into a major social effect by the expanding upward distribution of the effect into multiple facets of social life. Consider, for example, the differing social organizations of the related olive baboon (Papio anubis) and hamadryas baboon (P. hamadryas). These two species are so close genetically that they interbreed extensively where their ranges overlap and could reasonably be classified as no more than subspecies. The hamadryas male is distinguished by its proprietary attitude toward females, which is total and permanent, whereas the olive male attempts to appropriate females only around the time of their estrus. This difference is only one of degree, and would scarcely be noticeable if one’s interest were restricted in each species to the activities of a single dominant male and one consort female. Yet this trait alone is enough to account for profound differences in social structure, affecting the size of the troops, the relationship of troops to one another, and the relationship of males within each troop.”
In other words, there is ethological reason to believe that political behaviors are the most sensitive to changes in the genome. Small changes in behavior can result in large changes to the aggregate social structure. Civil rights, feminism, and gay marriage may seem like radical steps that are hard to explain with small mutational pressures, but the multiplier effect can in theory make small individual changes result in huge aggregate changes to a society.
Misconception 3: Leftism can’t be genetic because of [insert bad folk wisdom]
Technically, I asked you to stop pretending to know stuff about sociobiology/HBD/statistics if you’re just trusting someone else’s take on the matter. If you’re not a trustor, you’re either some level of “expert”, which implies any knowledge you have is fully verified and true, or you’re a layman who has ditched all of his unsafe, unverified ideas.
Now I ask you to forget everything you know about history and news (history of you lifetime), because it’s a mixture of fake and misinterpreted.
Misconception 3 is people thinking an anecdote from history or the news can be informative, even falsifying, with regards to the hereditary nature of leftism.
Here is the general argument why: news and history are words, not data. They must be turned into data to be interpreted. But to interpret this data you must be an “expert.” If you did not turn it into data and interpret on your own, then you are either a trustor or a layman. If you are a layman, you know nothing about it. If you are a trustor, the knowledge is insecure, which as we showed last time is the road to error.
When someone brings up history or news, they are trusting an interpretation of a hypothetical data-ized version of this that they did not do themselves. Thus, the same logic from part 1 of this series applies here.
The most common form of this is probably claiming that you have some knowledge of the mean leftism over time from news or history. “But leftism in the Enlightenment, was this mutational load?” Did you measure leftism in the 18th century? No, you didn’t, and you can’t infer it from words, so wipe it from your mind. “But what about the rapid increase in the 1960s?” Did you measure this or do you think you know this from stories you heard? The latter. Let it go.
I am not saying that historical events are not locally saltatory, by the way. It is, but consider E.O. Wilson on ultimate vs. proximal causes:
Ultimate versus proximate causation. The division between functional and evolutionary biology is never more clearly defined than when the proponents of each try to make a pithy statement about causation. Consider the problem of aging and senescence. Contemporary functional biologists are preoccupied with four competing theories of aging, all strictly physiological: rate-of-living, collagen wear, autoimmunity, and somatic mutation (Curtis, 1971). If one or more of these factors can be firmly implicated in a way that accounts for the whole process in the life of an individual, the more narrowly trained biochemist will consider the problem of causation solved. However, only the proximate causation will have been demonstrated. Meanwhile, as though dwelling in another land, the theoretical population geneticist works on senescence as a process that is molded in time so as to maximize the reproductive fitness in particular environments (Williams, 1957; Hamilton, 1966; J. M. Emlen, 1970). These specialists are aware of the existence of physiological processes but regard them abstractly as elements to be jiggered to obtain the optimum time of senescence according to the schedules of survivorship and fertility that prevail in their theoretical populations. This approach attempts to solve the problem of ultimate causation.
How is ultimate causation linked to proximate causation? Ultimate causation consists of the necessities created by the environment: the pressures imposed by weather, predators, and other stressors, and such opportunities as are presented by unfilled living space, new food sources, and accessible mates. The species responds to environmental exigencies by genetic evolution through natural selection, inadvertently shaping the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of the individual organisms. In the process of evolution, the species is constrained not only by the slowness of evolutionary time, which by definition covers generations, but also by the presence or absence of preadapted traits and certain deep-lying genetic qualities that affect the rate at which selection can proceed. These prime movers of evolution (see Chapter 3) are the ultimate biological causes, but they operate only over long spans of time. The anatomical, physiological, and behavioral machinery they create constitutes the proximate causation of the functional biologist. Operating within the lifetimes of organisms, and sometimes even within milliseconds, this machinery carries out the commands of the genes on a time scale so remote from that of ultimate causation that the two processes sometimes seem to be wholly decoupled.
A historical account may not be untrue per se, but it leaves out the generational pattern of Cthulu swimming left when it says stuff like “Rosa Parks was denied a seat on the bus, then everyone chimped out, then we got Civil Rights in response.” Civil Rights was caused by an ultimate genetic trend AND a proximate cause, just like a forest fire requires driftwood build up and a spark.
Hopefully if you carried one or more of these misconceptions, this article has enlightened you. Subscribe below for more:
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