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  #301  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:32 AM
New Deal Democrat New Deal Democrat is offline
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List of countries by intentional homicide rate

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Originally Posted by Steve MB View Post
It must be true -- after all, Iraq has the world's lowest murder rate, right? Or is it Egypt? Syria? Well, it's gotta be one of those Fertile Crescent countries....
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Originally Posted by Steve MB View Post
Wow, this is absurd even by the standards of your usual arguments, given the obvious huge variations between populations in Euro-American civilization that are indistinguishable by that metric.
Here is the list, once again, of countries ranked by murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._homicide_rate

Egypt has 0.8, which places it toward the bottom of the list. Iraq has 7.3, but I am confident that it was much lower before the U.S. invasion. Syria has 3.0, which is still lower than the U.S. with 5.0.

Countries at the top of the list are countries where a significant percentage of the ancestors of current inhabitants were still paleolithic hunters when the earliest centers of civilization in Egypt, Iraq, India, and China were developing. At the very least they were neolithic, which means that they still depended on hunting, and lacked city governments to cull the more aggressive.

By the way, in India the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants is 2.8. In China it is 1.17. Many countries with much worse poverty than the United States have much lower murder rates.

Cochran's and Harpending's arguments do not require a one to one correspondence, only a correspondence.
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  #302  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:51 AM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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Originally Posted by New Deal Democrat View Post
Cochran's and Harpending's arguments do not require a one to one correspondence
Obviously, you would not admit error if MacTavish dumped a tanker truck of sugar into his porridge.
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Last edited by Steve MB; 05-03-2011 at 08:53 AM..
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  #303  
Old 05-03-2011, 09:36 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Originally Posted by New Deal Democrat View Post
What kind of science zine is this? Evolution never has a speed.
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  #304  
Old 05-03-2011, 10:09 AM
New Deal Democrat New Deal Democrat is offline
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Originally Posted by marshmallow View Post
Evolution happens with every new generation. Humans have evolved lots over the last 10K years, mostly reacting to disease and new diets (e.g. dairy).
Humans with a long history of agriculture have also adjusted to alcohol consumption, and high carbohydrate diets. Human populations that have more recently been introduced to agriculture, like north American Indians, have higher rates of alcoholism and diabetes. This is explained in The 10,000 Year Explosion.

Agricultural and urban populations gained an advantage by being able to consume wine and beer without ruining their lives, because fresh water in their environments was often polluted. Before the widespread use of water purification people often mixed wine and water. The alcohol in the wine killed the bacteria in the water.

St. Paul recommended this in 1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

When researching the cause of cholera in the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur noticed that those who did not drink wine and beer were more likely to become infected.
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  #305  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:09 AM
jiolowinglo jiolowinglo is offline
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"Cultural diversification promotes rapid phenotypic evolution in Xavánte Indians" (January 2012)
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Shifts in social structure and cultural practices can potentially promote unusual combinations of allele frequencies that drive the evolution of genetic and phenotypic novelties during human evolution. These cultural practices act in combination with geographical and linguistic barriers and can promote faster evolutionary changes shaped by gene–culture interactions. However, specific cases indicative of this interaction are scarce. Here we show that quantitative genetic parameters obtained from cephalometric data taken on 1,203 individuals analyzed in combination with genetic, climatic, social, and life-history data belonging to six South Amerindian populations are compatible with a scenario of rapid genetic and phenotypic evolution, probably mediated by cultural shifts. We found that the Xavánte experienced a remarkable pace of evolution: the rate of morphological change is far greater than expected for its time of split from their sister group, the Kayapó, which occurred around 1,500 y ago. We also suggest that this rapid differentiation was possible because of strong social-organization differences. Our results demonstrate how human groups deriving from a recent common ancestor can experience variable paces of phenotypic divergence, probably as a response to different cultural or social determinants. We suggest that assembling composite databases involving cultural and biological data will be of key importance to unravel cases of evolution modulated by the cultural environment.
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/1/73

"Evidence for evolution in response to natural selection in a contemporary human population" (October 2011)
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It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection. In contrast, recent studies show that selection can be strong in contemporary populations. However, detecting a response to selection is particularly challenging; previous evidence from wild animals has been criticized for both applying anticonservative statistical tests and failing to consider random genetic drift. Here we study life-history variation in an insular preindustrial French-Canadian population and apply a recently proposed conservative approach to testing microevolutionary responses to selection. As reported for other such societies, natural selection favored an earlier age at first reproduction (AFR) among women. AFR was also highly heritable and genetically correlated to fitness, predicting a microevolutionary change toward earlier reproduction. In agreement with this prediction, AFR declined from about 26–22 y over a 140-y period. Crucially, we uncovered a substantial change in the breeding values for this trait, indicating that the change in AFR largely occurred at the genetic level. Moreover, the genetic trend was higher than expected under the effect of random genetic drift alone. Our results show that microevolution can be detectable over relatively few generations in humans and underscore the need for studies of human demography and reproductive ecology to consider the role of evolutionary processes.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...04210108.short
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  #306  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:13 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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"It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection."

Only by people ignorant of how evolution works.
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  #307  
Old 02-01-2012, 01:21 PM
LonesomePolecat LonesomePolecat is offline
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Originally Posted by sh1bu1 View Post
And dingos only eat white babies.
Except for when they're in the mood for Chinese or Thai.

Last edited by LonesomePolecat; 02-01-2012 at 01:22 PM..
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  #308  
Old 02-01-2012, 01:29 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
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“This is not a book to be set aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.”

- Dorothy Parker (paraphrase, you pedantic snot!)
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  #309  
Old 02-26-2012, 11:18 AM
jiolowinglo jiolowinglo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elucidator View Post
“This is not a book to be set aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.”

- Dorothy Parker (paraphrase, you pedantic snot!)
I take it you didn't actually read the book...
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  #310  
Old 02-26-2012, 12:40 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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elucidator writes:

> “This is not a book to be set aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force.”
>
> - Dorothy Parker (paraphrase, you pedantic snot!)

We have talked about this quotation in various threads. No one has been able to find it in any of her writings. No one has been able to find any first-hand evidence that she said it. There's no proof that she ever said or wrote anything like it, despite it being one of her frequently-claimed quotations:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=532756

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=599661
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  #311  
Old 03-05-2012, 08:51 AM
New Deal Democrat New Deal Democrat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
"It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection."

Only by people ignorant of how evolution works.
Cultural and technological advances benefit those who are able to master them at the expense of those who are not. Computer technology enables geniuses to earn fortunes. It provides reasonably well paying careers for those of superior intelligence. It destroys or reduces the economic value of jobs that can be learned by those of average or below average intelligence.

This kind of thing has happened throughout history and prehistory. The reason bows and arrows are easy for us to learn how to use is because our ancestors were able to learn how to make and use them. They used them against those who were unable to learn, by achieving greater success in hunting and war.
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  #312  
Old 03-10-2012, 03:47 PM
Chen019 Chen019 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
"It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection."

Only by people ignorant of how evolution works.
True. Unfortunately some of those ignorant people include academics who speak on the subject.
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  #313  
Old 03-13-2012, 03:51 PM
Crane Crane is offline
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And Sputnik!

Crane
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  #314  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:05 PM
Crane Crane is offline
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Sorry about #313 - old news and I got timed out on the edit.

Anyway:

I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but the discussion above does not offer much evidence of evolution. Technology is separate from evolution. Our brains have far more to mimic and are stimulated by greater variety than were the brains of our ancestors. So, we are not smarter than they were, just better trained.

Skilled archaeologists today cannot reliably recreate the technology of a Folsom projectile point. A Folsom brain might do wonders with modern technology.

Crane

Last edited by Crane; 03-13-2012 at 04:06 PM..
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  #315  
Old 03-14-2012, 08:49 AM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New Deal Democrat View Post
The reason bows and arrows are easy for us to learn how to use is because our ancestors were able to learn how to make and use them.
Oh, great Ghu, somebody who still believes in Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics is lecturing us on human evolution....
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Last edited by Steve MB; 03-14-2012 at 08:50 AM..
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  #316  
Old 03-14-2012, 09:08 AM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
Evolution never has a speed.
Of course it does. It even has a unit of measure, the darwin.
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  #317  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:53 AM
CC CC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New Deal Democrat View Post
Whites and Orientals in the United States have low murder rates. It is the blacks and Hispanics that give the United States a higher murder rate than one finds in Western Europe. The murder rate is a better way to evaluate the crime rate than the rate of reported crimes because murders are more likely to come to the attention of the police.
Wait. Maybe I'm missing your point. Is this supposed to be evidence that blacks and Hispanics are genetically inferior to whites? Do cultural factors play no part in this in your view? Could being brought to this country in chains and being treated like animals for hundreds of years have any effect on the nature of certain populations here?

Last edited by tomndebb; 07-31-2013 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: This post revives a ZOMBIE thread from 15 months ago.
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  #318  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:21 PM
Great Antibob Great Antibob is online now
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Originally Posted by CC View Post
Wait. Maybe I'm missing your point. Is this supposed to be evidence that blacks and Hispanics are genetically inferior to whites?
Just a note that this thread is over a year old. Also, if you were hoping for a direct answer, NDD was banned a while back.

But yes, NDD did think that exactly. He, among other posters on the board, minimize or deny the effect societal factors play across a number of outcomes.
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  #319  
Old 07-31-2013, 12:53 PM
CC CC is offline
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yeah -I didn't realize how old or how lengthy this thread was, nor did I notice that NDD had been banned when I jumped at that statement of his. Oh, well - it was an interesting read.
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  #320  
Old 08-05-2013, 12:22 PM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
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While Cochrane et.al. may be talking about genetic evolution, that's not the only kind of evolution.

It's trivially obvious that over time, the principle mechanisms of evolution have changed. Early on, sexual reproduction was a big boost, both in terms of speciation and morphological changes. The development of sophisticated brains allowed mammals to adapt more quickly to changing environments, especially primates (yes, this is controversial). Language allowed more and more sophisticated lessons to be passed, both to future generations and laterally. Writing and telecommunications extended these, adding a more durable medium for recording as well.

The result of these innovations has been a much faster rate of change in the way humanity works. Now that we dominate the world, it also has the ability to change the way the world works, even the climate (OMG!)

In the future, in addition to our improved language and communication technologies, we'll add artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, and the rate of change will continue to accelerate. Would we even recognize our descendents as human, 1000 years from now?

Of course technology has affected our genetic evolution. However, I doubt most specific claims in that regard. For example, the impact of jails on the gene pool must be miniscule, thanks to the small portion of the population (even in the US), the strength of genetic drift to stabilize the gene pool, and the fact that our justice systems probably aren't very successful at incarcerating the majority of the worst offenders.

My guess is that the biggest impact of technology has been to allow a much higher portion of the population to survive, reducing what would ordinarily be considered "fitness" as a factor. In Darwinian terms, the most fit today are the poor uneducated classes that are reproducing most rapidly. (I saw an interesting TED talk that made a convincing argument that this unbalance should diminish in the coming century, thanks to technology and emerging markets.)
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  #321  
Old 08-05-2013, 01:46 PM
Great Antibob Great Antibob is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learjeff View Post
For example, the impact of jails on the gene pool must be miniscule,
More like nonexistent.

With few exceptions, many, if not most, convicts have exercised the ability to procreate before incarceration or will exercise that ability upon release.

Jails could only possibly have a genetic impact if criminals were caught before they ever had sex and were held there until after they could no longer effectively produce viable offspring. Also, there's the assumption there is a genetic component to criminality, which is more than a little a stretch.

Of course, this all assumes natural selection is at play. The Lamarckian result would, of course, be quite different.
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